Pastor Mike’s Garage January 13th, 2023

*Pastor Mike’s Garage-Jan 13/2022*

So I would encourage you right off the bat, it’s a beautiful sunny day out
there! Rather than reading my stuffy old Pastor’s Garage, go for a walk,
have someone over for a visit over coffee, go for a drive and see some of
God’s beautiful creation! Read this later on when its dark and cold
outside and you have nothing better to do, instead of watching TV or
scrolling Facebook!

I am currently reading a book, which I mentioned during my sermon on
Sunday, called “A Non-Anxious Presence” by Mark Sayers which is really
challenging me and giving light to some of what is currently going on in
the world around us. He talks about the shift in our culture and thinking,
the grey uncertain season in the midst of that change and our response as
Christians. Something I found interesting while reading it was he
described a time in history over a century ago when there was another
worldwide shift in culture and thinking. As he described the state of mind
of the church in response to it you would swear he was talking about the
present. Sometimes I get so wound up over what I see around me, I start
acting like Chicken Little, running around yelling “The sky is falling, the
sky is falling!” I forget what the writer of Ecclesiastes means when he
says there is truly nothing new under the sun. I forget that even in the
midst of the darkest of days, and our present turmoil, there is a God who
is still on the throne! He loves and cares for us and wants to interject,
intervene, and interact within our lives! I forget that, while my present
experience is very real to me, what it must have been like for the people
of God in the time prior to Jesus’ first coming when God seemed silent for
four hundred years. I wonder what the Christians were feeling when they
were being persecuted, crucified, burned, and fed to the lions following
the ascension of Jesus. What was the mood of the church during the dark
ages, 500-1000AD, when seemingly everyone lived and acted like animals?
How did the average Christian view his world during the old west during a
time of complete lawlessness? I ask the same question that is asked a few
times throughout the New testament, when He comes again, what kind of
people will he find us to be?

I quite often mention various books I am reading. I don’t want to mislead
you into thinking I am any kind of well read scholar. I am a good starter
of books, not a very good finisher! I was challenged by that yesterday
morning as I was thinking about writing this PG. I have no less than seven
different books that I have recently started but not finished. I decided
to pick back up a book called “Living Life Backwards.” It’s one that I
have recommend, one that I have quoted, and one that I have started three
times, its one that I have given to others saying “you need to read this”
but one that I have never actually finished. I only had a couple chapters
left so I figured maybe it was time to get one done at least. I want to
leave you with a excerpt from that book. I think I should clarify that
when he says Preacher he is not talking about Mike Zorn but rather the
writer of Ecclesiastes!

“We compartmentalize our life. We have hopes and dreams and aims and
ambition, and in the midst of what we think of our responsibilities to
others: spouses, children, parents, work colleagues, friends. But the
Preacher reminds us that every single duty or responsibility we have toward
anyone or anything else, we have toward God first and foremost. Why do you
need to be a certain kind of employee? Because you have to fear God and
keep His commandments. Why do you have to be a certain kind of child?
Because you fear God and know that He wants you to honour your parents.
Everything I do for you, I do because I do it for God first and foremost:
that’s the kind of person Ecclesiastes is teaching me I ought to be.
Perhaps if we were to think of doing everything for God first and foremost,
it would quite radically change what we do for one another. It might make
us bolder in what we say, more concerned for God’s truth than one another’s
approval. It might make us more kind and more gentle, realizing that God
has commanded us to forgive one another as He forgave us. It will make us
more joyful, less grumpy, and more generous. It will make us more alive,”

How we relate to each other as humans may change from time to time
throughout history, but our relationship with God as humans, even though
the world is constantly, drastically changing around us, is constant! He
is the same, yesterday, today and forever! “But do not overlook this one
fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a
thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise, as
some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should
perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will
come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and
heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the
works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus
to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness
and godliness.” 2 Peter 3:8-11

Pastor Mike