Monday, May 30, 2016

Psalm of the Week -- Psalm 22

Psalm 22.1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?

Lord, this Psalm reminds us of the plan from long ago for your own son, Jesus Christ to die on a cross. Jesus himself quotes this Psalm as he bears my sin on the cross. I will never be forsaken because Jesus was forsaken on my behalf! Remind me today of the high price of forgiveness. Remind me that it was my sin that deserved your judgment. May I be gracious with others today as I remember that you are gracious to me. You are an infinitely holy God who makes yourself accessible through the priceless sacrifice of Christ!

"If we want to read and to pray the prayers of the Bible and especially the Psalms, therefore, we must not ask first what they have to do with us, but what they have to do with Jesus Christ." Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Rethinking the Love Chapter

Paul's classic love chapter in 1 Corinthians 13 provides needed definition and substance to the idea of love. What is easy to forget is where 1 Cor 13 is located. It's after chapter 12 and before 14. (I know, brilliance). This chapter was not written to give ministers something to read at weddings, though it's certainly not a bad choice. Chapter 12 gives instruction about the body of Christ, the church. Each member is different but significant. One member cannot be more highly esteemed based on function. All parts are important. You realize the importance of your toe when you stub it on the coffee table. Chapter 14 centers on guidelines for the corporate gathering. The meeting should be done with respect for one another for the purpose of building up one another. Sandwiched between these chapters is chapter 13. What keeps the body members from waring? What keeps the corporate gathering from self-centered chaos? Love. Genuine love for God and others.

Here are the descriptors of love in verses 4-7 with a contextual reminder.

Love is patient and kind in the church
love does not envy or boast in the church
it his not arrogant or rude in the church 
It does not insist on its own way in the church
it is not irritable or resentful in the church
it does not rejoice at wrongdoing in the church
but rejoices with the truth in the church 
Love bears all things         in the church
believes all things in the church
hopes all things            in the church 

endures all things in the church

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

One Anothering

At SCC, we are currently in a mini-series on the doctrine of the church. This week, we are going to look at some of the one anothering passages in the New Testament. I put together this chart of the verses that include a "one another." Some of you may find it helpful.

Let me know if I've missed some.

One Another Verses

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Psalm 19

“The more deeply we grow into the psalms and the more often we pray them as our own, the more simple and rich will our prayer become.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer
I have encouraged us all to pray through the Psalms. Each week in our corporate worship service, we will read the next Psalm. I would recommend you to take the Psalm for the week, read it daily, and pray through the Psalm. I plan to start sending out a brief meditation early each week on the Psalm for the week. Here is a simple prayer based on just one verse, Psalm 19:1.  
Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Lord, your world declares you are glorious. The sheer size, beauty, complexity, and uniqueness of the heavens declare day after day that you are the incomparable creator. The creation never stops carrying out it’s task of proclamation. You have also called people to proclaim your glory. May we join the chorus of creation today, taking every opportunity to tell of your glory. 
Grace and Peace,