Pastor Efrem was preaching today from Matthew 25, talking about how Advancing the Kingdom is directly linked with Advancing Justice.
We first looked at the parable of the 10 virgins, looking at Kingdom Readiness--how we need to be prepared for Christ's return. "This is no time to be foolish." We must live our lives wiesely, practically and with good stewardship.
We looked at Kingdom Advancement through the Parable of the Talents, looking at what we're doing with what God has given us. That's an area I've been struggling with lately: I haven't been able to serve much at church or been able to get involved with much. Part of it is that we just have one vehicle, so when Beth's at work, I can't go far (unless we take Beth in, but since Nils hasn't been taking a nap, I don't want to wake him up that early). Part of it is that I have something Monday nights, Beth has something Tuesday evenings, she works Wednesday nights and I have things on occasional Fridays. And church tends to have things mainly on Mondays and Wednesdays. And the almost 2 hours we're at church on Sunday mornings is long enough for the boys. I'm not making excuses, those are just the realities. So I've been trying to see my time with the boys as part of using spiritual gifts and serving as I try to bring them up in the faith strongly. And I know it's just for a time--that eventually I'll be able to do more.
And of course we looked at the story of the goats and the sheep at the end of Matthew 25, which is always a sharp reminder of having a strong peripheral vision for helping those in need of help.