“The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!’ And he said to them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven’” (Luke 10:17–20). Our adversary “the Devil” may operate within the limits God has set, but that does not mean the threat to us is not real, nor does it mean there is no true battle going on between the forces of light and darkness. Nevertheless, because the Almighty is sovereign even over Satan, we can be assured that our enemy will not win in the end and that we have nothing to fear if we hold fast to our faith in Jesus Christ. The New Testament presents this truth in a number of ways, primarily when it tells us that Jesus delivered the fatal blow to the Devil on the cross (Col. 1:13–15). We also see the idea that though Satan has been mortally wounded, he is still prowling about trying to defeat believers and tear down the church (1 Peter 5:8). Christ has inaugurated His kingdom, but He has not yet consummated it, and the Devil will attempt to assault us until that final day.

As such, the church is tasked with a “mop-up operation” of sorts as we preach the gospel and look to see God’s kingdom bear visible fruits on all aspects of life. This is a truth found in this week’s Gospel and the report of the seventy-two followers of Jesus appointed to go into the towns of Israel before Him during His earthly ministry. Just as the power God has been witnessed to in Christ’s earthly ministry (Luke 11:20), so too have the disciples seen the Spirit at work in making even the demons subject to the command of the people of God (Luke 10:17). The kingdom of God has been on the march, and when it moves, the forces of hell are shaken to the core, demonic thrones are overturned, the Light of the World dispels the darkness of sin and evil, and Satan and his minions lose the authority they have to hold the church of Jesus Christ in bondage.

This Sunday, millions of Christians across this globe will celebrate “World Communion Sunday”. Through the taking of the “Lord’s Supper”—“Holy Communion”, this feast becomes a victory celebration for all of us. Join us this week at Sedona United Methodist Church as the Rev. Fred Mast delivers a message entitled “Claiming Our Victory” as we celebrate Holy Communion and the victory that Jesus Christ secured for all on the Cross at Calvary. Sunday mornings we enter the spirit of worship at 9:30 am featuring uplifting music, special times of prayer and passionate life changing messages designed to move you closer in your relationship with Jesus Christ and others. Immediately following worship you are encouraged and invited to stay and join us in our Fellowship Hall for the friendliest and best fellowship time anywhere featuring delicious snacks and great coffee and always friendship.

We offer a number of book and bible studies: Wednesday’s our Men’s Bible Study at 9am; and Thursday’s our Women’s Bible Study at 9:45am. So many great missions, ministries and events happening at Sedona UMC—Visit our website at us on www.sedonaumc.org and “Like” us on Facebook. We would love to pray for you!—Prayer requests may be submitted online or by calling us at 928-282-1780. We are conveniently located at 110 Indian Cliffs Road off the Back O’Beyond roundabout on Route 179 in Sedona. Come and grow with us!