This week we gather for an evening of corporate prayer and fasting. As a result, we have no questions to accompany the sermon.
However, if you listen through and would like to post some of your own questions to the comments section we'll be sure to engage!
Opener: What, in your home, acts as a memento? Why is it special to you? What is the memory it points to and how do it represent that?
What is prayer, what are the Psalms, what do these have to do with my spiritual life, and how can I possibly “pray the Psalms?” These are the questions we wrestle through in this week’s sermon.
I’ll let you listen to through it to get your bearings, but as a thought provoking guide to use in walking forward into deeper contemplation of the Psalms, I offer the words of pastor and theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. In his little book, Psalms, the Prayerbook of the Bible, Bonhoeffer points our attention resolutely toward Jesus Christ, the true author and truest subject of the Psalms. He writes;
“If we want to read and to pray the prayers of the Bible, and especially the Psalms, we must not, therefore, first ask what they have to do with us, but what they have to do with Jesus Christ. We must ask how we can understand the Psalms as God’s Word, and only then can we pray them with Jesus Christ. Thus it does not matter whether the Psalms express exactly what we feel in our heart at the moment we pray. Perhaps it is precisely the case that we must pray against our own heart in order to pray rightly. It is not just that for which we ourselves want to pray that is important, but that for which God wants us to pray… It is important for us that even David prayed not only out of the personal raptures of his heart, but from the Christ dwelling in him. To be sure, the one who prays these psalms, David, remains himself; but Christ dwells in him and with him.”
In next weeks post, we will begin to look at some of the specific ways the various subject matter of the Psalms can be clearly seen in light of Jesus. Until then, happy Easter… HE IS RISEN!
In this weeks sermon, Pastor Brennan unpacked the iconic 10 Commandments of Exodus from a few different perspectives.
As you open your Bible to Exodus 20, take a few minutes to chat about the word ‘law’. Have you ever had a brush with the law? Do you abide by the law? Do you find yourself reading or avoiding all the legal mumbo jumbo on your itunes account? What does law mean to you?
To belong, and to live in peace. These are basic longings for each of us. For the people of Israel, living in slavery and oppressed by violence in ancient Egypt, neither of these were realities.
Yet in the midst of their unreal persecution, there was a glimmer of hope. A delicate basket floating down the crocodile infested waters of the Nile River carried the precious cargo of hope, the baby Moses. His story, the unlikely rise to the position of deliver of the people of Israel had the fingerprints of God on it from the very beginning.
This story, crafted by God, is not just history though. Our journey through Exodus aims at exploring how this is also our story. It is our story because of what it tells us about the bondage we live in and who our true deliverer is, Christ Jesus.
Questions for Group Discussion:
The oppression recorded in the first chapter of Exodus is on a level which had simply not been seen in the Biblical record before. However, we can often easily read these passages as such distant history that we skip over the humanity of the people involved.
A flashlight is a very handy tool when the lights go out. With it, you can find your way safely in the dark. Yet when standing in the warm brilliance of the sunlight, the flashlight become completely unnecessary. If fact, one who chooses a flashlight over the sun would be considered… misguided.
That is exactly what we’re talking about this week. Through the first 5 chapters of the book of Romans, Paul lays our human hopes bare, pointing us to the truth. And this is the truth, that to live by faith leads to a sure hope and eternal community with God through Christ. Holding on to our hereditary past in Adam, is like saying that the flashlight is the best thing in existence. To turn, by faith, and follow Christ is even better than stepping into the shining brilliance of the noon day sun. It is stepping to the light of the eternal, one and only Son, Jesus!
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