Family Ministries Blog

All Saints' Episcopal Church in Lakeland, Florida provides this forum as an exploration of family life with an emphasis on parenting, children, and teens. We hope that you will join our conversation and visit our children & youth ministries.

What Does God Expect?

It is the day after the election and I find myself thinking, "Now what?" There is always so much build up to the American political process that it is difficult to ignore the post-election emotions, no matter which way one voted or which candidate won. I find that I need to simply keep on praying that God's will be done no matter who is or isn't elected to office. No political leader or party is perfectly aligned with God's purposes, so we all do the best we can as we vote.

Thankfully, as Christians we have our hope in God the Father, Jesus as our Savior, and the Holy Spirit to be our comforter and guide. It is this very point that I want our young people to know. I want them to take away from all of this rhetoric that the only perfect worldview is to be aligned with God's will for the world, and God is not controlled by our political processes. When Jesus lived on earth, he did not try to overthrow or control the Roman political structures, but rather, he let those structures continue to function as they did. Jesus was more interested in trying to reorient how the Jewish religious people saw their world; He wanted them to have a "biblical" worldview (if you will permit me to use that term even though anachronistic for its time).

In a recent Sunday School class, our 6th-12th graders were asked to answer the question, "What does God expect from us?" I have several sheets of paper filled with their insightful answers. Here are a few of their thoughts:

  • "God expects from us to be kind and not to be mean to others..."
  • "God expects us to care for other people and not to be selfish..."
  • "We shouldn't lie but tell the truth to others..."
  • "God expects us to love one another, be kind, notice when you sin and repent, and put others before yourself..."
  • "God expects us to love him, love each other..."
  • "God expects us to believe in him..."
  • "God expects us to ask for forgiveness..."
  • "God expects us to treat others the way you would like to be treated..."
  • "God expects us to love everyone..."
  • "God expects us to follow his commandments..."
  • "God expects us to open our heart to the Lord and repent..."

 

Jesus wanted the religious people to have a heart for God. I am reminded of what Jesus said was the first and greatest commandment: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind." And then one can't stop there without acknowledging that he offered the following as the second greatest commandment: "Love your neighbor as yourself." It is my prayer and hope that our youth will continue to live out these expectations that they recognized God has for us, and as we continue to pray for one another, our leaders, our nation, and our world, that we keep remembering these significant commandments from Christ. 

Our Calling, God Has Called Us
What is the Gospel? Part 8

Scripture Readings for Sunday, October 29

First Lesson Deuteronomy 34:1-12
Psalm Psalm 90:1-6 and Psalm 90:13-17
Second Lesson 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8
The Holy Gospel Matthew 22:33-46

bible reading

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Oct
Date: 24 October 2017
At All Saints' Church meet in the Welcome Center

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Oct
All Saints Episcopal Church
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Date: 25 October 2017
Wednesday Morning Bible Study with Fr. Reid

25
Oct
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Date: 25 October 2017
OSL Healing Service

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Oct
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Date: 25 October 2017
Wednesday Evening Eucharist

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Date: 25 October 2017
Fall Fun for our Children and Teens

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Oct
Date: 25 October 2017
World Religions By, The Rev. Dr. L. Reid Hensarling September 6 Overview of The World's Religions September 13 The Development of Religion September 20 Ancient and Primal Religions September 27 Hinduism

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Oct
Date: 25 October 2017
The God Who Is There: Finding Your Place in God's Story Textbook: The God who Is There: Finding Your Place in God's Story by D.A. Carson Susan Waldron September 6 The God Who Made Everything September

25
Oct
Date: 25 October 2017
 Ignacio Morrell & Deacon Bob Johnson The History of Christianity From Pentecost to the Reformation Textbook: The Story of Christianity (Vol. 1 & 2) By Justo Gonzalez September 6

25
Oct
Date: 25 October 2017
Old Testament Textbook: Old Testament Essentials, Creation, Conquest, Exile and Return by Tremper Longman III A Bible and notebook for journaling and class notes will needed (The Bookstore

27
Oct
All Saint's Episcopal Church
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Lakeland
Date: 27 October 2017
Friday Morning Men's Bible Study with Fr. Reid

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