S.P.A.R.K. (St. Paul Church’s Announcements to Read and Know)
If you heard my sermon on Pentecost Sunday, I said, “Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) are not what they appear.” I used this premise as a “hook” for the sermon opener, and to illustrate the tongues as of fire at Pentecost are not what they appear either. I hope it served its purpose. I didn’t attempt to answer the question as to what UFOs are since it was out of the scope of the text in Acts. Some of you may still be wondering then, if UFOs aren’t what they appear, what are they? I’ll bet the suspense is killing you!
To answer, consider what UFOs have accomplished on earth. What have they done for us? What have they done to us? What does their sole purpose seem to be based on centuries of eyewitness reports and documentation? Nothing more than to confound, perplex, mystify, confuse, alarm, and distract the human race. Christians could take this a step further and claim UFOs do not point people to God, especially to His Word and promises. They do just the opposite. They take people in directions that are outside the holy ark of the Christian Church. Examples are the many paranormal and psychological belief systems centered around UFOs such as The Church of Scientology, Nation of Islam, and Falun Gong. Not to mention—believe it or not—The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, who have it in their doctrine that Jesus and Satan are brother beings from another planet who traveled to earth. Not in a spacecraft, but you get the picture. None of these religions glorify the triune God of truth or point people to Him alone. Whatever UFOs are, they don’t bring people into church to hear of the forgiveness of their sin and reconciliation through Jesus Christ with God the Father, the one who made the universe and all that is in it.
Stopping short of saying anything not pointing to Christ is the Antichrist, I will say when it comes to UFOs, they are anti-Christ in that they seem to have nothing to do with him and even steer people away from him. Could it be then the devil is pulling the strings behind UFOs? He is after all a liar, a deceiver, and the prince of this world in that God has given him a lower level of dominion in which he can manipulate some aspects of creation. I would consider that a more plausible explanation than they are spacecraft from other worlds or dimensions.
At any rate, let’s leave UFOs to the ufologists and truth to the Church. Whether UFOs are spaceships on a mission to earth or a mission of the devil to deceive millions, there’s only one mission that really counts and that’s the miraculous mission of God in sending his Son Jesus to be the savior of the world. That’s what this summer’s Vacation Bible School will be all about.
It will have a space theme, but I won’t be focusing on UFOs. I’ll gladly entertain the question about them though if it comes up from any child because it’ll be an opportunity to show them the Way, the Truth, the Light and the Life which is Jesus. Consider how challenging a task this is when UFOs and aliens are so ingrained in our culture. Your prayers and support will be needed.
Another “miraculous mission” this summer will be the return of our blessed Mission Festival Sunday on July 25th. Our theme and focus this year will be on our preschool. I’ve already mentioned how vital a mission our preschool has been during the pandemic, and I can’t emphasize it enough. The Mission Festival will be the perfect occasion to celebrate the wonderful school year we just had and its 30th anniversary as a mission of our church. Potluck will resume, so bring a dish of something yummy to share.
The blessings continue this Spring and summer at St. Paul! I encourage as many of you to worship in person again as possible. The 10:45 service in the grove will start July 4th weekend. If you haven’t attended church in person since March of last year (or earlier!) make this summer the time to come back to church, hear the Word of truth, and partake in the Lord’s Supper for the forgiveness of your sin and strength. See you soon.