Worship with us this Sunday
8:45 AM & 10 AM – Classic Worship
in the Sanctuary at First Methodist
STILL AT WORK
Kingdoms come and go. Kings take the throne and pass from the scene. Presidents are inaugurated and Presidents leave the stage.
Some of us are excited by the new crop of political leaders taking the stage in Washington D.C. Some of us feel a sense of great distress at what is happening, and are anxious about what we hear new leaders saying and doing.
Leaders matter. This is true in business, education, government, athletics, and in the church. Organizations, communities, and teams will almost always thrive with good leadership and struggle with inept, unwise leadership. Leaders matter. Paul, in his Letter to the Romans (13:1-ff.) says the authority political leaders have comes from God. He goes on to say that (:6) leaders are “God’s assistants” for doing good. The leaders in city hall, the statehouse or on Capitol Hill matter.
Some faith leaders take the position that what happens in the secular government isn’t all that significant. They insist faith leaders should not involve themselves in addressing what political leaders are doing (or not doing).
However, the prophets of Israel show us how God’s messengers would boldly hold those in power accountable to God’s standards of decency, justice and compassion. Micah 3:9 pointed out that the rulers rejected justice, made crooked what was straight, and gave justice for a bribe. Kings often expended considerable energy trying to silence those troubling truth-tellers.
God is still at work.
Times change. Kingdoms rise and fall. Presidents come and go. God is, no matter how uncertain the times may seem, still at work.
Isaiah 35 promises the people going through a time of exile that they will see the glory of God. In a wilderness place God will still be at work to open the eyes of the blind, clear the ears of the deaf, cause the lame to leap like a deer, and help the speechless learn how to sing again.
God is at work even in tough and uncertain times. God worked with the Jews while they were in exile in Babylon. God was at work in the life of Paul even when he was in prison and then later shipwrecked on an island during a winter storm.
Near the end of the story of Joseph in Genesis, he tells his brothers (who sold him into slavery) that what they intended for evil God had used for good. God is still at work.
God is still at work. Not just in palaces, legislatures, or the castles of finance and industry, but God is still at work in ordinary, everyday places. God is at work in women and men doing the right things day after day, neighbors being neighbors, and communities welcoming strangers who have no place to call home.
God is still at work. Luke 2:1 points out that Caesar Augustus ordered a empire-wide census, but the real action at that moment in history had little to do with Rome and emperors. The most significant thing happening in the world at that time was the birth of a child in an out-of-the-way place called Bethlehem.
God is still at work. “Where?” you ask. It just may be God is at work…through you. You’re God’s answer to the problems in your school, work place, neighborhood, church, and nation. “Why doesn’t God do something?” you ask. Maybe you’re the answer to that question!
Kings come and kings go. Kingdoms rise and kingdoms fall. God is still at work – often far from the centers of power and influence. God is at work often through someone just like you.
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Join us this Sunday at 8:45, 10 and 11:15 as we continue asking questions in our BEGINNINGS sermon series.
If you are relatively new to First Methodist and The Open Door, I invite you to join our New Member Class (“A Disciple’s Path”) on Sunday afternoon evening, Jan 22 and 29, in room #307 from 5:30-7. You’ll get to know some new people, ask questions you have about God, Jesus and the church, and learn some things about the movement to transform the world we call Wesleyan Christianity.
Our Church Council meets briefly at 5:30 on Monday in the Great Hall, and then our annual LEADERSHIP ORIENTATION begins at 6 pm with a simple meal. Join us as we look ahead and explore the essential virtues leaders must have as the Reverend Russ Abel (Fort Wayne St. Joseph UMC) leads us.
Grace and peace,
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