Sunday, May 21, 2017

Not New, New Things

A grey morning outside but warm spirits in the sanctuary as we gather for worship again. Chuck welcomed us and shared how things change. Chuck told a story about how he bought a bike in an effort to lose weight and be healthy. When he was riding his new bike he kept hearing a click-click-click sound. As he tried to figure out where the clicking sound was coming from he finally discovered what it was. It was his knees!

The story was shared to bring home thid point: Next week we will move to our summer hours, so the church service will start at 9:30 a.m. next week. Things change, and our schedule is changing for the summer.

Darlene played a beautiful introit on the piano, and then we turned to our hymnal and sang some great ones.

Cheryl Borndal invited the ushers forward to collect the offering, We then shared a time of praise and prayer.

Pastor Terry introduced a guest from the Gideons, Tom Engelmann. The Gideon's are not simply people who place Bibles in hotel rooms, but also are our partners in saving souls. Tom shared a story about a college student who became so depressed she wished she could take her life. By chance a Gideons Bible was there, arranged by circumstances orchestrated by God.

Not New, New Things

Terry opened with a story underscoring the importance of God's Word. He then had us turn to the Book of Ecclesiastes.

Terry's in the middle of a renovation at his house and he shared that it can be  real challenge. In order to move forward you have to often move backward to make progress. Like mountain climbing, you see that when you reach the current peak there is a lot more ahead of you still.

This is the cycle of life, not only in a house renovation project but also in our personal life goal. So we turned to Ecclesiastes 2:17-23.

17 So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. 18 I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. 19 And who knows whether that person will be wise or foolish? Yet they will have control over all the fruit of my toil into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless. 20 So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun. 21 For a person may labor with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then they must leave all they own to another who has not toiled for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune. 22 What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun? 23 All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless.

Sometimes we complicate life. We overthink it.

God has given toil to us as a gift. Why do we see these things as a weight, as anything but a gift?

Eccles 3:22 says,
So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot. For who can bring them to see what will happen after them?

Ecclesiastes 9: 9, 10
9 Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun—all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun. 10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.

It's all worship. Whatever you do,

Ecclesiaster 11:1-6 also addresses our relationship to work.

In closing Terry had us look at Jeremiah 6:16 ...
This is what the Lord says:
“Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.  

What does it look like to have rest for your soul?

And when we find the good path, we're encouraged to walk it. As you walk it, you will find rest for your souls.

Physical reality, emotional reality, social reality... these realities are all linked. And they all need to be healthy and well.

Every single moment every day, God wants us to love what we're doing and to honor Him.

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