Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sunday Morning Scramble School - God is our Father

NOTE: Elements of today's SMSS are taken from Pastor Peter Wang's sermon at CBM Camp on Wednesday, August 1, 2012, entitled "Born of the Spirit," and covering Luke 15:11-32 and John 3:16-17.

Hey everyone; if you've read our Camp What-a-Nut Experience post, you'll know that we learned a lot at CBM Camp, and we intend to share it all with you! So today we'll be talking about fathers, which is conveniently a topic that Odyssey has talked about in many an episode.

Our fathers are not perfect. They're flawed human beings who have just been around a lot longer than the younger generation, and although they're not perfect, they can be very wise and instructive in teaching their kids about the Bible. Adventures in Odyssey has done a great job at showing fathers at both ends of the spectrum. There's always been a strong family figure in all of Odyssey's history, most notably George Barclay, Mike Mulligan, Ed Washington, and David Parker, although there have been many more. We also see examples of fathers struggling to be a "good father" or not trying, like Carson McKay. Album 46: A Date With Dad (and Other Calamities) has a central theme of fatherhood. Eugene, with Mr. Whittaker's help, searches for his long-lost father; Tamika and Ed learn about respect for parents and acknowledging the stages of kids' lives; the Washingtons learn about the difficulties of adulthood; Mandy learns that parents don't always do what their children want them to do; and Grady learns about our heavenly Father.

God is "our Father in heaven." What does that even mean? Ephesians 1 has a lot to say about the blessings we have in Christ. "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.  In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will- to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will." (Ephesians 1: 3-6, 11 [NIV]) God chose us, before the world even began, to be His children! Whit tells Grady in Three O'Clock Call (Album 46: A Date with Dad and Other Calamities) that "Like a father, God loves us, protects us, and teaches us. He's the perfect Father, better than any father on earth. God will never disappoint you."

Ephesians 1:5 says that we have been adopted as his children through Jesus Christ. Jesus bridged the gap between us and God - he gave us the WAY to God, the TRUTH of the Gospel, and a new LIFE in Him! In The Prodigal Jimmy, Jimmy disobeys his dad and squanders all of his money on video games. When he acknowledged that he sinned, and humbled himself, he was greeted with a great big hug from his dad. The parallel to the parable of the Prodigal Son doesn't include the older son, who asks why the younger son gets a party when he doesn't. This attitude is religion-based (see the previous SMSS post on right and wrong beliefs about Christianity) and the wrong attitude that Christians should have for the lost. We should join the party and rejoice when someone commits their life to Christ because they are receiving new life!

Romans 8:23 (NIV) says that "Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies." As we grow in Him, we should get ready for when Jesus comes back; the "redemption of our bodies." This is exciting news! As Kelly learns through her adventures in Odyssey, she is chosen, not only by her temporary stepparents, but by God himself (The Chosen One (Album 47: Into the Light) and The Imagination Station, Revisited (Album 50: The Best Small Town)). If you haven't accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, talk to someone you trust who's a Christian to find out how you can adopted into God's family and be one of His children. He loves you very much, and he's willing to adopt you, but it's up to you to "sign the adoption papers," to borrow the colloquialism, or lack of one. 

Hope you enjoyed today's SMSS! It's been a busy week with not much time to post (EVIDENCE: I slept for an average of three hours this past week.). We'll see if things slow down this week...but I'm trying to finish our entry for the GITS Music Video Contest, working on a logo for another video, and doing research for new clubs that I joined (the Model U.N. Club, Philosophy Club, Literary Magazine, Interact, Key Club, PBinJ [People Believing in Jesus], and the Naptime Club), so hopefully we'll get some stuff up! The fall season of Odyssey will kick off October 6, and you'll be able to read our reviews of Album 56 as they air! I'm also starting to write the review for Whit's Flop and updating the Phone Book to line up with where we are in reviews. Thanks for reading!

Purchase Album 46: A Date with Dad (and Other Calamities) on CBD
Read past Sunday Morning Scramble Schools

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