“He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He himself is before all things,
and in him all things hold together.
Colossians 3:15-17, NRSV
All things have been created through Jesus and for Jesus. And Jesus holds all things together within Himself! Have you ever wondered why the earth doesn’t tumble into outer space haphazardly? Or consider the sun – why hasn’t it bumped into the earth yet, or gone in a different direction in the solar system? What’s holding it together? Well, it’s not a WHAT but a WHO.
All month long we’ve been talking about games. Different types of games. Board games, Jenga, Scrabble, puzzles, etc. But there is one thing that they all have in common. When the game is over, win or lose, it all goes back in the box! All the pieces, the dice, puzzle pieces, play money. Everything that came out of the box goes back into the box.
So what happens when we come to the end of our lives? What happens when this game of life is over? Well, this is how the Apostle Paul explains it…
We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. 8 If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be
Lord of both the dead and the living.
Romans 14:7-9, NRSV
And this is how Jesus explained it…
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.
John 14:1-3, NRSV
Jesus makes us a promise that I’m going away to prepare a place for you, and I will come back to get you and you’ll be with me for all eternity. In other words, when this side of eternity comes to an end, when all the dice have been rolled and all your cards played – it all goes back in the box! We came from Christ, the One who created all things, and when this life is over, when we’ve run our course with Christ, lived our dash in Christ, when it’s all said and done, those who believe in Christ will return to Christ! That’s why as Paul was nearing the end of his life, he declared…
As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
2 Timothy 4:6-8, NRSV
Paul knew where he was headed. If you are wondering where you will end up when this life is over, just ask yourself in whom have you put your faith and trust? Whose truth have you believed? Who is standing at the finish line, ready to welcome you in?
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:10-11, NIV
Join us this Sunday for our sermon series Push Play, as we finish with It All Goes Back in the Box! To register for worship, you can sign up at https://rsvp.church/r/gVufUAP4 . You can also join us online at 10:00am. For online worship go to www.umcgt.org.
This Sunday we will continue to be outdoors in the Prayer Garden for worship. We are not requiring masks when we are outside (inside we do ask you to mask), however feel free to mask if you would like. Remember, this is a no-judgment zone! We have plenty of room for social distancing. So, bring a comfy chair (or use one of our folding chairs) and join us in the garden. And remember, if you are not feeling well, we trust that you will worship with us online.
As I close, our hearts are heavy for those in Afghanistan, Haiti, and those areas in the US that continue to experience the devastation of floods, fires, and all kinds of disasters. Lives have been lost, families shattered, and peace is disturbed. Please keep them in prayer, and if you would like to give to relief efforts, locally or globally, our Global Ministries and the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) have partnered with agencies in areas of distress. You can go to www.umcmission.org and find ways in which to pray and give.
May we continue to hold one another in prayer!