At sunset tonight Yom Kippur will come to a conclusion. Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement, one of the two Jewish high holy days. The purpose behind Yom Kippur is reconciliation between God and humanity, between persons, and with oneself. It is a good day for as Christians to remind ourselves that we our ancestors are the Jews.
Here’s how Paul looks at this concept of peace between Jews and Christians in the early days of the church: For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. – Ephesians 2:14-18
Here are the passages for this week:
Psalm • Psalm 37
Old Testament • Habakkuk 1:1-2:4
Gospel • Luke 17:1-10
October 10 will be a special night at the Wheatland Mission. The co-author of the book My Father, Maker of the Trees will be joining us that night sharing about her experiences in Rwanda, the reality of genocide, and the remarkable story of her co-author Eric.
Also, on October 9 Tracey will be reading from her book and signing copies at 8th Day Books.
This week we will be talking about Israel’s transition from being a group of loosely affiliated tribes under God’s direct leadership to being led by a line of human kings in our series big story/big idea.
How does this effect our understanding of Scriptures “big story”?
Psalm • Psalm 138
Old Testament • Amos 8:4-12
Gospel • Luke 16:19-31
New Testament • I Timothy 6:11-19
What are your idols? Ordinarily we think that idols are made of bad or even silly stuff. What comes to my mind is the golden calf that the Israelites worshiped which seems quite odd to our modern point of view. There are also those idols that are created within alternative religions. These too seem odd and, to some, evil.
However, the idols with the most power over us are those fashioned from the good that serve as a substitute for the greatest, God himself. Good things such as our theologies, our education, our understanding of the Bible and even the church itself are sometimes substitutes, sophisticated idols that promise tangiblity, control and safety.
What has sophisticated substitute has stepped into God’s place? What is your idol?
big story/big idea will continue this week as we explore the concept, and temptation, of idolatry. An ancient problem with new expressions.
Psalm • Psalm 1
Old Testament • Deuteronomy 30:15-20
Gospel • Luke 14:25-33
New Testament • Philemon 1-20
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, Oh LORD, my Rock and my redeemer.” – Psalm 19:14
God’s deliverance is talked about from one end of Scripture to another. Going all the way back to the “casting out” of the Garden of Adam and Eve–God sending them on their way with new clothes he created for them–deliverance has been waiting.
big story/big idea is an attempt to see God’s deliverance as it is expressed in Scripture from one end to the other. After viewing some other images by Chagall I thought this last one, entitled Exodus, might be especially useful. In this image the roles of Jesus and Moses become a little blurred.