Tuesday, December 26, 2006

God's Glory and the Church's Calling

God's Glory and the Church's Calling

Our new sermon series seeks, in the weeks ahead, to contemporize Ephesians for First Baptist. Each week brings a different preaching pastor and style to our pulpit offering a chance to hear from our "hidden pastoral treasures."

I anticipate a time of healing for the brokenness in our lives and in our relationships within the church. The joy of the expectation of sending out a new congregation became tempered by the suddenness of our senior pastor being called to another congregation. Where questions were rampant, but were understated during the sending out period, they overflowed with bitterness, hurt and uncertainty after the pastor's announcement. A sense of discouragement and fear replaced the purpose and excitement of sensing God's will for FBC. What did that cause? Backbiting, misunderstandings and hurt people.

So, though, we go on. And God's plans go on unabated. In Ephesians 1 we read that God had us in mind before he laid the foundations of the earth. He decided that we were to be his family. And it says "What pleasure he took in planning this! (Ephesians 1:5 MSG)" Yet a sacrifice was made, so that everything would be brought together, summed up, and be complete in his will. We cannot be complete in his will if we are hurting ourselves or others.

The introduction to Ephesians in The Message (Peterson, E.H., 2003, The Message: The Bible in contemporary language, NavPress) talks about our fractured world, churches and self. Ephesians provides the prescription and therapy plan for healing the body of the church, his people involved in ministry (professional and lay), and for seeking to spread this peace throughout our community.

Begin reading Ephesians this week. Read a chapter a week (they're short, so maybe several times) and come prepared to hear God's message from it through his servants. Check out our website for the preaching pastor and week's chapter.

I'll be in church, how about you?

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