Weekly Lectionary Readings

david-and-nathanProper 13
August 2, 2009

2 Samuel 11:26 – 12:13 * Psalm 51:1-12 * Ephesians 4:1-16 * John 6:24-35

Be Sure, Your Sins Will Find You Out

1 So the Lord sent Nathan the prophet to tell David this story: “There were two men in a certain town. One was rich, and one was poor. 2 The rich man owned a great many sheep and cattle. 3 The poor man owned nothing but one little lamb he had bought. He raised that little lamb, and it grew up with his children. It ate from the man’s own plate and drank from his cup. He cuddled it in his arms like a baby daughter. 4 One day a guest arrived at the home of the rich man. But instead of killing an animal from his own flock or herd, he took the poor man’s lamb and killed it and prepared it for his guest.”

5 David was furious. “As surely as the Lord lives,” he vowed, “any man who would do such a thing deserves to die! 6 He must repay four lambs to the poor man for the one he stole and for having no pity.”

7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are that man! The Lord, the God of Israel, says: I anointed you king of Israel and saved you from the power of Saul. 8 I gave you your master’s house and his wives and the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. And if that had not been enough, I would have given you much, much more. 9 Why, then, have you despised the word of the Lord and done this horrible deed? For you have murdered Uriah the Hittite with the sword of the Ammonites and stolen his wife. 10 From this time on, your family will live by the sword because you have despised me by taking Uriah’s wife to be your own.

11 “This is what the Lord says: Because of what you have done, I will cause your own household to rebel against you. I will give your wives to another man before your very eyes, and he will go to bed with them in public view. 12 You did it secretly, but I will make this happen to you openly in the sight of all Israel.”

David’s Response

1 Have mercy on me, O God,
because of your unfailing love.
Because of your great compassion,
blot out the stain of my sins.
2 Wash me clean from my guilt.
Purify me from my sin.
3 For I recognize my rebellion;
it haunts me day and night.
4 Against you, and you alone, have I sinned;
I have done what is evil in your sight.
You will be proved right in what you say,
and your judgment against me is just.
[a]
5 For I was born a sinner—
yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
6 But you desire honesty from the womb,[b]
teaching me wisdom even there.

7 Purify me from my sins,[c] and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Oh, give me back my joy again;
you have broken me—
now let me rejoice.
9 Don’t keep looking at my sins.
Remove the stain of my guilt.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
11 Do not banish me from your presence,
and don’t take your Holy Spirit
[d] from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you.

David’s sins have been found out.  He was rebuked by the prophet Nathan.  Psalm 51 is David’s response to his sins.  This did not mean that he did not pay for his sins — on the contrary this affair had serious consquences for David.  The child born from the affair died and David’s family life from this point on was afflicted.  The point is that when we sin, we need to confess our sins — have a broken and contrite heart — not a heart that is sorry because we got caught, but a true repentent heart.

Prayer

God of the lowly and the mighty,
you know the ugliness of your people
when we harm and destroy one another,
yet you offer us
forgiveness of our sins if we but turn to you.
Expand our hearts to receive the mercy you give us,
that, in turn, we may share your grace and mercy
with others each moment of our lives. Amen.


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Wednesday Night Update (On Thursday Night)

Warm and Humid

The weather has finally changed here in the valley.  The last few days have been humid with occasional rain.  The one nice thing is that there is always a breeze, especially at the church and our new house.  This afternoon, we were checking out the construction and were amazed at the crossbreeze, even on a warm day that kept it comfortable.

The House is Progressing

Our house is moving along.  This week they are putting in the water line to hook up to city/county water.  We ran into a little rock, but that obstacle was overcome by our builders.  Most of the front of the house is roughed in on electrical and most of the rest of the house has electrical boxes in.  Plus some of the rough grading around the house is getting done.  Things are moving along.

Blind Bartimaeus

Last night Pam had the chance to lead Bible study of our adults at Parkway and from the comments I heard did a great job.  Our adults are currently in a series on Wednesday nights on the miracles of Jesus.

Youth Ministries

Last night I had the opportunity to teach our teens again.  We had 8 show up, most of which were middle school.  We did a service project around the church — I taught a short lesson on “The Sheep and the Goats” and then we went out a played volleyball.  It was a great time getting to know our teens.

Worship Team Preparation

Since our family will be in Indiana this Sunday, the praise team practiced without me.  But I stuck around, listening and making suggestions as well as getting our sound reset from Vacation Bible School.

Family Preparation

Preparation is in full swing for our trip to Indiana.  Our family is attending Inferno 2 which is the August “family camp” FLAME gathering.  We will be serving those in attendance and I will be leading worship.  One of the cool things is that all the members of the band have been in other FLAME bands with me somewhere along the line.  We are looking forward to having a great time.  It will be good to be with old friends and this is always a time to make new friends as well — Which is one of the guiding principles of FLAME (to be a networking resource.  The other two are education (and we have some of the best professors in the Wesleyan Church teaching our courses) and renewal — we have some great times of worship and prayer and it is always cool to be a small part of that.

Guatemala Missions Trip

Tomorrow we have a team leaving for Guatemala — so I would ask for your prayers for them as they go.  They leave tomorrow at 7:30 and they have asked me to come and pray with them which I thought was a wonderful opportunity.

Seize the Day!

Still a Country Boy

For most of my life I have lived in the country.  This doesn’t mean that I never lived near a big city, it’s that I live outside the city limits for several miles.  As I grew up, the city moved closer to us.  When I got married and bought a house, we moved into the city.  One of the finer points of living in the city is that you need to know how to parallel park.  We only lived in the city for three years before moving to Indiana, where that skill was still needed.  In fact that was about the last place we needed to know how to parallel park.  That was over 15 years ago.  A skill like that disappears if you don’t use it and Pam and I haven’t had to use it much in the last 15 years.  Occasionally there was a need but in most of the towns we lived in, it was a matter of pulling into the space.  All that changed a few weeks ago, when we went to my uncle’s funeral.  After the funeral, we went back to my aunt’s house and they had saved a space for my dad to park.  He gave that space to me, but I was not able to pull into the spot — at least not with spectators watching.  Fortunately a space opened up down the road that I could pull into.  So I went and got that spot.

It doesn’t appear that Staunton and Waynesboro will be a place that parallel parking will be needed much either, so I won’t be picking up that skill anytime soon.

How Important is Musical Style?

HOW IMPORTANT IS MUSICAL STYLE?

The style of music you use on Sunday mornings is incredibly unimportant.

That may seem like an odd way to begin a chapter on “blended worship,” but it may be the most important thing we say on the topic of worship. You may be, or your church may employ, a “worship leader,” someone who plans, facilitates, and leads the corporate gatherings of your church. You may be accustomed to calling that time each week a “worship service.” You may even think of particular parts of your weekly service (such as the singing) as being “worship,” as opposed to other things that happen during that time (such as preaching or taking up an offering). Yet while none of those uses of the word are, strictly speaking, incorrect, neither do they even come close to the heart of what the Bible means by worship. According to the Bible, worship is not fundamentally what we do on Sunday mornings when we gather with other Christians. It certainly includes that, but it is much more. Worship is our service to God. It is acting and thinking and speaking as if He really is who He says He is and we are really who He says we are. Worship is the creature (you and me) serving the Creator (God).

This book is specifically concerned with one of the ways we most frequently talk about worship–our times together in church, and specifically the style that characterizes that gathering. This is a great thing to talk about, and obviously important, given the amount of conflict this topic generates in many local churches. However, we want to be clear at the outset that this is not the heart of what the Bible means by worship. Furthermore, if worship does not refer merely to our corporate times together, it MOST certainly does not mean merely our music.

— Michael Lawrence and Mark Dever. From “Blended Worship,” chapter seven in PERSPECTIVES ON CHRISTIAN WORSHIP: FIVE VIEWS

HT: Worship Quote of the Week

About My New Position

As I mentioned yesterday, four weeks ago we arrived in our new place of ministry. I have been brought on staff as the assistant pastor and my responsibilties are in the areas of Worship Arts and Student Ministries.  It is a bit strange being back on staff.  For example, tonight we have board meeting and my main job is to show up and share my report.  I have a voice but no vote on the board., which is not a problem.

There will be several opportunities to preach during the year.  I will get my first opportunity the Sunday after returning from FLAME.  I’m trying to delegate some of the platform responsibilties because of leading worship and preaching.  It’s strange having several weeks to prepare to preach rather than prepare and preach each week.

I am enjoying the worship teams.  We have two and are looking to expand, especially trying to incorporate younger team members.  I have several young adults and teens who would like to be part of the team.  Parkway has a blended service and depending on the song selection, I will play either acoustic or bass.  We have a keyboard player and a nice Roland keyboard and a Yamaha upright piano.

In addition to the worship responsibilities, I am also the Student Ministries pastor.  My eventual goal is to have this area cover pre-K to college.  Even now I have oversight of the ministries that cover this area, such as Vacation Bible School, Wesleyan Kids for Missions, Sunday School and other areas.  Each of these areas has a director and I am the resource person for them.

One of the areas we are working on is building our Wednesday night student ministry.  I am looking forward to what God has planned in this area.

In addition to that there are the regular assistant pastor duties and I also take care of the church’s website.

So that is a little overview of my new position here at Parkway.

About Staunton, VA

Tonight marks the four week anniversary of our move to Parkway Wesleyan Church and it has been a whirlwind four weeks. We’ve had a Wesleyan Women Convention, District Conference and Ordination, and Vacation Bible School. For the next several days, before we leave for FLAME, I thought I would share with you a little about where we live and the church that we are now serving.

We currently live in Waynesboro, while we await a house that is being built for us by the good people of Parkway. Waynesboro and Staunton are both in Augusta County. They have coined a new term for our area – instead of a metropolitan area, it is called a Micropolitan Statistical Area. This area has a population of about 109,000. Augusta County is also the 2nd largest county in the state of Virginia. The city of Staunton has a population of 23,853 and Waynesboro has 21,500 – they are very close in size. That leaves the other 70,000 in Augusta County.

Staunton is known for being the birthplace of Woodrow Wilson and his presidential library is located there. It is also the home of Mary Baldwin College and the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind. If you are a county music fan, you also know that Staunton is the home of the Statler Brothers. There is a boulevard named after them. Lew Dewitt (one of the original Statlers who passed away a while ago) is commemorated with a road in his name in Waynesboro. Our current home is less than five miles away from Skyline Drive, The Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Appalachian Trail.

We are located in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley and also located near many of the historical sites of the Civil War.

You may think with a population of over 100,000 that Augusta County is an urban area. No Augusta County and its surrounds are primarily rural. In all directions you can see beautiful mountain ranges. There are dairy farms and cattle throughout the region. It is a rurban (Rural/Urban) area. Parkway Church is located on the city limits and yet the countryside has not yet been developed. Which is nice. Now you know a little bit more about the area in which we serve.