Keynotes – September 2018


Many people delight in “Connect the dots” to reveal the picture that is hidden but in plain sight. I remember that my mother truly enjoyed “Word searches” finding all those words hidden among so much more. Some people enjoy having a surprise birthday party with friends andfamily revealing their presence at just the right time.

All of these can help us better understand the Bible and our work as Christians. Jesus often spoke in parables that connected something familiar to the people with something in the Kingdom of God or revealing God’s desire for His Children.
Jesus has great insight into this because: “He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things all things were created: things in Heaven and on Earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created for Him and by Him.” Colossians 1:15-16 Jesus points out how the things we can see point to what we can’t see.
I remember a dear member of St. Peter’s, Gene Finke, who would come to Bible Study after working in his garden and marvel at the complexity of a “simple” flower or a bumble bee and praise God for all He has made.
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” Romans 1:20
Because of what God has revealed to us and in us we can rejoice at God’s plan. We can have confidence to carry on when things get very difficult. We can look forward to a future with our Lord and Savior in Heaven that just can’t be explained because it is so good.
“He [Moses] regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw Him who is invisible. Hebrews 11:26-7
God doesn’t want to make things too hard. In fact He wants every good gift to be accessible by all people. Consider the gift of Holy Baptism; who doesn’t have access to water? But God takes simple water, connects it with His Word and suddenly we have the promise of eternal life.
But who can see eternal life? Who can see the forgiveness of sins? Remember the paralytic lowered through the roof?
When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic,“Take
heart son; your sins are forgiven.” They couldn’t see that it was true.
But so that you may know the Son of man has authority on Earth to forgive sins…”
Then He said to the paralytic, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” Matthew 9:2, 6
Jesus gave them something they could see to help them understand that there is something more important they couldn’t see and that it was
just as real as what they could see.
“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I [Paul] am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on Him and receive eternal life. Now to the King
eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen” 1 Timothy 1:15-17
 Paul was used as an example, a visible example, to express God’s forgiveness; a visible example to help people see the invisible. Jesus could say that He is giving us His Body and Blood even if we can’t see it, but it helps us a lot to have the bread and wine connected to the
Word of God to help us believe that we do receive His Body and Blood also.
God gives one more gift along this line; you. God has given you into this world that doesn’t see God to be His hands and arms and His love expressed in every action we take. You and I have the opportunity to be the presence of God in a world that doesn’t see Him. We can be the eyes to see what is invisible.
Recall what God did in 1 Kings 6—Elisha and his servant were telling the king of Israel what the King of Aram was about to do. So the king of Aram wanted to kill Elisha and surrounded the city. His servant was terrified. ““Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered.
“Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
And Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eye, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” 1 Kings 6:8-17
We are here to share what we see God doing so that others may see Him too. Not sure what He is doing in your life? Well, there is still time to learn how He works! Study His Word.
Discuss the Word of God with other Christians.
Share your stories and hear the stories of others.
You have seen God at work, maybe we just need to explore a bit to see Him at work in your life. That’s something we will work on in the new Missional  Community, join us.
Pastor Oatman