A New Way
On Sunday the adult Sunday School finished up our tour through Scripture. We saw how God is putting the world right from all of the effects of the Fall of humanity that we see in Genesis 3. Jesus came to make it possible for our broken relationship with God to be renewed, but that’s only the beginning. Jesus also came to show us a new way. God continues to work through his people to redeem what was lost because of our sin. This is the great hope that we have—that our God is a restorer.
One example of the contrast between the way of the Fall and the way of God’s Kingdom can be seen in our relationships with others. One of Adam’s descendants was Lamech. Look at what we read him saying in Genesis 5:23-24, “I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for injuring me. If Cain is avenged seven times, then Lamech seventy-seven times” (NIV 2011). This is an example of broken relationships. Because Lamech was wronged in some way, he asserts that he’ll get vengeance 77 times.
That 77 times should ring a bell for followers of Christ. Do you remember when Peter came to Jesus and asked “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” (Matthew 18:21, NIV 2011). I’m sure Peter thought he was being plenty generous in forgiving seven times, but you remember Jesus’ reply: “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times” (Matthew 18:22, NIV 2011). The number 77 does not occur frequently in the Bible. Jesus is probably reminding Peter and the rest of his followers of the story of Lamech and reminding them that there is a different way of doing things in the Kingdom of God. Vengeance and getting back at someone is not what we are about, but instead the way of forgiveness. Because we have been forgiven much in Christ, we should be forgiving as well.
There are some sign-up sheets in the fellowship hall that you need to know about. The Meadows Mennonite Retirement Community’s annual fundraiser is coming up June 11th. They are asking for cakes for their cake walk and baked goods (fudge, pies, sweet rolls, bread, cookies, bars, cakes, homemade noodles, and brownies). If you can provide these, please sign up.
There are also still a few things to provide for the VBS snacks. Look to see what you might be able to provide.
Remember that next week we begin our summer schedule. There will be no Sunday School and the worship service will begin at 9am!
In two weeks on June 12th former pastor Rich Bucher will return to the pulpit, and as a special treat he will portray Bishop Joseph Stuckey, a founder of this congregation.
At the end of this month on June 26th Lowell and Sheri Glick, our missionaries to Mexico will be here to speak at the morning service and we will have a special brunch potluck on that day to welcome them here.
Make sure to take a look at the other things that are happening in the weeks to come!