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God's Truth Abideth Still

August 18, 2021

Leadership Notes

Last week's storms unleashed a lot of fury on Michigan. Because of various varieties of variables, our granddaughters were with us through the weekend. We took them back-to-school shopping on Monday. While with us, we binge-watched the Marvel universe movies on Disney+. It was a satisfying four days.

For me, my ranking of the top three movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe would be {in no particular order}, "Thor: Ragnarok," "Avengers: Infiniti War," and "Avengers: End Game." All of the movies in the series explore universal truths like good, evil, selfless sacrifice, love, envy, greed, and the list goes on. Like all good literature, they give us plenty of things to ponder long after the closing credits end.

We love movies and books where the bad people lose in the end. It is satisfying and reassuring. That is reflected in this line from "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day":

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep, God is not dead, nor doth He sleep.

The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,

With Peace On Earth, Good Will To Men.

We hunger for that reality. But in reality, sometimes the bad people win. Sometimes, justice seems out of our grasp, and we can only trust it will prevail in the world to come.

Do you have a favorite movie genre? Do you always need the story to end with good triumphing over evil? Does the wrong have to fail? Does the right have to prevail? For me, I like it when movies come to a satisfying conclusion, because sometimes it doesn't happen in life. And isn't all entertainment a form of escapism?

There are times when I just want to shut out the outside world. But it is an impossible and irresponsible wish. The wickedness of the world impinges daily on the beauty we see all around us. As was shared last Sunday in worship, we have supported a missionary couple who have done work in the Middle East for decades. Please pray for all those trapped in the unfolding situation in Afghanistan. In their email, our missionary friends said, "It's hard to overestimate the level of fear at the moment. But God is still on the throne, and he rules over the nations {Psalm 47:8}."

In a perfect world, Iron Man or the Hulk would bring order to the chaos in Afghanistan. The Taliban have pledged to respect the right of Afghan women, but we probably know how that is going to go. If only Captain Marvel could set them straight. As Psalm 46:6-7 affirms:

Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

The world can be a dark and foreboding place. That's why we cling to the hope that is ours in Jesus Christ. No matter what we experience or go through, all is well because he is Lord and he reigns in glory. Our final vindication is through what he did on the cross. There are no superheroes to save us. We are saved through Christ, and Christ alone. As Martin Luther wrote in "A Mighty Fortress is Our God":

And though this world, with devils filled, Should threaten to undo us, We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us. The Prince of Darkness grim,— We tremble not for him; His rage we can endure, For lo! His doom is sure,— One little word shall fell him. That word above all earthly powers— No thanks to them—abideth; The Spirit and the gifts are ours Through him who with us sideth. Let goods and kindred go, This mortal life also: The body they may kill: God's truth abideth still, His kingdom is for ever.

The God to whom His Word points, defines, and describes chases away all fear.

I love this affirmation by R.C. Sproul:

"That I am drawing breath this morning is an act of divine mercy. God

owes me nothing. I owe Him everything."

With Much Love and Affection,


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