1160 West Georgia Street Vancouver, BC, V6E 3H7
Know Where You Belong
In my closet, I have a T-shirt, dark blue, good quality, comfortable, but I hardly ever wear it. I may wear it around my house but not in the village where I live. I have not worn it for months. It was given to me by a widow of a man who lived in our village. On this shirt, there is a coat of arms. It says above F.O UDT/SEALS. Underneath it says ASSOCIATION…This man was in the US military. He was a Navy Seal. The letters stand for Fraternity Order, Underwater Demolition Team, Navy Seals Association. It is not that I am not proud of where I got it, for I am. It is that I do not want to give the wrong message. I do not belong to that fraternity or association. I know about it, but I do not belong… There are two important questions for everyone: Who am I? Where do I belong?
In this world of fraternity orders, associations, guilds, clubs, fellowships, institutions, and the list goes on, there are only two kingdoms. The kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light. We must know where we belong. The Apostle Paul asks in Rom. 6:16, and it is a question: “Do you not know to whom you present yourselves to obey, whether of sin to death, or of obedience to life?” Col 1:13: “God has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of His Son.” Acts 26;13, Paul says he was sent to people to “open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light.” Paul again says in 2 Cor.5: “examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith… prove yourselves.” Understand this: we can only live by the principles and power of one of two kingdoms, the kingdom of darkness or the kingdom of light. Which have we chosen? Pastor Dave is teaching us that it is more than knowledge of or association with or even assembling. It is connecting, it is belonging. I read of an old man who was quite deaf, still, he attended church every week. One day a cynic asked him “why would you bother going when you can’t hear anything?” Smiling, he replied: “because I want people to know which side I am on.” Do you know which side you are on? Do other people know? Jesus said: “I will build my church.” He knows them that are His.
I want to refer to an e-mail we received this week from the UK. It was from my nephew Jamie and his wife Sarah. About seven years ago, they were married and came to visit us in BC. They have been every year since then. Except for last year their plans were changed because of COVID, they simply changed them to this June. Now they are thinking they will change them again to Christmas this year. Once they came for Christmas and attended our Grand Service at the QET. I quote Sarah: “we are suffering withdrawal symptoms from Canada.” They love BC, and it was here at Coastal they came to faith and learned of Alpha. They went home, joined an Alpha group, and began to attend a good church.
I will now quote Sarah again: “We finally got round to watching your Christmas Coastal service, Hope is Born… what a show! You know how to do it and having Michael Bublé on there was like the cherry on top. We have also started tuning in for your Coastal services on a Sunday since the New Year. Honestly, I don’t know how Pastor Dave does it, but every time we watch him, he always says something which makes us think: ‘He’s saying that to us.’ We haven’t attended our Life Group for a very long time, perhaps back to before the summer of last year, and when we watched Pastor Dave’s sermon about getting connected, and his particular focus on Life Groups we just thought: ‘Yep…this is him giving us the kick up the butt that we need.’ And so, the following Thursday we attended our group online and it was brilliant! It was so good to see everyone and do some Bible study together and to give and receive that support that I do not think we even realized that we were craving”
I think I know what happened to them… Remember Pastor Dave said: “Remember the things we get distracted by are never as important as the things we get distracted from.” I do not have time to explain their distractions, and it is not important, although it was to do with COVID and with Brexit because they are in business in the UK.
No! what is important is: join us and listen to Pastor Dave bring relevant teachings that will change our lives. Remember Jamie and Sarah: they joined Alpha and a Life Group. They came back to where they belong.