The Lord Is in His Holy Temple

mountains_7561cAs you go through difficult times you may be tempted to ask, “Where is God?” Where was he when my child died? When my spouse abandoned me? When I heard the big “C” word? Psalm 11 provides you an answer.

Should you be discouraged? Even the faithful may be tempted to flee. The Psalm begins with Davis’ affirmation of trust in the Lord. We know that is where we ought to turn when discouraged, but is there any real grounds for hope there, or are we whistling in the dark? We may not know what personal crisis David was facing, but the ambiguity makes it easier for us to identify with his situation with those in our lives. In that setting the advice isf flee! Continue reading “The Lord Is in His Holy Temple”

Who’s in Charge?

refuge_1702cWe are between two political conventions, one of which has, and I suspect the other will, assure us that we face horrible consequences if the other major party wins the election. What about God’s people? What about the church? Should the church, as church, be telling people how to vote? Is God in the camp of one or the other parties (an alleged benediction seemed to make that point!)? What does the future hold for the people of God? Far more important than any convention or candidate’s speech is what God says. Listen to Psalm 9:7-10, and the surrounding context. Do not identify the kingdom of God with the rulers and authorities of this world. Continue reading “Who’s in Charge?”

Who Are We? The Bride of Christ

tulip_9095cpWhat is the final word about the church? Who is she? According to Revelation 21, the church is the bride of Christ.

God’s relationship with his church is a love story. It’s a true story, and an old one. It goes back to the Garden of Eden, where God created his people to have fellowship with him. At the heart of the covenant is God’s statement: I will be your God and you will be my people. The prophets speak of Yahweh as the husband and his covenant people, Israel, as his wife. Paul compares marriage to the relationship between Christ and his church. All that leads up to the note on which Revelation closes. Revelation 21 and 22 make clear that the whole book, with its sometimes difficult imagery, is a love story—Christ is winning his bride. Continue reading “Who Are We? The Bride of Christ”

Who Are We? A People Welcomed to the Table

bread9cAt its very heart Biblical Christianity is mysterious. The concepts of the Trinity, of the incarnation, of the love expressed in the substitutionary atonement defy attempts by our puny minds to fully comprehend them. Unbelieving minds sometimes rationalize away elements of those truths which we find difficult to grasp. Something of the mystery of our salvation in Christ Jesus carries over into what the Word, focusing today on 1 Corinthians 10:14-22, teaches about the Lord’s Supper. Guard against reducing God’s revelation to something that we can understand.

Flee idolatry. Do not be a participant with demons. Even early in 1 Corinthians 10 Paul has warned against idolatry as it came to expression in the life of Israel in the wilderness. The idols are not gods, but behind them are demons, evil spirits. Idol worship involves you in table fellowship with, in union with, demons. It gives an idol what ought to be offered to God alone. Paul’s warning takes on urgency in the context of the Lord’s Supper, which involves table fellowship with your redeemer. Avoid looking to anyone else than God as the source of power, knowledge, and revelation. Continue reading “Who Are We? A People Welcomed to the Table”