Posts Tagged ‘great ends’

[DISCLAIMER: So I like to take my time off and I like writing my sermon on Thursday, it’s my rhythm. I am realizing though that I may only be blogging Monday-Thursday every day. I will post the sermon from Sunday as well. I’m still figuring out how all this works but I’m liking the reading, I hope you’re liking the reflection.]

This is the start of week 2 in a series where I will be journaling through the Consultations on the Common Texts while preaching a sermon series on the “Great Ends of the Church”. Here’s the plan.

Today’s scriptures are Psalm 48, Joel 2:18-29, and 1 Corinthians 2:1-11. Today we are reflecting on the scripture from Sunday (Acts 2:1-21)

Psalm 48

I’m not sure if it’s just me today but this just seems to be a call to walk around and look at the cool stuff God created, which is nice…I guess. It just doesn’t seem to be jiving with the great ends theme. Maybe, exhibition of Kingdom of Heaven to the world, but not really. I’d be open to someone helping me out on this one.

Joel 2:18-29

This is a weird pericope, most of it has to do with God not letting the Israelites be a laughing stock anymore, God saying, “you know all that stuff I did to you, well…sorry, how about I fill your threshing floor and we’ll be straight. Right?” Then the last two verses are the verses that Peter quotes in his speech on Pentecost. Maybe God is sheltering and nurturing God’s children but it kind of just sounds like an abuser who says, “No really, I’ll change this time.” These passages are hard for me.

1 Corinthians 2:1-11

It’s a rough day for me. Based on the title of this section “True Wisdom of God” I guess it fits in “the preservation of the truth” category, but it also says, we don’t really know the truth, God does. Well. That’s. Just. Awesome.

Better luck tomorrow.



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[DISCLAIMER: Young energetic pastor is still completely nerding out and inviting you along.]
Last week we began looking at, dissecting, and celebrating the Great Ends of the Church that are lined out in the constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA). They can be found in the Book of Order, here they are:

F-1.0304 The Great Ends of the Church

The great ends of the Church are:

the proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of humankind;

the shelter, nurture, and spiritual fellowship of the children of God;

the maintenance of divine worship;

the preservation of the truth;

the promotion of social righteousness; and

the exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven to the world.

We will be taking one end each Sunday, this Sunday, May 26 we will be looking at “the shelter, nurture, and spiritual fellowship of the children of God.” We will also have a time for the Tabitha Hospice to share how they respond to this “great end”.
Over this period of time, the Men’s Bible Study (Thursday, 6:30 AM at Janie’s Confections) will be diving head long into this subject. We will be following a book called Consultations on Common Texts engaging daily with the Bible. We also will (or those that would like) be journaling through these texts as we read them with the Great Ends of the Church in mind.
I invite you to join with us on this quest to look at the history of the PC(USA) and the calling to be the hands and feet of Christ in the world. I will be posting the readings for the week each Monday morning so you follow along. I will also attempt to journal here through the texts. I will also be cross posting this on my blog (NebraskaBolt.wordpress.com) and would welcome any comments or thoughts as we travel this journey together.
The way the scriptures are set up, the selections for Monday-Wednesday reflect on the previous week and the selections from Thursday-Saturday are preparing for the upcoming Sunday. (I know it’s a little confusing, but you’ll get the hang of it.)
The scriptures for this week are:

Monday, May 20

Psalm 48

Joel 2:18-29

1 Corinthians 2:1-11

Tuesday, May 21

Psalm 48

Ezekiel 11:14-25

1 Corinthians 2:12-16

Wednesday, May 22

Psalm 48

Numbers 24:1-14

Luke 1:26-38

Thursday, May 23

Psalm 8

Proverbs 3:13-18

Ephesians 1:17-19

Friday, May 24

Psalm 8

Proverbs 3:19-26

Ephesians 4:1-6

Saturday, May 25

Psalm 8

Proverbs 4:1-9

Luke 2:41-52

Sunday, May 24 Trinity Sunday

Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31

Psalm 8

Romans 5:1-5

John 16:12-15

My plan for Sunday, May 26 is to preach on Romans 5:1-5.

I think this could be a great opportunity for us, as a church body, to learn and study together.


Pastor Greg

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This is the first post of many where I will be journaling through the Consultations on the Common Texts while preaching a sermon series on the “Great Ends of the Church”. Here’s the plan.

Today’s scriptures are Psalm 29, Exodus 40:16-38, and Acts 16:35-40. Today we are reflecting on the scripture from Sunday (Acts 16:16-34)

Psalm 29

This scripture speaks mainly of the power of God. Paul and Silas were in jail when an earthquake shook their chains loose, presumably by God. However, in the translation I am using, The Life With God Bible (NRSV), the title to this Psalm is “The Voice of God in a Great Storm”. This makes me think that when we are locked in our innermost cells in the stocks of our own shame and life situations God’s voice is powerful and can help to lead us to freedom when we listen.

This also makes me think of a story a friend of mine told me. Her father is a Free Will Baptist, in their prayer meetings they have a time of prayer where everyone prays out loud at the same time, it’s more than a litte chaotic. My friend would talk about in those prayer times, she could always here her father’s voice and that reassured her. I always liked that story. Hopefully, even in our darkest times we can still hear God’s voice.

Exodus 40:16-38

Paul and Silas were freed from their chains but stayed in the prison and saved others. Sometimes we feel like we are free but something is holding us back. Moses made all the preparations, by all intents and purposes he was ready, the Israelites were ready to pass into the Promised Land. It seems that sometimes we are physically ready, but may not be spiritually or mentally ready for the next leg of the journey. Just because we’ve done all the work and crossed all the t’s and dotted the i’s doesn’t mean we’re ready. I wonder if Paul and Silas stayed because they weren’t ready, I wonder if I leave before I am ready.  I pray that I am able to lead (and follow) folks at the right time, not just when we are ready for a change.

Acts 16:35-40

Often we allow people off the hook. Paul, a Roman citizen, demands justice for his beating and arrest. It’s not enough to let him go, the authorities must make amends for their crimes. Sometimes when the injustice no longer affects us we no longer care, but Paul named the injustice and appears to be taking a stand against the systematic injustice around him, hopefully ensuring that it will not affect anyone else.


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