I was naive to open such a sensitive conversation without expecting a backlash and was taken aback at the response. None of that is true. And yet, most of the influential Christian leaders I know who are not pastors do not attend church.
I readily admit that one of my ongoing sins is a lack of patience. The ancient words from the close of the Holy Scriptures have settled into my being. The joy, excitement and preparation of Advent entices me forward with eager anticipation. All this happens for me and for us collectively amid the chaos of our times — the shootings, fires, hurricanes, vexations and rampant uncertainty.
I confess that watching the news last night I got so upset at the trials and tribulations of immigrants fleeing violence around the word that Jolynn almost turned the TV off.
It is in the tumult of my being that the better side of me as a pastor and professing Christian pauses to behold in awe and wonder what is unfolding. Like most of us, including those who are at best nominally Christian and even many who would profess not to be believers, I turn to the hymns and carols of the season.
The beauty of music sweeps over me bringing calm and the much-needed quiet and reflection. Behind the beauty of the melody are words of profound doctrinal depth and great spiritual power. We are those in captive to sin. We so often and so easily find ourselves in exile from God.
The exile is of our causing and our choosing. We are captive to sin, coming as it often does, in a myriad of forms — greed, indifference to suffering, pride, addiction to drugs, worship violence and adoration of false gods. Most of all we are captive to our mistaken self-rule.
We fail to submit to Jesus Christ as Lord and king of our lives. The passage is full of hope. In those days, Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is what he will be called: The hope is predicated on understanding the time and context which Jeremiah is living through.
It is easy to forget that Jeremiah is written to a people in exile, a people suffering, a time of intense, devastating tragedy and deep struggle for survival. Jeremiah prophesies speaks for God!
Like his companions, he loses everything, but he survives. He buys a plot of land to symbolize the renewal of life that will come. There is no cheap grace found here; no rosy prescription but love God and be good. It is a call to repentance and faithfulness in the midst of chaos and change. I need to be reminded that this call is for me.
The great theological doctrine of sin cannot be fluffed up or skipped over if we are to move through Advent to the birth of a Savior.
We are a people in bondage; often a bondage of our own making.
On the earth, there will be dismay among nations in their confusion over the roaring of the sea and surging waves.Home page of Western Presbyterian Church. in Wayne County near Rochester, NY is composed of people called by Jesus Christ to be His representatives in the world. Get the latest international news and world events from Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and more.
See world news photos and videos at kaja-net.com John Nevins Andrews (July 22, in Poland, Maine – October 21, in Basel, Switzerland), was a Seventh-day Adventist minister, missionary, writer, editor, and scholar.
J. N. Andrews was the first SDA missionary sent to countries outside North America. He was the most prominent author and scholar of his time, in the Adventist church. The sign to the camp was at the intersection of Pine Grove Road and Michaux Road.
It survived in the Carlisle Presbytery office and now resides at the Historical Society in Carlisle. Day Camp: Let the youth group run a day camp for the younger kids this summer.
Youth in Leadership Positions: Have some of your leaders sit in on some of the decision-making committees in your church. Clean-Up Day: Sponsor a special day where the youth group takes on a special project at the church.
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