Summary: Today in Canada we see a nation that is ever more secular and less and less Christian. In fact in our Provincial Legislature the current Premier Dalton McGuinty wants to abolish the practice of reading The Lords Prayer at each opening session.
Prepare for Battle
We last looked to Gods word and studied the Beatitudes that Jesus gave us from the Sermon on the Mount. We covered a broad list of attitudes and characteristics that we as Christians are called to reflect in our lives as Gods children. It is not a list that anyone of us has been able to fully complete. We are Gods craftsmanship being made into that which He desires us to be day by day. We are to take the Beatitudes and build them into our character and daily life so that we can demonstrate God growing in us to the world.
How does the world respond to the people of God? What has been their reaction over the millennia? The short answer is that Gods people have been rebuked by the world. Gods people have been seen as a stumbling block and a reproach. We, as the living representatives of our faith have been reviled by the world. We stand in the way of the world. The world of sin which desires its own way rather than Gods way would love to see us vanish from the face of the earth. This is the conflict of the ages to which we are all a part of as Christians.
It was true for the Nation of Israel as the called out ones, the chosen of God and it is true for the Christians the redeemed of God those saved through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. How then can we make our way in such an environment? Why must we press on against such an adversary? What is the conflict all about and why should it matter to me?
Todays scripture passage was written almost two thousand years ago by a man who was put into prison for teaching about Jesus Christ. He was put into prison by a One World Government, by that I mean that the Government of the day ruled the entire known world of its time. It seems hard for us to comprehend such a thing since we live in a time of nation states but even now that seems to be changing before our very eyes.
The once independent nations of Europe have dismantled their independence in favor of co-dependence and are even now living under the European Union. It is a Union that has expanded from its original small group of ten nations and now represents more than 27 member states and continues to grow the concept of mutual dependency and centralized government rather than independence and local government. We are living in a time when we are witness to the dismantling of democracy. Such was the time that todays scripture came to the Church in Ephesus.
St. Paul wrote these words to assure the church of its unity in Christ, its unity of purpose and its share in the promise of Christ. Today we are still relatively free and we are free to speak out against whatever we wish but we see an ever increasing move to change laws and to build an attitude of fear. I like you have watched with concern the way the Americans have changed their laws and have removed civil liberties in favor of increased government powers to identify citizens and control their movements. Could we be approaching a new kind of government born out of the manipulation of fear using terrorism as a platform for destroying democracy as we know it? It does seem ominous.
What are we to do in such times? How are we to react and act as Christians and citizens?
We first must realize that we are not our own. We must realize that we are like the nation of Israel. We are Gods chosen people purchased with the blood of Jesus Christ. We are to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the world just as the early church was. We are to draw all men to Jesus Christ through the message of the Gospel and the power of transformed lives that have the Holy Spirit living in them.
Today in Canada we see a nation that is ever more secular and less and less Christian. In fact in our Provincial Legislature the current Premier Dalton McGuinty wants to abolish the practice of reading The Lords Prayer at each opening session. He wants to strike The Lords Prayer and in its place replace it with a more inclusive prayer that reflects the diversity of Ontario.
Wed, February 13, 2008
Alternative to Lords Prayer considered for legislature
By Antonella Artuso, Sun Media
I believe it is time for Ontarios legislature to better reflect Ontarios reality and celebrate our diversity, McGuinty says in a letter to opposition party leaders. It is time to move beyond the daily recitation of the Lords Prayer in the Ontario legisature to a more inclusive approach that relfects 21st century Ontario.