Skip to main content

The Word Before Worship

Friends and fellow believers, I hope this note finds you well.

The Word on Wednesdays:  The Vision of Isaiah, 6:30 pm in the sanctuary
If you want to learn more about the Old Testament's most famous prophet or just learn more about the Bible, I invite you to join myself and others for our study on Isaiah.  Our Bible Study will begin at 6:30 pm tomorrow in the sanctuary.  All you need to bring is yourself and your Bible.  Tomorrow, we will look at the opening scene:  a dramatic exchange between God and God's People (see attachment below:  The Vision of Isaiah - the Opening Drama).  Come join us as we talk about God's emotions and heart-ache.  We will also watch a scene from the 1979 movie that was nominated for five Academy Awards.  Anyone know what it is?

The Word Before Worship:  Prophetic Voices, Sunday @ 9:30 am in the fellowship hall
It seemed like a number of you read the article last week by Joel Salatin about farming and family.  I'd be interested to hear your opinions if you did read it.

This week, we are going to read the third chapter of Daniel together:  the famous story concerning Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego.  Feel free to read Daniel 3 before Sunday or just show up on Sunday and we'll read it together.  We'll try to address the following question:  What golden statues currently exist in our culture?  If you've got a computer and a little bit of time, you might also click on the following link, which is a sermon by Pastor Alistair Begg on Daniel 3 titled Faith Under Fire:

Alistair Begg is an exegetical preacher, and some of you may know of him from the sermons that are broadcast on Christian radio.  If you listen to the sermon, you'll immediately recognize Alistair's great Scottish accent, and in true Scottish fashion, he clearly comes out of a strong Reformed tradition that includes John Knox.  Presbyterianism in America shares some of these roots.  As promised, I am trying to introduce prophetic voices from the entire bandwidth of the Christian Church.  Alistair is good at drawing modern application from Scripture, and often focuses on personal accountability and reform.

Christ be with you, and may you be Christ's servant this week,



Popular posts from this blog

Acts 3:11-21 - Questions for Reflection & Prayer

This week we continued looking at the story of Peter and John healing a lame man on their way to the Temple (Acts 3).  Indwelled with the Spirit of the Living God, Peter and John are close to the source of all life:  Jesus the Christ.  They are continuing to devote themselves to the habits and practices that will allow the fruits of the Spirit to grow within them, including devoting themselves to times of communal prayer on a daily basis.

Now, the crowds hear this news of the lame man's healing, and they run to see this man and to discover what power or technique has healed the man.  They discover the man standing next to Peter and John and assume that these two are "holy men," something many people were searching for in Jesus' day.  This same search still goes on today.  One way we seek a better life is to seek out celebrities, gurus and human leaders that we can put our faith and hope in.

Question for reflection:  How are we tempted in our culture to put our trust i…

Acts 2:42-47 - Questions for Reflection & Study

This past Sunday, we took a look at Luke's first summary passage in the story of Acts:  chapter 2, verses 42-47.  Here, Luke is presenting a billboard of what the Church looks like at its best.  He is trying to convince Theophilus that Christianity is worth his attention. 

The early Church captures what all of us are looking for, whether we know it or not.  This is a close community that truly cares for one another, where everyone truly is seen as a brother and sister, and where no one person is considered more or less important as the other.  Needs are being met.  There is joy in their fellowship. 

Take a moment to think about a time in your life when you experienced the joy and blessing of a deep, loving community?  Where was it, and what made this community so different?  What role did you play in this community?
Luke tells us the disciples "devoted themselves" to four essential practices.  The Greek word for "devoted" is one that is often used in the context…

Acts 5:1-11 - Questions for reflection & prayer

This past Sunday we looked at one of the more unsettling stories in the Book of Acts:  the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira.  As shared by Luke, this couple sold a piece of land and then proceeded to bring only a portion of the profit to the apostles - laying it at their feet for the good of the community.  However, what appeared to be their grave mistake (pun intended) was their collusion in claiming to have brought all the proceeds to the apostles when - in fact - they were keeping some back for themselves.  Peter announces first to Ananias the Lord's judgment, followed by a similar verdict being handed down to Sapphira a short time later.

Seen by itself, this is a strange story, but it begins to make more sense when we see it as "part of the whole."  The story of Ananias and Sapphira comes right after we hear once again of the community's unity and generosity, including their willingness to share their own goods and resources to take care of one another (ch. 4).  Th…