One colorful way to dismiss something you deem impossible is to respond “Yea, when pigs fly.” With a chuckle, the dreamer is put in his place and all can return to reality. Jesus also dismissed impossibilities and just as colorfully:
“I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:23-24).
Not surprisingly, his disciples were crushed when they heard it because they knew they were really no better than a “rich man” or anyone else for that matter. And so they replied:
“Who then can be saved?”
Often matters of possibility and impossiblility come down to a question of focus. Either we focus on the reasons why something can never work or we lift our gaze instead on the infinite power of the one we serve. Jesus’ response does much to bring that faith filled perspective.
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
I bring all this up to acknowledge that God is the all sufficient one who can “do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.” This was the subject of Brad Watson’s excellent sermon on the 10th of August and it is an important antidote to the defeatism that is so easy to adopt. God has called all of us to an impossible task—that is, to plant and grow a new outpost for his Kingdom. I have come to believe that church planting is impossible for us alone—no matter how skilled or strategic or earnest we are. But, with God, all things are possible. Let’s trust him to lead our efforts and to bring about the growth (spiritually and numerically) that he desires.
A comic once quipped “With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine.” We may be daily facing impossibilities, but the power of God overcomes all obstacles, even our weakened faith if we let him. In him is all the thrust we need J. If you would like to hear Brad’s sermon, look in the sermon archive section of the All Saints website www.midlandanglican.org. You can also find Bishop Mark Zimmerman’s message from last Sunday there. He takes up the same theme but from a different direction.
If you missed reading the newsletter last week:
A word about renewing your baptismal vows. When a child or adult is baptized, a series of vows are taken either by the parents or the person being baptized. Among these are promises to follow Jesus as your Lord and Savior and to maintain a healthy and true Christian faith (based on the teachings of the Scriptures and the Nicene Creed). We also promise to be concerned for those who do not know Christ and for the less fortunate. Renewing your vows begins by renewing your relationship with Christ and by developing or returning to habits that keep you in touch with Him. On Sunday, December 14th, you will have the opportunity to publically renew your vows with a blessing from the Bishop and the support of the congregation. Of course, you will not be “required” to renew your vows, but I think you will experience a blessing if you do so. Rather than holding a “renewal of vows class,” I think it would be better to help you develop your own renewal plan in keeping with your spiritual temperament, available time and interests. Drop me an email or text to let me know of your interest and we’ll set a time to meet.
Our Wednesday Night Bible Study resumes with “The Patriarchs”. This new series considers some of the most entertaining and thought provoking people in the Bible. Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob, Rachel and Leah (along with a colorful cast of servants) have a wonderful way of exposing human frailties while also teaching much about the meaning of living by faith. The story of Abraham begins in Genesis 12. The Wednesday night group meets at the home of Gary and Nadine Oknefski, 2201 Hereford Boulevard and is open to all. We begin at 6:30 pm.
Scripture of the week: “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or imagine, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21
As always, if you are in need of pastoral care, please do feel free to call me at 432-853-2751.
Your fellow servant,