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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, 7 PM

Greetings to you all in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ!
Just a reminder that our Maundy Thursday and Good Friday worship services will be at 7:00 PM both nights in the sanctuary. 
Sunrise service will at 7:00 AM, and will be followed by breakfast in the fellowship hall.
The choir has once again prepared incredible services of worship to help us share and even find out place in Jesus' story as his mission continues today.
See you Thursday and Friday at 7:00!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Parable of the Running Father, Sermon this Sunday

Greetings to you all in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ!  I hope you and your family are well, and are enjoying the beautiful weather we're having so far this week.
Here is info for worship this coming Sunday, March 14:
Sermon title:  The Running Father
Old Testament Lesson:  Psalm 23
New Testament Lesson:  Luke 15:1-2, 11-24
In his book Finding the Lost: Cultural Keys to Luke 15, Dr. Kenneth Bailey provides an outline of this parable.  As we pray and prepare for worship this Sunday, I thought it might be helpful to share this with you. 
A:  Death (verses 11-12)
    B:  All is Lost (verses 13-14)
        C:  Rejection   (verses 15-16)
            D:  The Problem?  (verse 17)
            D':  The Solution?  (verses 18-20a)
        C':  Acceptance  (verse 20b)
    B':  All Is Restored  (verses 21-22)
D':  Resurrection  (verses 23-24)
As Dr. Bailey notes in his book, in such passages that use this type of literary structure (inverted parallelism), the key to understanding the passage is in what he lables in this one as C'.  In this case, in these verses the Father runs to his son.  I encourage you to read these verses and to perhaps make notes that help you felsh out Dr. Bailey's outline of this passage to help you see the flow.  As we do, also considering the cultural context in which shame and honor are so very important, we will see how radical and startling the Father's action is in this story. 
Here are some questions you might want to consider as well:
  1. Why does Dr. Bailey say that what the son demands of his father is tantamount to death? 
  2. Based on what you know about Jews (especially their feeling towards pigs!), what would does it say about the son's condition that he is now envious of pigs who have more to eat than he does?
  3. What might have happened to the son had the father not run to him?
  4. What might have been some of the consequences for the father for running to his son?
  5. How does the father demonstrate his acceptance of his son?  
  6. How do we know taht we are accepted by God? 
  7. Remember, Jesus tells this parable as he was making his way toward Jerusalem to accomplish his "exodus" (Luke 9:31)..  In what ways does this story help us understand what Jesus did for us on the cross?
  8. Does this parable help you to better appreciate what God has done for us in Jesus Christ? 
  9. How can we live more out of gratitude to God in our daily living, as opposed to "murmuring" like the Pharisees and scribes (verse 2)? 
Again, thank you all for your continued prayers for my family, especially my brother Joneathan.  I'll share reports as often as I am able while in Raleigh. 
See you Sunday!