“Mission is not a human activity undertaken out of obligation to the great commission, or even simple gratitude. It is God’s own mission in which we have been included. It is what God is doing to bless all the nations through the resurrection of Christ and the outpouring of the Spirit. Mission work is not motivated by the need of the world but by the sending God who calls and empowers.” Paul Stevens
This morning as we commission our Nashisa team, we will consider the ways in which the risen Christ sends each of us to “practice resurrection” in our world, and we will hear about a few ways in which Cappers are already doing exactly that. (Kim Pierrot)
April 22, 2016 – Shelley MacDonald-Lin and Cap Friends
This morning is the final Sunday in our “Practicing Resurrection in our Work” mini-series. Can all our work be worship? What does it look like to offer up our everyday, ordinary, “going-to-work” life to God? And what changes in us when we make that offering with our lives? As we turn to Romans 12:1-2 and listen to the stories of others, we will begin to discover answers to those questions, and even to get a clearer sense of the “work” our gracious God wants to do in us as we offer our work to Him.
We will continue to explore the intersection between our faith in a resurrected Jesus and our daily lives. Building on what Paul Stevens shared with us last week, some friends will be joining me to talk about what makes our work “good” in God’s eyes, and also to reflect on what it’s like to to be a Christian in our various places of work.
This morning it is our great delight to welcome Dr. Paul Stevens to Cap. Paul has been a pastor, student counsellor, business person, Regent professor, as well as a friend and colleague to many Cappers. His mission is to empower ordinary people to integrate their faith and life from Monday to Sunday. Currently Paul is the Chairman of the Institute for Marketplace Transformation and Professor Emeritus of Marketplace Theology and Leadership at Regent College. We look forward to what Paul will bring to us today from the book of Colossians as he helps us to consider what it means to work with reverence and sincerity of heart before God.
Paul Steven’s PowerPoint for sermon can be found under “What’s Happening” on the CapChurch Website.
This Easter morning, we join our Christian brothers and sisters all over the world in declaring: “He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!” But does Jesus’ death and resurrection actually affect our here-and-now lives? In fact, Christ’s death and resurrection speak to the very heart of the gospel and to the life trajectory of those who trust and follow Jesus. His resurrection is the ultimate demonstration of the power of God to make what is dead come alive again. Jesus risen from the dead is the sign of the promise—that forgiveness, wholeness, restoration, redemption for us and for the whole world—is available through the risen Christ. This is not simply a truth to be believed, but to be lived out.
When I think of Palm Sunday and the Triumphal Entry I am reminded of being a child in the church and waving palm leaves while marching around the sanctuary singing songs that contained the word “Hosanna.” It is one of my favourite stories in the Bible, because it is both a reminder of my need to welcome Jesus into my life as well as a challenge to my often flawed expectations of who he will be in my life.
“We are a church community in pilgrimage experiencing some frailty and brokenness seeking to be attentive to God. How does this passage speak into CAP’s current circumstances?”
This is a question we have asked of the Nehemiah story each week throughout this series. In life groups and on Sunday mornings, we have attempted to hear God’s voice through this story, and to discern how God is at work in restoring and transforming us. As our series comes to a close today, we take our lead from God’s people at the end of Nehemiah who express their thanks to God for all that He has done by engaging in joyful celebration.
After seeing the God of heaven’s amazing work in helping them build the walls, we saw in chapter 8 that the people worshiped Him, and then in chapter 9 they confessed their sins. The natural extension of this development is to move from work and worship to ethical commitments. The people make an important covenant by agreeing to keep God’s law and maintain His laws for His house.
With the wall complete another sort of building commences. God’s community gathers together with Ezra and Nehemiah communicating God’s truth through His Word. It has a powerful impact on the people but the wrong impact. Rather than being joyful in their worship they grieve and are in tears. Nehemiah encourages them to eat, drink, celebrate and share because these are the qualities that characterize a people that follow God.
Like waves on the seashore that reflect relentless persistence, another form of criticism is directed at Nehemiah. Only this time it is gossip where people are talking, making accusations, dreaming up stories, and threatening the work of God. Much to learn in this chapter about how to gossip if you are interested in such a thing, along with how to respond to gossip.