Life Is No Accident

Hi friends!

Here at Journey Church, we’re in the midst of a sermon series called “God’s Not Dead,” based on a book by Rice Broocks.

As Part 4 of this series, I shared a sermon last week entitled “Life Is No Accident” – explaining the scientific, philosophical, and psychological evidence pointing to the fact that everything that is living is designed intentionally and not the product of random chance.

I used to stand at the edge of the Grand Canyon and think, “The forces that created this canyon are incredible.” This is true – but is this the end of the story? Does the beauty of our world point to anything beyond itself?

Within scientific evidence, there are irreducibly complex systems such as bacterial flagellum that contain multiple pieces that are needed simultaneously to operate properly and therefore could not have developed through a step-by-step process of adding one piece at a time, as evolution proposes. Additionally, scientists are still unable to explain how the 100 trillion cells in our body are coded with 4-letter chemical DNA alphabet.

Next, some people think that science and faith are not at odds with one another; but in reality science and faith together help us understand the world. Science actually supports theistic belief in the sense that science can answer the “what” and “how” of what we see, and philosophy/religion can help us answer the “why.”

Last, we must realize the implications of the Darwinian hypothesis are that nothing produces everything, non-life produces life, randomness produces fine-tuning, and chaos produces information. But it does appear that everything that is living is designed intentionally, and not the product of random chance.

Life has meaning and purpose. You are more than just matter and the product of random chance. God has a plan and purpose for you. Each person’s ultimate need is for meaning in his/her life, and one of our greatest callings in life is to personally discover God’s purpose for our lives. Personally, I’ve discovered such joy in living not for myself but for the one who created me.

This begins by coming to God and building a personal relationship with Jesus – You are made to relate to God in a vibrant, personal, and intimate way.

Why don’t you go to God and ask Him, “God, who am I to you? What is the purpose for my life?” You might be surprised how He will answer. I’d also encourage you to dwell on Psalm 139, describing God’s handiwork in creating you.

Listen to the entire sermon here: http://jcboston.org/gods-dead-part-4/

10 Days Boston Praise Report

With Catholic, Orthodox, Evangelical, and Taize services, the denominations of host churches for this year’s 10 Days Boston evening gatherings was more diverse than ever before. There were 19 different churches present the first night in Cambridge! Additionally, the Indian gathering brought together five different Indian people groups for the first time!

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18 churches represented at the first night in Cambridge

With this diversity, though, comes the difficulty of defining the unity we share in Christ. The 10 Days theme that we chose this year was “One Heart” – When Jesus prays that we would be one as He is one, what does that mean? Who is involved in this oneness?
At one of the evening gatherings, I was sitting down for a time of fellowship, and one of the women asked me what my home church was. I told her that it was an evangelical church called Journey Church in Harvard Square. She turned to another lady at the table and asked, “Is she a Christian?” and then they spoke in five minutes in another language before determining that yes, I was.
This was an external example of the question that I believe we all are wrestling with. Is this denomination really following Jesus? Is this person really “saved?” Who is “in” and who is “out?”
But perhaps this is the wrong question for us to be asking. In engaging with brothers and sisters of different Christian streams, I believe our approach towards one another should be filled with grace and love rather than suspicion or judgement. We should seek to learn and understand, by asking “Who have you put your trust in?” and “What is your relationship with Jesus like?”
The bible describes that the unity we share in Christ as a unity not of doctrine but of Spirit (Eph. 4:3, 1 Cor 12:7, Phil 1:27). When I started to think about it, I’ve discovered that any two individuals don’t agree completely due to the nuances of theological understandings.
As Rev. JP Robins and the Northern Suburbs team grappled with the question: “What unites us and who do we unite with?” they determined that “We are one with whoever confesses ‘Jesus as Lord.'”
Yes, what makes us one is our revelation of Christ – our acknowledgement that before Him we are all desperate for His redeeming grace.
We must never lose the centrality of Jesus in our quest for unity because He is the only one who unites us.
Other testimonies
There’s truly nothing like getting to spend time with God, and one man who was able to join us for the majority of the daytime gatherings, remarked, “That was the best week of my life.”
A young couple was so inspired by the 10 Days vision after the first night in Cambridge that they traveled around the city every evening, making it to eight of the 10 Days gatherings with their young one-year-old son.
Here is a video clip from one of our morning worship sessions out in front of Harvard University. As you can see, God really released His joy over us and many students came to join in the dance!
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At the last gathering of 10 Days Boston, we stood in front of a wall of windows overlooking Boston to make declarations over the city. We also divided into groups and shared about how God was working among our various communities.
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Worshipping and praying over the city of Boston

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Night 2 – Pastors in the Northern Suburbs uniting in prayer

Taize group photo

Night 5 – UniteBoston friends coming together for the Taize prayer gathering at Trinity Church

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Connecting with God at the Fenway gathering on Night 7

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Night 9 – Father Dimitri explains about the history of the Orthodox Church

We praise God for the work that He has done to unite followers of Jesus during 10 Days Boston this year. We also celebrate the many other unity-minded initiatives that are bringing together the body of Christ in Greater Boston.

May God continue to bind us together to proclaim that Jesus is Lord over Boston!

Strategic Prayer for Boston

How do you pray for a city?

It can seem to be overwhelming to discern how we can be praying for Boston. Yet Boston is just made up of various congregations and Christ-followers serving as Jesus’ hands and feet in their individual communities.

At the last gathering of 10 Days Boston last Saturday, we stood in front of a wall of windows overlooking Boston to praise God and make declarations over the city.

We also divided into groups and shared about how God was working among our various communities. Here are some insights that Christians from all over the city shared:

Somerville/ Watertown/ Greater Boston Area

Praise: Unity across various Christian congregations and many new church plants
Prayer: Due to the transient nature of this part of Boston, strong church leadership and discipleship is needed to help Christianity to continue flourishing here
Dream: We dream that the gospel would have an irresistible influence in the community

Cambridge/ Allston

Praise: In the various outreaches that have been done, there is more openness and receptivity to God
Prayer: Pride and self-righteousness is a stronghold; pray that God would bring us to our knees and show people how much they need God
Dream: We dream that every resident in Cambridge would know the true extravagent love of God

Somerville

Praise: We praise God for new life in Somerville including the YWAM base and many new church plants
Prayer: Pray that the people who have been jaded and hurt by Christians would encounter God’s love
Dream: We dream with God that the Christian church in Boston would be reknown all over the world

Everett/ Revere/ East Boston/ Chelsea

Praise: This group was united in same vision to work with people who are improvised
Prayer/ Dream: Pray that all churches would gather together under one purpose

Brookline

Praise: God is saving many Hindus in Brookline!
Prayer: Pray that God would continue to work within the Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, and young adult populations.
Dream: We dream that everyone would respect the various streams of Christianity in the city and we would all come under the banner of Jesus

South End

Praise: Many churches in the South End are very active in the community (Starlight, Lion of Judah, more) and there are many new church plants!
Prayer/ Dream: In the South End, there is a large divide between the rich and the poor and tension between people of various socioeconomic backgrounds. Pray for peace and the fullness of God’s shalom.

Jamaica Plain/ Mattapan/ Back Bay

Praise: Crime rates lower than in the past
Prayer: Pray that everyone in the city would have a Christian friend
Dream: We dream that everyone would be able to do the work God created them to do and that this would strengthen and encourage the city

South Shore/ Quincy/ Plymouth/ Randolph

Praise: There is a tremendous movement of new people groups coming to this part of the city, including Brazilians, Haitians, and South Asians
Prayer: As God weaves new fabric, we pray that something new would arise from the old and that God’s movement would become visible
Dream: We dream that the people of God would learn to live with unquenchable expectation that they are part of God’s unstoppable movement. We also pray that the staff, systems and support needed for the South Shore dream is provided.

It’s when we come together that we begin to see how God is working corporately. Truly, God is up to great things in Boston!

What else is God doing in your midst? How else can we be praying for your community?