(In The Life Of The Church)
Over the next six weeks we will be hearing from voices in within our community. The article will address the texts and themes from lent. Today we'll hear from Kim Minnick. Kim is working of her Master of Divinity from Truett.
From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:16-21
New things are by far one of the most exciting aspects of life. We stand in long lines when a new version of the iPhone comes out, we appreciate the ‘new car smell’, we squeal at the release of a new superhero movie (or new LOTR movie), and we’re excited about a new football stadium. We love new things. But do we love new things at the expense of the old ones? Was my old phone working fine before I bought the new one? Did my car successfully get me around town? Is that new movie really any different from the comic or book (in some cases, yes)? Was building such a stadium necessary? What is the quality of newness that attracts us? I would say it’s the promise of better things to come. Paul promises us that in Christ, there is a new creation and that things are becoming new. How exciting!
Creation. What do we think of when we read this word? If we relate it to Paul’s writing to the Romans we realize that “the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now” (8:22). Romans 8:19 tells us that creation is awaiting the revelation of the sons of God. Paul goes even further in verses 20-21 to say, “For the creation has been subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its servility to decay, into the glorious freedom of the children of God.” Creation is groaning to be new. How exciting?
During the Lenten season, we recognize our sinfulness and the ways we have fallen short in our lives. We groan over this old creation. Malcom Guite puts what I want to say in an elegant way in his book Sonnets for the Seasons on the subject of Ash Wednesday:
Receive this cross of ash upon your brow,
Brought from the burning of Palm Sunday’s cross.
The forests of the world are burning now
And you make late repentance for the loss.
But all the trees of God would clap their hands
The very stones themselves would shout and sing
If you could covenant to love these lands
And recognise in Christ their Lord and king.
He sees the slow destruction of those trees,
He weeps to see the ancient places burn,
And still you make what purchases you please,
And still to dust and ashes you return.
But Hope could rise from ashes even now
Beginning with this sign upon your brow.
We press into the groaning of creation knowing that we also groan awaiting redemption. We press into the groaning because we hope for more. We groan and labor through what feels to be the hardest and most painful work that we can imagine on earth, and we do so because of hope. We know that in Christ, all things have the potential of becoming new and will become new. We know that God’s reconciliation through Christ is not just for us, but also for God’s whole creation. Everything old has passed, and everything new has come. Yet how do we act on our knowledge when it comes to creation? Are we ambassadors for Christ to creation? The whole creation is groaning. UBC, may we be a people that do not just groan with the rest of God’s creation in the hope and the revelation of glory through Christ’s reconciliation, but also a people who act to bring it about.
Children's Update from Pastor Emily
Our Lenten Journey is almost halfway over and UBCKids is excited to begin shifting their focus from our sinful nature towards the hope and forgiveness of Easter!In the Branch and Root classes, we have learned that we have all sinned, we can’t do enough to good deeds to pay the cost of our sin and that our sin binds us and keeps us from the abundant life that God has planned for us.This week, we will be learning that God has a solution to our problem and that solution is His Son Jesus!In the Bloom Room, we will be taking a break from our ABC’s of God’s love to join the Lenten Journey by learning about Jesus’ story of the Prodigal Son and what we can learn about God’s love and forgiveness for us from this beautiful parable!We hope you will join us!Happy Lent-ing!
There will be no Sunday School on the first and second Sundays of spring break. March 6th and March 13th.
We really need help with more greeters. if this is something you'd be willing to do, that would help us out. interested people should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Work is Worship
Greeters: Evie & the Walters
Coffee Makers: No Coffee Makers this week
Mug Cleaners: No Mug Cleaners this week
Sunday Sermon: Lent Four: Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32
Next Town Hall March 20th after church
Chris Tweedt will be leading a series of three talks about the intersection of faith and philosophy. Talks will run in the evening from 7:30-8:30 and will take place at UBC. for more information email Chris @ email@example.com
Feb 24: Perceiving God or Arguing for God?
Mar 23: What Does God Think About Suffering?
April 20: Who, If Anyone, Should We Trust about Religion?
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