Church Blog (Page 2)

Church Blog (Page 2)

For Christ’s Sake

I remember particularly as a boy, though occasionally still today, hearing people close their prayers with the phrase, “in Christ’s name and for his sake we pray”. Have you ever thought about that phrase? Have you ever really considered what we are saying with that expression? We are asking God to look on the face of his only son and to deal with us on his merits, to essentially treat us as if we were him. But that is only…

Work in the Vineyard Today

On the first day of the week before the Passover, Jesus arrived in Jerusalem in what has come to be known as the Triumphal Entry. He was greeted by crowds of people shouting Hosanna to the son of David – essentially, “God save the King” – and waving palm branches (Matt 21:8-9). In other words, he was greeted as a ruler. That did not sit well with the Jewish elites. The situation intensified when Jesus entered the Temple and drove…

Lazy Sunday

I passed by the field of a sluggard,     by the vineyard of a man lacking sense,  and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns;     the ground was covered with nettles,     and its stone wall was broken down. Then I saw and considered it;     I looked and received instruction. A little sleep, a little slumber,     a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber,     and want like an armed man. –Proverbs 24:30-34 No…

Living Until We Die

On Friday evening, a memorial service was held for Ronnie Rubit in this building. I never had the pleasure of meeting Ronnie. But I know that many of you were close to him, and, not only in the church but out in the community, numerous people have told me what an inspirational figure he was. It reminds me again that we have experienced a great deal of loss recently in this church. It’s difficult sometimes in such situations to know…

Singing with the Spirit

I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also. (1 Corinthians 14:15)  Congregational singing is one of the most distinctive aspects of our public worship in churches of Christ. It’s certainly the one that stands out to visitors to our services because it is relatively unusual in contemporary Western Christianity; most religious groups over the last 150 or so years have moved to featuring various instruments in their assemblies. That immediately draws attention to…

How Little You Trust Me!

In Matthew 14, we find the story of Jesus walking on the water to go to the disciples. He had insisted that they get into a ship and go to the other side of the Sea of Galilee while he sent the crowd away. Far from the shore, the wind and the waves were assailing them in that small vessel. Then, in the dark of the night, Jesus came walking across the sea to them and they were afraid. But…

The Tragedy of Racism

This article, by Wayne Jackson, was shared with me this week. I thank God that this congregation has members from diverseethnic backgrounds. But this continues to be a pervasive problem in society, and I found his direct confrontation of it timely and touching, so I wanted to share it with you. It originally appeared in Christian Courier right here. BP No one with a modicum of awareness will deny that racism—the inclination to judge a person solely on the basis of…

The Word of the Lord

Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord!  Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways! You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently.  Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes! Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.  I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules.  I…

Tertullian on the Offering

Tertullian (c. 155—c. 240) was the most prolific early Christian writer in the West up until the 4th century. He was a well-educated scholar, schooled in the rhetoric that was the specialty of Roman Africa, where his home city of Carthage was located; according to the church historian Eusebius, he was a lawyer by training. He has been called the “father of Latin Christianity” and the “founder of Western theology” because of his vast influence in the early church. The…

Music in the Chapel

I bet if you stopped 100 people on the street to ask them what they associate with churches of Christ, 90+ would say, “oh, they’re the ones who don’t use instruments” (or even “you don’t believe in music!” as I’ve occasionally heard). That stands out to people because it is something of an oddity in the contemporary West. Most professing Christians grew up attending churches with an organ, or a piano, or guitars and drums, depending on the denomination. Whatever…

Prayer in the Assembly

As we continue our series of lessons on the activities we participate in when we assemble together, we are going to talk today about prayer. The ability to approach God’s throne is a great privilege. But it is also a tremendous responsibility to direct God’s people before him; after all, the one who leads prayer is speaking on behalf of an entire congregation to God! We will make some suggestions for the public (and private) prayer in our sermon, but…

Justin Martyr and Early Christian Worship

From their emergence in this country in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the ethos of churches of Christ has been restoration. European nations had established churches: Roman Catholicism in many countries, Anglicanism in Great Britain, Lutheranism in Scandinavia. These were supported by taxes, given privileges by the government and, in some cases, compelled membership of all citizens. The New World offered an opportunity for religious freedom, as most of us learned in grade school. But that freedom came…