Sunday Service - St. Michael and All Angels
Although we are in Creationtide, this Sunday we will celebrate the major festival of Michael and All Angels. Angels are mysterious celestial beings who are actively present throughout Scripture. They are God's messengers to the world; they appear in dreams, watch over God's people and are sometimes instruments of God's judgment (Matthew 13. 49-50). Angels ceaselessly praise God and give him glory. The Gloria we sing every Sunday is the song of the angels when they appeared to the shepherds when Christ was born.
We celebrate harvest thanksgiving on 4th October. Your gifts will be donated to the Adventist church for the breakfasts they offer to the needy. There is increasing poverty for some people here in Lausanne even if it is well hidden. We want to do our part in relieving the hunger and basic needs of the poor. Please leave your gifts at the back of the Church, and bring dry goods in plenty as a response to God's plentiful gifts to us. Your gifts will be blessed at the end of the service. Remember also that at any time during the year you can bring dry goods for this purpose. Hunger for some is an ongoing thing, so you might consider making a monthly or weekly gift of packaged and tinned food together with your money offering.
I look forward to worshipping with you and the angels on Sunday. The order of service can be found here. The protections and procedures in place at church as well as the online/phone connection information can all be found here.
The following is a quotation from Pelagius, a British monk from the fourth century who lost out in an argument with Augustine and ended up being made a heretic. But some of his ideas were quite good. This text speaks profoundly about our attitude towards possessions, which make it relevant in a world where poverty is increasing rapidly and the planet is being pillaged for the vain desires of the rich. Although God might not mean us to live in huts or dress in rags, I believe this text can make us think.
If you were besotted with the things of this world, you would want to surpass all others in the luxury of your house, in the magnificence of your garments and jewelry, in the abundance of food on your table, in the splendour of the carriage which took you from one place to another. You would never be satisfied with what you possessed, but would always want more. And you would constantly be comparing yourself with others, looking with envy at those even richer than you. Your wealth would be like a spiritual prison; and your limitless desires would be the chains that bound you. Thus in giving up all these things, you have smashed the chains and broken free. You have little; yet you are satisfied with what you have. You are poorer than most; yet you feel no envy towards the riches of others. To you a simple tunic is like a royal robe; a tiny hut is like a palace; a bowl of porridge is like a feast; a pair of sandals is like a golden carriage.
God has created all things for our enjoyment, and therefore physical pleasure is good. Yet the person who seeks perfection acquires more and more pleasure from less and less. The perfect person derives the greatest pleasure from the simplest food. The perfect person rejoices in a tiny hut with a few sticks of furniture. The perfect person sees beauty in every human being, so has no need to possess the beauty of a spouse. Contrary to what some religious leaders teach, perfection is not the denial of pleasure, but the enhancement of it.