In the fasting process, we prepared ourselves for God’s voice to reach us. Our humanity, which asserts that we can do it ourselves, stands in the way for God to speak to us and to work through us. Through withdrawing our access to physical needs and wants in our lives, we become more receptive and responsive to God’s calling in our lives. I trust and hope that through these 21 days of fasting, God has indeed spoken to you and you have shared how His message and leading is applicable for the Calgary Community Reformed Church. Although Fasting causes physical stress, as our cartoon shows, when we avail ourselves of life’s comforts and seek to follow Him, he sends his angels to comfort us.
In fasting, I came to question and debate within myself what sovereignty means. As church members and leaders, we are quick to interpret what is the will of God and through our interpretation, we attempt to impose our world view on an almighty and omnipotent God. Fortunately, as Paul writes to the Colossians, God’s sovereignty does not depend upon us extending this honour to him. Christ as the creator holds the position of a sovereign Lord and Master of all areas of our lives and His sovereignty is a natural outcome of His creative power. In our fasting and our prayers, we are turning over our will and our agenda and seeking His will. As Christians we believe that this is the Fathers world and that as He is sovereign over all, we can be assured that His will, will be done. This is what we proclaim when we pray “Thine Kingdom Come, Thy Will be Done.”
Our Reformed Christian theology includes the work of the theologian and former Dutch prime minister, Abraham Kuypers. At the turn of the 20th century he struggled with how the church should fit into a modern society. Through our prayers and our fasting, we are asking the same question, how will our church be relevant for the next 5, 10, or even 65 years. Kuypers developed a theology known as Sphere Sovereignty that likely can be as relevant for us today as it was over 100 years ago. Sphere Sovereignty asserts that within our lives there are a number of areas of knowledge, experience and expertise that should operate independently. Based on a belief in an orderly creation, Kuypers envisioned a number of such spheres including family, government or the state, justice or the courts, education, science, the arts, agriculture and religionor in Kuypers time the church (which even for him was a multitude of church denominations and faith communities). Fundamental to this doctrine is the separation of powers. Kuypers asserted that each of these spheres need to be respected as possessing their own expertise, experience and is self-governing. As such he believed that one sphere should not extend its power to another sphere. This theology became a platform that would recognize the division of church and state, or church and science that did not exist before Kuypers time, but also respected boundaries between the government and the courts or education. For Kuypers, who believed what the bible teaches that there is a sovereign God, the doctrine of Sphere Sovereignty acknowledged that it is Christ Jesus, as Lord of All who bring and hold all things together. As the creator, His dominion extends to all these spheres.
As we continue to live in uncertain times, where politics, science, the arts, and indeed at times even the Church appears chaotic and we are not able to make sense of what is happening, as Christians we can take comfort that we serve a sovereign God, who continues to exert his sovereignty in all areas of His Creation.
*If you are interested in learning more about Abraham Kuypers, please go to this webpage- http://people.ucalgary.ca/~nurelweb/papers/irving/kuyperp.html
The Supremacy of Christ (Colossians 1:16-20)
For in Him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things were created through Him and for Him. He is before all things and
IN HIM ALL THINGS HOLD TOGETHER
He is the Head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and first born from the dead, so that in all things He may have dominion.