Be Prepared Part 1: 


On Sunday 4th September at our morning service, we started our series 'Be Prepared'. In this blog you will find a summary of the talk and then some questions and reflections for you to think through on your own or to discuss in your small group.

To listen to the talk on-line, please click here.
To download the talk to listen to off line, please click here.

Talk Summary

How big is your God? Do you have a big enough vision of what it means for God to be God of everything? A follower of Jesus called Paul started several churches. He had concerns that the church in a Colossae didn’t have the big picture of who God was. He wanted to expand their view give them the big picture, because it is only when you get the big picture you can see things as they really are. He wrote a letter to the church trying to expand their view. You can read this by clicking here.

In the letter that Paul wrote to the Colossians he is trying to set out for them the big picture of what it means for God to be God of everything.
In those few verses we read the word ALL seven times. 
Paul is trying to emphasise that Jesus is Lord of EVERYTHING.
God is in charge! It doesn’t always feel like that. The world seems turbulent and even our own lives may seem to be out of control. It is when we focus on one small element, big to us but small in the grand scheme of things we lose sight of the big picture and lose our sight of God. But it is only when you get the big picture you can see things as they really are
In order to live lives that are in tune with God, we need to start from understanding that God is in charge... of everything.
We need to have confidence in all that God has DONE 
He has created everything in heaven and on earth, everything. All created by and for him. Not just natural things… people plants also powers, authorities and rulers. If we lose sight of this we can lose confidence in Him. So we need to have confidence in all that God has done and what he IS doing. He holds everything together and heads up the church. He has overcome even death and is supreme. We also need to understand what he WILL do. Paul tells us that Jesus is a process of reconciling himself to ALL THINGS. 
We need to have a big enough vision that the whole of creations matters to God. When we fall into a sacred-secular divide it says that some things are less important than others and we reduce God’s creation to less than he intended. If we are to live whole lives, we need to see that God in the whole of it. God is on a mission that is about all things, not just some. Jesus has a desire to transform all things.
We have a life at church, a life at home a life at leisure and in the community. We need to integrate the whole of our lives.

You take simple ingredients to make a cake; margarine and sugar, raw eggs and four. On their own most of those things are unpalatable but when blended become something delicious. 
It is the same with our lives. We can’t separate the faith bit of our lives from the other bits. If we keep the different elements separate, bits can be unpalatable; but when they are blended, mixed together integrated then everything is improved.
All of this means that all that we do is important and if we are a follower of Jesus we need to see every element of it as a way to express our love for him and bring his love and forgiveness into the world.
Our workplaces wherever they may be are important, our home life is important our community life is important, and the people that we meet are important, as is our interior life.
In the coming weeks we will be looking at how we can integrate the various aspects of our lives together. 
We will look at the need to model Godley character, the importance of our work. We will also see how we can follow Jesus by being a mouthpiece for truth and justice. And finally we will look at how we can be an effective messenger of the good news of God’s love. 
We can do all of this because God is God of everything.
I hope that you can truly see that your life matters, you are a part of the way that Jesus is reconciling all things to himself. We need to get the big picture and see our part in it. 


Questions and Reflections (for you to think about on your own or to discuss in your small group)

Read  Colossians 1 15-20 over a few times

1.    What is it from these verses that strike you? What word phrase or idea?
        Why do you think that is?

2.    What can prevent you from seeing the big picture?

3.    What, if any, are the limits that you put on God?

4.    What are the experiences that you have had that have shrunk your view of God, even temporarily?

5.    What, if any, are the sacred/secular divides in your life? What can you do to remedy this?

Steph Littlejohn, 07/09/2016