Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Worship on Behalf of the World

On this Lord’s Day, let us join with all the saints on earth and in heaven in proclaiming, celebrating, declaring and rejoicing in the crown rights of King Jesus over all heaven and earth.  As we do so, please keep in mind our brothers and sisters in Ukraine.  While that part of the world seems so far away from us, we are connected in many ways, including with our brother and fellow pastor San Sanych who was with us not long ago and who serves many churches, like-minded with us and the CREC, in Ukraine.

There is no way to easily analyze all that is going on in Ukraine and with Russia.  One thing seems certain – if Crimea is annexed and brought into Russian control it will be extremely complicated to reverse such actions.  In my trip to Eastern Europe last year it became clear to me in listening to the stories of pastors that here in the United States, we still do not know the devastation upon the peoples of Poland, Ukraine, and other Eastern European nations, brought upon them from World War II and the later Soviet invasions.  But these were not innocent nations and peoples themselves, the histories are very long and very complex.

In and through it all, God is weaving His story and it is not a story of defeat.  It is a story of victory and conquest.  It is the story of redemption – of real freedom – of real peace – of real hope and transformation.  But His story takes many twists and turns and we are witnessing another difficult, painful twist – the pain is only intensified by our own nation’s sin and rebellion which has rendered us more and more ineffective in doing anything about such grievances.  But our trust is not in these United States.  Our trust is in the LORD, in the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Our worship here is another blow against the gates of Hades and, in the end, the enemy will not, absolutely will not, be able to withstand our blows.

You and your family, this nation and the nations of the world, will bow the knee to the Lord Jesus Christ.  We do so now in faith, rejoicing in the grace that is ours and that is promised to the world.  We do so as ambassadors of that gospel – to our own people, to our own families, to our own nation, to Ukraine, to Russia, and to all the ends of the earth.  Worship on behalf of the world.

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