Our God is great; listen to His words and understand!
The Gospel lesson for the 13th Sunday after Pentecost came from Luke 12:49-56. Pastor Cliff titled his sermon: “The signs of the times… already, not yet”. When will the end come; are you ready: what do you need to do now? What will happen in the world that points to the way?
We need to remain watchful and working “faithfully” in anticipation of the next coming of Jesus. Jesus starts by saying “I have come to set the world on fire, and I wish it were already burning”. He explains that He has a “terrible baptism” of suffering ahead and it is a heavy burden until it is accomplished (a reference to
His crucifixion and death). Jesus was talking about a cleansing, purifying fire. There are old ways, old hurts, that need to be burned up. Be ready to stand before the throne of God’s judgment.
These shocking words continue with Jesus saying that we may think that He came to bring peace, but that He came to divide people against each other (verse 51). And He then lists the division in your lives where families will be spilt apart.
Jesus then reminds us that if the clouds rise in the west, it will rain; when the wind blows from the south, it will be hot. Yes, even then people were amateur weather men. Jesus then concludes by calling us hypocrites. We can discern the ‘face’ of the earth and sky, but cannot discern the signs of the end time. Be watchful and ready.
Verses 58-59 contain a clear warning. When you are on your way to court with your accuser, try to settle the matter before you get there. Otherwise, your accuser may drag you before the judge who will hand you over to an officer, who will throw you into prison. Jesus is teaching that we will all stand at God’s throne and give account of our actions and some may find themselves in God’s jail.
Jesus is telling us that the signs of the times are clear. God has come to save all people. We are all God’s people; we have His saving grace.
A special speaker, Michael Murray, the Executive Director of ‘A Better Tomorrow” enlightened us about the foster children program. There are 28,000 kids in foster care. If each church took care of just one child, there would be no waiting line. We know of the great people of Art that are giving so much but the need is great. Abused children need stable, God fearing families.
John and Susan Ceynowa will celebrate their anniversary on Aug. 23rd. And Teresa Koock will have a birthday party on Aug. 27th.
Remember Monday, August 26th, 8:00AM at the Mason Junior High School Library we will be covering books for the school children. Come, bring your friends and neighbors. Lunch and treats will be provided. All kinds of helpers are needed.