January 17, 2010
Second Sunday After Epiphany
Welcome and Announcements
Call to Worship
Songs of Praise and Worship
Open the Eyes of My Heart (Baloche)
Holy is the Lord (Tomlin/Giglio)
We Fall Down (Tomlin)
Worship Through Prayer
Songs of Worship
Holy, Holy, Holy (Heber/Dykes)
We Worship and Adore You (Unknown)
Worship Through Giving
Worship Through God’s Word
Listen Up Church!
Pergamum: The Compromising Church
Song of Commitment
Refiner’s Fire (Doerksen)
Pam and I have spent the last few days getting unpacked. The good news is that the living room, dining room, both bathrooms, and James’s room are for the most part ready. Our room needs a few decorations yet. There are about 2 boxes left in the kitchen and the girls room still needs work. Here are some pictures…
It has been good to get back out running again. Today I was determined to go 4 miles or 3 laps around Gypsy Hill Park. Over Christmas the family bought me a wrist stop watch. It sure beats checking the time on your cell phone. I was able to do those 4 miles in around 52 minutes, which just about puts me back at where I was before the big snow. So far this week I have 7 miles in over 3 days. Monday looks good for a run and then the next couple days look iffy, but I feel good that the layoff did not mess me up too bad.
Second Sunday After The Epiphany
January 17, 2010
Isaiah 62:1-5 • Psalm 36:5-10 • 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 • John 2:1-11
1 Because I love Zion,
I will not keep still.
Because my heart yearns for Jerusalem,
I cannot remain silent.
I will not stop praying for her
until her righteousness shines like the dawn,
and her salvation blazes like a burning torch.
2 The nations will see your righteousness.
World leaders will be blinded by your glory.
And you will be given a new name
by the Lord’s own mouth.
3 The Lord will hold you in his hand for all to see—
a splendid crown in the hand of God.
4 Never again will you be called “The Forsaken City”
or “The Desolate Land.”
Your new name will be “The City of God’s Delight”
and “The Bride of God,”
for the Lord delights in you
and will claim you as his bride.
5 Your children will commit themselves to you, O Jerusalem,
just as a young man commits himself to his bride.
Then God will rejoice over you
as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride.
Last week we began the season of between Epiphany and Lent. This season is characterized by the mission of Jesus. We learn why Jesus came to earth. We learn that Jesus came to bring light to the world. Jesus is the Light of the World – he is our salvation – he is the burning torch. Those who are touched by Jesus are given a new name – they are a new creation. When we receive the light of Jesus into our lives, we are then called to shine the light of Jesus to the world, just as Jesus shown his light to the world. I love where it says you will be the “City of God’s Delight.” God loves his children, we are his delight. We can see that in the model of earthly parents and children. As a father and Pam as a mother receive great pleasure from our children. We get great delight when our children perform well. God delights in his children as well. As we finish up this passage we see that someday Jesus will claim us as his bride. I remember well the day that Pam and I got married. On just about every picture taken on that day, I was smiling. I was rejoicing in the fact that we were getting married. Pam gives me great delight. I love her more than I did the day we got married. I pretty sure that Jesus feels much the same about us. It really gives him pleasure when we go out and do his mission – which is to make disciples. Let’s shine the love of Jesus to those around us.
On the Road Again
Today marked the end of my running drought. It has been four weeks since I last ran. I had pretty low expectations of what I would be able to do today. My goal was to run/walk two laps at Gypsy Hill Park (2.6 miles.) I began running – planning to run for two minutes and then walk for a minute. Thinks felt really good so I continued up the hill, then planning on walking once I reached the top. At the top, I still felt pretty good, so I kept running. As I completed the first lap, I decided to take another lap with no walking. During that lap, I decided that I would complete the second lap and run the extra .4 of a mile to complete 3 miles. By the time I complete 3 miles, I was tired, but I felt that was pretty good considering I hadn’t run for four weeks. I was able to complete 3 miles in about 43 minutes, which comes out to a 14 minute mile. It was good to get out again. The weather looks very good for the next couple of days – So I will be pressing on!
I have been reading the book “Families of Faith”. It is a book that serves as an introduction to the world religions for Christian. It was not an easy book to read. While I was reading the book, I wondered why I would read it. I had to read it as part of my class on Global and Intercultural Ministry as part of the requirements for ordination. I picked this book because I like to read about different religions. It has been a hard book to understand, but there have been some interesting things I have discovered.
The first thing that I discovered is how eastern religions have found their way into our culture. This gives me cause for concern. Even Christians have let various facets of eastern religion into their lives. One time when I was talking about colors, I made a comment that green can bring more Zen into your life. People like to talk about how the way they arrange their furniture is Zen. In addition to this, many eastern religious symbols have made into mainstream culture, such as the Ying and Yang. We have a computer game that has this symbol in it. Several weeks ago, Dale ran in a 5K race that was sponsored by the National Guard. Their uniform even had the Ying and Yang symbol on it. I even found these symbols in an Avon catalog – an inspirational catalog at that. Here was a catalog that had many inspirational items. Here were items from Christianity, Confucianism, and New Age all in the same place. While it might seem harmless, these other religions for the most part are in opposition to Christianity. All of this creates confusion – making it more difficult to minister to the world when it makes them all look the same.
I got this from an email link our lead pastor’s wife sent to me…as I watched it this morning, it really touched my heart — we serve a mighty God!
Yesterday, we went over to the old house to clean and pick up the rest of the things that we had left there in the big move. We are grateful to the good people of Waynesboro Wesleyan Church. As I was vacuuming the carpet in the living room, I started thinking about that statement – finally home. For us living in the parsonage in Waynesboro was a temporary thing. Pam and I have never lived in temporary housing before. The new parsonage took a little longer than originally had been planned but it was well worth the wait. I think I understand a little bit now how the older saints of God feel when they approach the end of their life. As the old gospel song says, “This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through…” This earth is our temporary dwelling place. As we approach the end of our life, there is a longing to be finally home. I know we experienced that in the last few weeks before the move – to be finally home.
Perhaps that feeling comes when you know you are nearing completion – whether it be a physical home in our case or a spiritual home as in the case of an older saint. But as the day approaches, the things of this earth don’t have the same pull that they used to. The things of heaven become more important. I know even now there are days that I long to be finally home, but what keeps me here is that God has put us here to do his work – to preach the gospel, to make disciples, to teach them everything that Jesus has taught us, to love God with everything we have – to love our neighbors as ourselves, to be the hands and feet of Jesus. There is much work to be done before I can say, “Finally home!”
In case you may not have heard — here is an eyewitness account from a missionary in Haiti
via Earthquake Eyewitness: ‘Total Mayhem’.
The Wesleyan Church as several missionaries here and a mission hospital. Please keep this country in your prayers.
“Lost people should face not church-culture stumbling blocks that keep them away from Christ — The only stumbling block they should face is the cross!”