You've probably seen pictures this past week of images of the universe, taken by the James Webb telescope. Incredible, detailed pictures of the universe, 4 billion light years away, give or take! One of the meteorologists said, does that mean we're actually seeing the past? Yes, it does! It takes a while for light to travel, so if the telescope is picking it up, the event actually happened in the past and we’re just now seeing the result of it.
I know, it's hard to wrap your head around it. But to see the spectacle of it all is breathtaking! Little flashes of light, stars being born (not the movie, but for real!). I couldn't help but think that there's somebody bigger than you and I orchestrating the whole thing, rather than a big bang. Which should let us know that God has been here throughout eternity.
When did eternity start? Ask God. When will it end? Ask God. God is beyond time, outside of time. In fact, God invented time as a way for humans to gauge their lives. Time isn’t for God, except for when Jesus stepped into time and took on flesh and lived as a man for 3-1/2 years. But again, Jesus, the Son of God, God in flesh, wasn’t limited by time, it just marked His birth, death, and resurrection. So, time is a marker for us, but not for God. God has always existed! And, so has Jesus…
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overtake it.”
John 1:1-5, NRSV
If you substitute the name “Jesus” for “the Word” in that text, you find that Jesus was there in the beginning when the world was created. He was not only with God, but He is God, the Living Word! Jesus is the light shining in the darkness. The Trinity has existed, still exists, and will forever exist! God in three Persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), blessed Trinity.
And when you remember the eternal nature of God - Who was, is, and always will be - when you grasp the alwaysness of the Almighty One, it stirs up a holy confidence within you. You say things like, “Lord, I don't know how this is going to work out, but I know THAT you will work it out and work it out for my good” (Romans 8:28 reference) That’s when you cry out like Hannah,
“My heart rejoices in the Lord. My strength rises up in the Lord! My mouth mocks my enemies because I rejoice in your deliverance.”
1 Samuel 2:1
You start to remember how God blessed you in the past, therefore God deserves my service, my worship, my praise, and my sacrifice in the present. And the same God who's taking care of you, took care of your parents, your grandparents, your great-grandparents... And the same God who took care of your ancestors, and is taking care of you, is the same God who will be there for your children and their children… God is the same God yesterday, today, and forever!
Join us this Sunday as we explore the “alwaysness “of God through the eyes of Hannah in the sermon: Same God Yesterday, Today, and Forever. You can worship in-house at 10:00am (masks optional), or you can also join us online. For online worship go to www.umcgt.org.
Friday Food Truck Nite! TONIGHT!, 6-8:00pm. The After Hours Community Band will provide the music!
Student Exhibit Tonight also marks the public opening of the Student Art and Writing on Gun Violence, Peace, and Hope exhibit. This is the exhibit you see in the Narthex/lobby of the church, sponsored by The Ethics Project. The display highlights in their own words, the impact that gun violence has on our children and youth. The exhibit will be open at the Friday Food Truck Festival, as well as during the week when the church is open, and will close on July 29.
Breakthrough Prayer I encourage you to pray our Breakthrough Prayer daily, even if it’s not at 11:24 am. There is something to be said for our church rallying in prayer. Also, there are prayer cards at the Welcome Center if you have personal prayer requests, and the Prayer Room is open before and after worship.
Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayers.