Meditation for July 2, 2017

My name is Carl and I am being Coached by Grace.

It is the Grace of God that stands behind us, is to the right of us, to the left of us and opens doors before us. (if you are comfortable repeat that statement using your own name.)

SCRIPTURE: PLEASE READ ALL THE FOLLOWING SCRIPTURE BEFORE PROCEEDING:

http://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/texts.php?id=148

• Genesis 22:1-14 and Psalm 13  •  • Jeremiah 28:5-9 and Psalm 89:1-4, 15-18  •  • Romans 6:12-23  •  • Matthew 10:40-42

PRAYER: Good Morning God, thank you for this moment to pause, to withdraw from the “hub-bub” of life. Thank you for the hearing of the breath from my lungs. Thank you for the feeling of the pulse in my body. Thank you for the life that exists in my body. Thank you for the spiritual awareness that prompts me to be appreciative for this life.

Lord thank you for the larger community, the global community. Thank you for your people throughout the globe.

Thank you that we are each special in our calling, in our place in life. Place your words of prayer in the reply areas above.

MUSIC:

http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/w/a/wasttttn.htm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrNPbKopngk We’ve A Story To Tell To the Nation

Crown Him With Many Crowns https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kPkjghup8E

Great Is Thy Faithfulness https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-mozilla-002&hsimp=yhs-002&hspart=mozilla&p=great+is+thy+faithfulness+hill+song#id=3&vid=e60daa2d171d5e0d2fefefc39b394632&action=click

MEDITATION:

Preaching and the creation of a sermon around the Fourth of July was always a difficult time for me. In the United States it became a time of declaring AMERICA as God’s chosen. I could not accept this as truth. I came to understand God’s Kingdom as Universal. It knew and knows no boundaries.

Then came the move to Canada. It wasn’t long before I began to experience the disrespect Canadians had for U.S. televangelists and the way the Gospel message had been distorted. The Biblical story this morning talks of Abraham being asked to sacrifice his son. In some ways American Nationalism became so ingrained in me that I felt like I was being asked to sacrifice a part of me. Then one day a man in the church I was Pastor of in Canada said to me I don’t agree with your perspective. We hired you to do this, this, this etc. My response was to say no that is not the Biblical understanding. As the pastor of the church I am called not to lead the church like a military leader I am called to serve the church and to train up Canadian leaders in the Canadian Church. Again I was challenged. No we pay you to do the church. So what is this thing Abraham is called to do? Is it to build a people to dominate the world, or is it to serve the world?

Last evening my son said as respectfully as possible if you are called to be a servant then why do you suffer so much? In essence he asked the same question the Psalmist asks. Psalm 13 goes to the core of a question, how long must I suffer? Perhaps even why should I suffer at all? This week the report came back osteoarthritis now appears in my toes, my feet, my hands, my fingers. My thumb joint often feels like glass cutting from the inside out. Why? It is Job’s story all over again as his wife said curse God and die! People very close to me have said the same thing. Why not “just die?” “Aren’t you ever going to die?”

The table conversation at my son’s Canada Day celebration took an interesting twist yesterday. A young man who will be speaking on the subject of the Corporation’s need not to get involved in social change and to stay out of the planning of such endeavors was there. I listened as the discussion went deeper and he practiced some of his thoughts on us. Then out of no where the word sin came to the forefront. “What do you think?” I was asked. The conversation went on for quite a while so it is not possible to write the whole thing here. It non the less led to the necessity of the corporation to be responsible. Decisions are made that destroy people’s lives, destroy ways for people to make a living, affects health and community. In the midst of my own brokenness I had the freedom to speak of how corporate and political decisions affected my own life. Some of the pain in my body came because of irresponsible decision making by government and corporate leaders.

I was still confronted by my son’s question. Why?

Their are many reasons why suffering exists. There is also a model in the person of Jesus. This model has been picked up by tens of thousands of people who have accepted the call to serve. In the midst of accepting this call will be a clash of values. Not only are we as a society in transition but we are in a global transition vying for power. Pain and suffering will happen to all people. There are times when this pain and suffering will be caused by “sin” done to you. It is not based on a specific act or behavior you have done. It is caused by the acts or behaviors of other. In this global war for power and place people are being destroyed. This pain and suffering becomes the residual effects of this war. When all is said and done I believe we will discover the cause for Sarcoidosis will be found in chemical, dietary, nutritional and hereditary conditions. The battle ground is more than the places of traditional understandings of war. As we continue to see the globe polluted more and more cases of Sarcoidosis are being discovered. Why do the righteous suffer? Why does anyone suffer? Our calling is then to be faithful to live a God honoring life as we are called to be a part of the solution. This is what I have committed my life to.

CONCLUSION: We’ve A Story to Tell To the Nations https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrNPbKopngk

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