Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Live Wide Awake: Foundations

We are in a new Summer Series from Laura Degroot’s book: Live Wide Awake

photo courtesy of Pastor Mark, taken 6/24 on Flagstaff Mountain

Acts 18, Genesis 1 and 2

July 4th holiday week.  A day of celebration of our Independence as a nation.  It has been on my heart in anticipation of this coming holiday week, the blessings we enjoy in our country.  A nation of immigrants, a tapestry of nationalities, races, and ethnicities, which over hundreds of years has been a ‘melting pot’ where peoples and states have lived under the title of ‘United States of America’, governed by a constitution and a system of government that distributes power among three branches… maybe four in reality… Executive, Judicial, and Legislative… with the fourth branch perhaps being ‘the people’ who make up our country’s population and exercise ‘power’ through voting.  

In the midst of our world’s tendency to use power to ‘lord it over others’, Jesus calls us to a third way.  Everything in today’s political world seeks to divide us into a binary choice of party affiliation, stance of issues (on almost everything), leading us to significant judgment of one another.  As Christ followers, this puts us in the position of thinking we need to choose sides.  

I’ve always believed that as followers of Christ we are called to be aligned with the Kingdom of God, we are citizens of heaven, children of God.  This gives us the unique position of being ‘in the world, but not needing to be of it.’  It allows us space to follow Christ while engaging our world with the light and love of Christ.  This reality presents a third way for us to engage our world and the powers that be.  Our choice is seldom the binary choice that our current culture would like to present to us.  Our choice is more of a third way – the way of Christ and his Kingdom.

This 3rd way is one marked by respecting the dignity, worth, and protection of every human life in the name of Jesus.  This way is marked by an absence of manipulation, domination, or any form of abuse of another.  This way is guided by the foundational revelation of God in Scripture and by ongoing revelation of the Holy Spirit.  It is the way of truth telling, by speaking truth in love.  It is grounded in a spirit of service and often suffering.  It is grounded in seeking the well being of all people, because all people are created in the image of God.  As we seek the well-being of our neighborhoods, our cities, our nation and our world, we must keep this 3rd way in mind.     

May the Lord bless you and keep you as you enjoy the freedoms that the Lord our God has given us in Jesus, as well as the blessing of living in the United States of America.  We have been given some amazing gifts – may God give us the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding to steward them well.  God is good and the Lord bless you!

The message for this week, July 5th, in our online worship, will be on chapter 5 of Live Wide Awake, entitled Foundations.  Our scripture point of reference will be Acts 18 and Genesis 1/2.  Our tentative date of discussion with leadership for our first gathering of public worship is July 26th.  Stay tuned for more information after our July 14th council meeting!  We had a good gathering together for prayer outdoors this past Monday night, a taste of things to come.

In Jesus name,
   for the Glory of God,
     and the building of His kingdom,

      Pastor Mark