Happening Now Blog

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Wednesday Messages

from Pastor Brian

We have a dandy Bible study group at SOV. We meet Wednesday mornings at 10. I love this group. We usually have about half a dozen folks. They are retired; women, mostly, plus often one man. Sharing their eagerness to learn, to grow, to deepen their understanding of Scripture has been very satisfying.

We've been studying the Gospel lesson for the coming Sunday. Today, that was Matthew 16:13-20. It's Peter's confession that Jesus is "the Son of the Living God." We discovered that is an important title for Jesus. It alludes to a passage from the prophet Hosea:

Yet the number of the people of Israel shall be like the sand of the sea, which can be neither measured nor numbered; and in the place where it was said to them, "You are not my people," it shall be said to them, "Children of the Living God." (Hosea 1:10)

This oracle reverses an earlier rejection pronounced because God's people strayed from the path of righteousness and justice. It's an oracle of blessing. It's also a prophesy of reconciliation – the verse following foretells that God's people, once scattered and conflicted, would be gathered in the promised land to dwell in unity. The Apostle Paul quotes this same passage (Romans 9:25-26) to proclaim the reconciliation of Jews and Gentiles in Jesus Christ – which itself is a preview of God's plan to heal all creation.

So to call Jesus "Son of the Living God" is to say that Jesus is all about healing and reconciliation. This is a promise of hope for humans living in a strife-torn world. It's also a promise of blessing for the whole Earth community. We live by these promises. And we reject the notion, so widespread now, that the Lord Jesus is a warlord who will come again to destroy the human race and demolish the Earth.

Our Bible study group talked about these things today — eagerly, deeply, and with enthusiasm. If you're free on Wednesdays at 10, please come, taste, and see that studying the word of God is good!

* * * * * * *

"Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 6:6

      What some refer to as the most joyous book in the Bible, deals a lot with struggle and worry, to which I often think "thank goodness!"  Because I often worry and know I'm in good company there.  Sometimes I just think too long about things I can no longer affect, at least not worrying?  Or am I just splitting hairs? Like last week, in this space I mentioned a couple of folks by name, a taboo, an invasion of privacy. My apologies, my intent was simply to tell of a moment of God's surprising presence.

      I've been thinking about how long I've been gone from SOV. Has damage been done, irreparable damage? It worries me.  Wondering if I'll ever walk again, ride bikes with my grandkids again?

 Yet Thanksgiving is there too as well.  Looking at the collage of pictures near me, my kids and grandkids, and thinking of all the ways Choice has cared for me. All of your good wishes and prayers of one our newest and youngest and sometimes  most vocal members of SOV. Who had inspired me with personal artwork on Sunday mornings.  My name scrawled on the back.  Such beauty, thank you little one.  Worries yes, but for that reason, prayer and supplication with Thanksgiving!

In the Peace and Power of Christ,

Pastor Randy

Lessons for Sunday, August 24, 2014
Exodus 1:8-14, 1:22-2:10
Romans 12:1-8
Matthew 16:13-20

THIS WEEK

Wednesday      7:00 - 8:30 p Choir Rehearsal

Thursday        10:00 a La Leche League (LLL)
                       7:00 p Council Meeting

Friday            1:00 - 9:00 p Palmeter Piano Studio

Saturday        10:00 - 11:30 a Choir Rehearsal

>All Church Luncheon Thursday, August 28th at 12:00 p, this is open to every one, no RSVP needed and nothing to bring.

>Rally Sunday, September 7, 2014 Asking all Grandparents and Great Grandparents to help with this festive event by bringing balloons and/or fellowship treats. If you have further questions please be in touch with Corrine.