Monday, 29 July 2013

Indoctrination or responsible parenting?

Last week over 100 children attended Ancaster Christian Reformed Church’s Vacation Bible School.  Unquestionably, many of the parents of these children were simply happy to have their kids entertained for a week.  But they also knew that this was “bible school,” and that while at ACRC, these children would be taught bible stories and they would hear about Jesus.
    I have met parents who insist that they are going to let their children decide for themselves whether or not they will believe in God and that Jesus is the way to him.  They intend to let their children choose from the smorgasbord of religions that are available to them. 
It’s a noble thought.  
   There’s a disconnect here.  If we as parents and teachers really believe in an all-powerful God, one who created this world (however he did it) and if we really believe that through Jesus we are reconciled to this God – I mean, really believe this, then there is no option.  We believe this to be the truth.  And if this is the truth, it is non-negotiable and non-qualified.  What is true is not merely “the truth according to [insert name].”  Truth is absolute. 
     That kind of conviction implores us to share the truth of what we believe with those we love the most – including our children.  They eventually will embrace the truth or reject it (also a function of the Holy Spirit, but that’s for a future discussion!). 

     Vacation Bible School was a lot of fun.  The children had a great time – and they were also introduced to God and to his Son Jesus.  No apologies!

Friday, 26 July 2013

Go shoeless

This Sunday we wrap up our Vacation Bible School week by looking at one of the stories that our students heard at VBS – Moses and the burning bush. God saw and he heard the misery of his people, so he “came down to rescue them” (Exodus 3:8). He came down!  He was there!  God is with us too, and that makes this place holy.  So take off your shoes (or whatever it is you do to remind yourself "that some -  august Presence [is] very, very near." --From Wind in the Willows).

Friday, 19 July 2013

Lost in a maze

French philosopher and theologian Jacques Ellul said that “the first great fact which emerges from our civilization is that today everything has become ‘means’. There is no longer an ‘end’; we do not know whither we are going.”  We seem to be wandering about in a maze, much like the Israelites as they wandered in the desert. We find purpose and direction only when we discover that it is God who saves us (Exodus 14:30). Knowing Jesus is the difference between wandering in confusion and a life of meaning and purpose. Sunday, July 21, 10 a.m. 

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Cold Pizza

Some things are better experienced than explained.  There is scientific data which analyzes why cold pizza tastes so good. But it's better just to eat it.  Paul sets out his systematic theology in his letter to the Romans.  But ultimately, what he wants to see is "zeal."  "Never be lacking in zeal" (Romans 12:11).  We are invited to get excited about what God has done for us in Jesus. July 14, 10 a.m.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

First Aid

This summer has started out as a hot one.  Some have already been grumbling, and we can soon expect the gardeners and farmers to be complaining about a lack of rain.  What better time to consider those 40 years that the Israelites spent wandering in the hot desert?  We’ll spend some time in the wilderness this summer, where we will discover that God’s plan of deliverance is always front and centre. We catch up with the Israelites at Camp Ethan (Exodus 13:17 – 14:14) as we are reminded that “God will surely come to your aid” (13:19). 
We need that reminder when life throws some difficult times our way. God is your first aid, and he will be your last.  July 7, 10 am - join us!