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Posts Tagged ‘psalm 48’

This is the third post 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, Numbers 24:1-14, and Luke 1:26-38. Today we are reflecting on the scripture from Sunday (Acts 2:1-21)

Psalm 48

I think we might have enough towers and ramparts to consider as we pass on to the next generation. The great ends of the church, for me, are more about relationship work than construction work. To be sure there are places that I regard as holy, but I know that those places are holy because of the experiences and the people I have shared with in those places. Whether that’s Mountaineer Field (a holy place for sure), the sanctuary of Lithonia Presbyterian Church (where I learned what the community of God is like, it’s closed now), or the sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church in Corvallis (where I stood before God and my “family” saying vows to my wife.), the list goes on and on, beer garden at GoodLife, softball field at Skyliner, Bluestone, all of these places have one thing in common they are where I shared with others. When we proclaim the gospel, shelter the children of God, perserve the truth, promote social righteousness, maintain worship, and exhibit the kingdom we do it with people, the place is secondary.

Numbers 24:1-14

This reminds me of the “preservation of the truth”. A lot to times people want you to reinforce their understanding of scripture or particular issues. In my case, a lot of the time my understandings are based on cultural norms and misinformation. It sucks when people don’t tell you what you want to hear but tell you the truth. This is a delicate balance sometimes as a pastor. Sometimes you are living inaccurately, sometimes your people are living inaccurately in both those situations someone needs to stand up and say something. If you’re going to sell out, sell out for the gospel.

Luke 1:26-38

When we accept the great ends of the church, or buy into them, start to live them out it may seem to be a litte strange, maybe even impossible. (I use a lot of commas) Impossible like a virgin giving birth, impossible like a small church changing the historical documents of a denomination (I like to dream big). Verse 37, “For nothing will be impossible with God.” Well, let’s just see.

Blessings,

Pastor Greg

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[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 second post 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, Ezekiel 11:14-25, and 1 Corinthians 2:12-16. Today we are reflecting on the scripture from Sunday (Acts 2:1-21)

Psalm 48

Alright so today I’m in a better mood I think. Talking about God’s citadels and their power to protect fits right in with “the shelter, nurture, and spiritual fellowship of the children of God.” Yesterday, I think I was just over people using power and holding it over others. I’m really not into that, except when I am. (that’s another blog).

Ezekiel 11:14-25

In this, Ezekiel’s vision God explains that God is creating a shelter for the people of Israel and that God will “remove from it all its detestable things and abominations.” (v. 18b) Ouch. I feel like this is a great verse for Zionists would pull out to justify the nation of Israel’s attacks on Palestinians (ie those detestable things and abominations that were supposed to be removed). Pretty sure that’s not what the PC(USA) had in mind when they said a great end of the church was “the shelter, nurture, and spiritual fellowship of the children of God.” Maybe I’m not in a better mood today.

1 Corinthians 2:12-16

Jeez, this week’s readings. This makes me think of arrogant Christians who fight, literally and figuratively, about the TRUTH. So I guess this fits right in “the preservation of the truth”. I think there’s a big difference between the big “T” truth and just “truth”. Most of it has to do with me telling you what you should and should not believe and that if you don’t believe the way that I do then you must be “unspiritual” or dumb. I have been labeled arrogant, I know what’s it’s like to demand that someone agree with you. This is not my call. I have my beliefs and I think they are pretty good, but I love those moments (and by love I mean, “I wish I had thought of that.”) when someone who I think might not have the right education, the right experience, or whatever is able to live out the “spirit of God” WAY more than me. This is another one of those passages that in the wrong hands (see I didn’t it again) can be dangerous.

Blessings,

Pastor Greg

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[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.

Greg

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