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Bulletin for 12/27

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Getting our Hearts Ready for Sunday

~A Note from Pastor James~

This week as we continue to story of God and explore his autobiography, we will be looking at the event that necessitated the savior - the fall. We will be exploring the way that God set up Adam and Eve in the garden and why there was even a tree that they could not eat from in the garden. In preparation for worship this week, take some time to read through Genesis 3. This is what we will be focused on this week and I want us all to think about what happened. How is it that Adam went from worshiping and following God to worshiping and following the devil? How is the devil still telling the same lies today? What is the most recent time that you also fell prey to the devil’s lies and abandoned God to worship something else? How can we feel hope even in times when we realize that we have sinned against God? Take some time to prepare before we gather together on Sunday.


I also want to continue to encourage you to think through how you read scripture. As we will say many times moving forward, “Context is King!”  Think briefly about the cartoon The Flintstones. At the end of their theme song, there is a line that says “...we’ll have a gay old time!” In the context of the cartoon, gay held the meaning of joyful and innocent fun. If someone heard that line today and was told that it belonged to a cartoon, they would not think that it meant joyful and innocent fun. In the span of just a few short years, that one word has completely changed its main meaning and is heard a completely different way. Now, if that happened in just a few short years, imagine what the differences might be if you sit down to read documents from thousands of years ago that had to be translated, so they were not even in their original language or context. If twenty years drastically changes the meaning of a cartoon’s theme song, what does thousands of years, thousands of miles, completely different cultures and a different language do to a text? This is why it is so important for us to do whatever we can to understand the text as it was originally written and meant first, so that we can then understand how it applies to us today in our context. It is important that we do the hard work of understanding so that we can know truly who God is and what he wants us to know about him. 


In order to do this well, we have to research what those original contexts were. Study Bibles can help us with this, but there are other resources as well. This week I want to again draw your attention to four books in particular. First the two books from the CASKET EMPTY series. These two books help to give an overview of scripture and do a good job of organizing and identifying the original context. These are a wonderful resource and I hope to be able to teach through these sometime in the future. The other two books are by the same authors and seek to help us see the blinders that we unintentionally put up as we read. These two books are “Misreading Scripture With Western Eyes.” and “Misreading Scripture With Individualist Eyes.” When we realize what our blinders are, we are much more open to understanding scripture as it was written.


I cannot wait to worship with you all this week. I am praying for that service and for all of you as you prepare your hearts as well. While our topic this week is the reason we need a savior, we still have help despite our disobedience. May we love the Lord each day more and more as we realize our sinfulness and yet also see God’s grace in Christ. I will see you all Sunday!


Grace and Peace,

~Pastor James

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