Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: A breif reflection on what has been and the plans that God has for us.

I walked back from dropping my car off this morning at the garage for its ‘warrant of fitness’ and reflected as I walked, on the damage that was all around me from the earthquake that had twisted our city just over three months ago, I also reflected on the day which is clear and bright, a sky with light cloud and the slight drifting chill that is autumn. There were the empty lots and broken facades, buildings closed for business, young fresh green weeds growing where commerce hummed and livelihoods were made, a damaged shop still standing where a life had been lost was now awaiting its demolition, like so many. Cars still moving, people walking and surveying routes to safety, still aware of aftershocks, concern on their faces as they walked under verandas, still going about what is their business, in the open shops and offices, and the shipping container Dairy that a had been installed by a canny businessman to replace his missing building.

The day ahead what would it bring more requests, more work, and progress being made…progress that would take months and years, if ever to replace that which has been lost? For some whose certainty has now shifted beyond their coping, those who choose to stay inside away from it all and those who greave that such a thing could happen…struggling to find someone or something to blame and point the finger at, for such a disaster must be someone’s fault.

“God where are you among all,” this with the churches that you were worshipped in, so many of which are now but ruins. Or like the Sydenham Methodist Church that was being restored to its structural finery, but now just piles of rubble, short work for a massive yellow digger, blue stone and bricks roughly piled on the lot where sermons were preached, couples married and hymns lifted high to you. “Where oh God are you in this?” “Where are you amidst the brokenness of tornados, floods, wars, famine, disease, the crumbling shatteredness of life after the event, no matter what it is?”

You are there, your word and witness continues in the plans you have for us; we take you at your word you say it through the ages, “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

Lord we seek after you, often it is only in these times when we remember to seek. We ’the people’ your real church ... seek.

Lord help me to plan as you plan not in a “worldly manner so that in the same breath I say, “Yes, yes” and “No, no”. (2 Corinthians 1: 17b)

As this journey through this place continues, help me to focus on your eternal plan, a plan that results in wholeness, a plan that is about relationship with you, that is centred on your grace and your forgiveness, that is nothing that can be brought or earned but is a free gift through the death and resurrection of your only begotten son.

For you Lord are in the church, in the hearts and minds is where your Spirit ‘the deposit of eternity’ comforts, encourages and befriends, and helps. I ask Lord please enter in and fill me till I over flow.

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