October 13, 2008

Looking Ahead to October 19, 2008 -- 23rd Sunday After Pentecost, Anniversary Sunday

This Sunday marks (to the day) Riverview's 55th Anniversary. To celebrate we will have a potluck lunch after church.

The Scripture Readings this week are:
  • From the Jewish Scriptures: Deuteronomy 30:1-5, 11-20
  • Psalm 46 (VU p.770)
  • From the Gospel: Matthew 22:15-22

The Hymns this week are:
  • 315 Holy Holy Holy
  • 579 The Church is Wherever God's People
  • 660 How Firm a Foundation
  • 420 Go To The World

The sermon title is Choose Life…

Early Thoughts: IS it really that easy? Just an either/or choice? Life or death, God or Caesar, hope or despair? What choices do we need to make today for a hope-filled future? After 55 years, where will we be on our 60th Anniversary?

This passage from Deuteronomy is one of my favourite passages of Scripture. It makes it seem so simple. Two choices, which will you make? But it also reminds us that choices matter. Choices make a difference.

But if only our choices were so clear cut. Moses suggests that the options are clear -- follow God's path or the path of the world around us. Jesus suggests it is easy to identify what belongs to God and what belongs to Caesar. But we live in a world where we know full well that the grays overwhelm the black and white. The choices are hard to make.

This week we mark 55 years of ministry in Atikokan. And as we mark that event, we need to acknowledge that the way ahead is unclear at best. What choices lead us to life in abundance both as a congregation and as a community? What choices lead to stagnation? What choices lead to death (and is death a failure?)? These are hard questions to answer.

In fact, I am not entirely sure we have the answers to these questions. We need to find them. We need to ask ourselves where God is calling. We need to think seriously about what our priorities are. We need to look closely for the hints that God leaves for us out there. Where is God leading us? And where will we be on our 60th anniversary?

Let's open ourselves to God's calling. Let's open ourselves to hard choices. And may God help us find the choices that lead to life, and that in abundance.

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