Pastor Notes: Is God behind all things?

Dear St. Andrews-Covenant family:

On Thursday I was driving on Market Street and I saw six white cars in the left lane. Six in a row! Three weeks ago I saw seven gray cars lined up on Oleander. All different shades of gray!

I wonder about chance sometimes. Is God behind all things? Does God arrange for all things we see? Do things just happen randomly? What occurs by the providence of God?

I have a friend in California who thinks everything occurs by the will of God. Everything. Everything?

Leslie Weatherhead (1893-1976) in his little book, The Will of God, addresses this very question. Dr. Weatherhead thinks the will of God is misunderstood and that people use the term too loosely, so in the midst of the World War II London bombing in 1940-1941 (nicknamed The Blitz) he preached five sermons at his church, City Temple. He wanted to encourage them during a terrible time in English history.

Weatherhead looks at God’s will in three ways: 1. God’s intentional will; 2. God’s circumstantial will; 3. God’s ultimate will. He uses the cross of Christ as an example. I agree with his position; I think we need to account for the presence of evil and the problem of sin. I just don’t think we can say that everything that happens is the will of God. Some things can be credited to the presence of darkness. Other things are the fault of sinful humanity. And I also think that some things occur by random or chance, like the line of cars I mentioned above.

Right now, I believe God is revealing his will to us as a church. Things are lively. There is new enthusiasm about worship and about youth ministry and about love for children and about reaching out through missions and about creating harmony at our church. There is evidence all around us.

With the unfailing love of God!

Bob

P.S. – Make sure to check out these dates: Next Sunday (Sept. 10) is Rally Day. It’s a casual dress Sunday. (I will not be wearing a tie!) On September 24, John Frye will be commissioned as a Commissioned Ruling Elder during the 11a .m. sanctuary worship service. Representatives of Coastal Carolina Presbytery will be with us. During October, Robb Lapp, Gary Smith, and I will preach on the major themes of the Reformation to celebrate its 500th anniversary. On October 29, we worship all together in the sanctuary with lots of music for Reformation Sunday. The service will be from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon, with children, youth, praise band, choir, and others are participating. We’ll have a joint adult Sunday school class from 9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. Then afterwards, we all have BBQ in Brown Hall (not Kansas City BBQ, I have been told).

Grandchildren

P.S.S. – Pray for kids as they walk and ride to school. These two guys are Simeon and Luke, our twin grandsons, as they head off for kindergarten for their first day last Monday. Be watchful. Look out for these precious children.