August 22, 2004

Paul Wartman - “Understanding Life as a Journey”

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Dr. Paul Wartman (President of Columbia Bible College and former pastor of The Meeting Place, Winnipeg) spoke on 'Understanding Life as a Journey'. He began by contrasting two of Matthew's seven parables. In the first, a man stumbles upon a valuable box in a field, and sells everything to purchase the field (allowable by ancient Jewish law), and in the second, an astute collector sells all he has so that he can purchase the perfect pearl after finally locating it. In both parables, someone was going through the journey of life and either stumbled across the Kingdom by accident or found it during the course of searching for it everywhere. But what is the Kingdom, or how might we know when encountering this thing of great value? Amos wrote of the ideal of the earth being allowed to be fruitful beyond belief (nobody being poor) and of war ceasing (the innocent being allowed to live in peace). The writer of Revelations wrote of a majestic kingdom in which people have no fear, death, darkness (when evil can best be enacted) or tears. By including these two parables, Matthew was possibly reminding readers that when some people heard Christ's view of life (the kingdom view), they too risked everything in order to be part of it, whether they had been looking for it all along or simply got lucky and understood Jesus upon meeting him by chance. Matthew was also possibly offering an opposing view to the assumptions of classical writers of Greek and Roman literature in which life's journey was governed by fate. Matthew argues that life's journey is not left in the hands of fate but is rather a matter of choice. Paul suggested that a journey is not only a metaphor for life (and for encountering the kingdom), but also that it is the journey itself, and the manner in which it is undertaken which is most important, not just having the right goal or arrival. [JEK]


Passage: Mt 13:31-48
Communion: No
Ecumenical or Event:
Potluck Lunch: No
Congregational Meeting: No


Speaker: Paul Wartman
Worship Leader: Henry Hildebrand
Song Leader: Eric Hannan
Usher: Richard Stobbe
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