Jesus and the Koala

Since today was our first Sunday School day of the Fall, we thought you might like this story:

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There is a story told about an Australian Sunday School teacher who felt that her approach to teaching was in need of some remedial action. She thought she was altogether too predictable and the children were becoming bored with her story-telling and questioning of the class about what they had learned. She decided on a new tack to try to rectify matters. The next Sunday, once the preliminaries were over, she stood before the class of five-year-olds and asked, “Who can tell me what is gray and furry and lives in a Gum tree?” The children were completely taken by surprise by this totally unexpected and new approach. They thought there must be a catch and stared blankly at the teacher. “Come on,” she coaxed, “someone must know. What is gray, furry, lives in a Gum tree—has a black leathery nose and beady eyes?” Still no answer. “Oh, surely you know.” She was nonplussed by this reticence. “It lives in a Gum tree; eats Gum leaves; it has big beady eyes and furry ears.” Silence. She was about to switch tactics and to go on to something else when a small girl gradually raised her hand in the air with much hesitation. Delighted, the teacher asked, “Yes, Suzie?” The child replied, “I know it’s Jesus, but it sounds like a Koala!”

Graeme Goldsworthy, Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture: The Application of Biblical Theology to Expository Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2000), xi.

This Sunday at Mountain View–11 September, 2016

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The Blog has been quite for a few weeks.

This Sunday at Mountain View we start Sunday School.

For children, Michelle and Shari will start their class in the East Basement

For youth, Jerry will teach in the staff room/nursery. Jerry will be teaching “God and Creation.”

Adults will meet in the West Basement. Scott will be teaching, “How to Interpret the Bible.”

Everything starts at 10 AM!

Sermon series on Luke 7:1-10.

This Sunday at Mountain View: Lunch and Learn!

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There will be a Lunch and Learn following worship this Sunday (July 10). Worship is at 11, and the program will begin at 1 pm.

This is open to all, and participants are asked to bring a bag lunch.

Topic: Welcome to the Christian Church

  • Who we are
  • What we believe
  • How you can be a part.

Your questions are welcome!

Neither to the Top nor the Side

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“Jesus did not go to the top (to Caesar or Pilate) to get things changed; nor did he go to the left (to the Zealots). He went instead to the poor and sinners, offering forgiveness and deliverance and calling them into a community whose life was to embody God’s will.”

Charles H. Talbert, Reading Luke: A Literary and Theological Commentary on the Third Gospel, Rev. ed., Reading the New Testament Series (Macon, GA: Smyth & Helwys Publishing, 2002), 27–28.

In Mary’s Own Words

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Luke 1:46–55 (ESV)

Mary’s Song of Praise: The Magnificat

46 And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord,

47  and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

48  for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.

For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;

49  for he who is mighty has done great things for me,

and holy is his name.

50  And his mercy is for those who fear him

from generation to generation.

51  He has shown strength with his arm;

he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;

52  he has brought down the mighty from their thrones

and exalted those of humble estate;

53  he has filled the hungry with good things,

and the rich he has sent away empty.

54  He has helped his servant Israel,

in remembrance of his mercy,

55  as he spoke to our fathers,

to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

The Hard Sayings of Jesus

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Jesus offers up some “hard sayings” in the Gospels. Indeed, the Bible is full of things that are either 1) difficult to understand or 2) hard to accept. Jesus taught His disciples that He was “the bread of life” and “whoever eats of this bread will live forever” (John 6:58). Upon hearing this, many of his disciples said,

“This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” (John 6:60).

When Jesus explained that some of them did not believe in Him, and that they were not called,

“many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.” John 6:66

They seemed to think that the “hard saying” was a deal-breaker. If Jesus stayed on this path, they weren’t going to follow. He asked the remaining disciples,

“Do you want to go away as well?”

The disciples’ answer did not indicate that they understood, nor even accepted everything Jesus said. In fact, further Gospel accounts indicate that they neither understood nor accepted all of Jesus’ teachings. But their answer did indicate a trusting faith, a commitment, a willingness to follow in order to gain understanding later (which, they did):

“Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.'” (John 6:68-69)

They would come to understand Jesus and His Gospel. At this time, however, they trusted Jesus, and that was enough for them.

In the next few weeks at Mountain View, we are going to look into some “hard sayings” of Jesus. Some are matters that need clarification, others require a commitment to accept and obey, while others may be teachings that have been hidden behind tradition and custom.

If there are “hard sayings” that trouble you, please feel free to contact me here. I might even include them in my next sermon (don’t worry, though, I won’t mention your name)!

We meet for worship and preaching every Sunday at 11 AM, at 118 Limeridge Road East, Hamilton, Ontario.

 

Lord’s Day Fourteen: the Incarnation of Christ

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Question 35
What is the meaning of these words “He was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary”?
That God’s eternal Son, who is, and continues true and eternal God, took upon him the very nature of man, of the flesh and blood of the virgin Mary, by the operation of the Holy Ghost; that he might also be the true seed of David, like unto his brethren in all things, sin excepted.

Romans 1:4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,

Romans 9:5 To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.

1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

Romans 1:3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh

Colossians 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.

Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,

Luke 1:31-32 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,

Luke 1:42-43 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 1:20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

Luke 1:35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.

Psalm 132:11 The Lord swore to David a sure oath from which he will not turn back: “One of the sons of your body I will set on your throne.

Romans 1:3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh

2 Samuel 7:12 When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.

Acts 2:30 Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne,

Philippians 2:7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

Hebrews 2:14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,

Hebrews 2:17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Question 36
What profit dost thou receive by Christ’s holy conception and nativity?
That he is our Mediator; and with His innocence and perfect holiness, covers in the sight of God, my sins, wherein I was conceived and brought forth.

Hebrews 7:26 For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. 27 He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself.

Hebrews 2:17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

1 Peter 1:18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.

1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,

1 Corinthians 1:30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

Romans 8:3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Isaiah 53:11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.

Psalm 32:1 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

 

This Sunday at Mountain View

We’ve been away, due to Shari’s mother’s stroke and passing. I appreciate Jerry and Josh taking care of things during my absence.

Tomorrow, October 25th, I will conclude my short series on Nahum, with chapter 3. These are harsh words, but both believers and unbelievers need to hear them:

 

Woe to the bloody city,

all full of lies and plunder—

no end to the prey!

The crack of the whip, and rumble of the wheel,

galloping horse and bounding chariot!

Horsemen charging,

flashing sword and glittering spear,

hosts of slain,

heaps of corpses,

dead bodies without end—

they stumble over the bodies!

And all for the countless whorings of the prostitute,

graceful and of deadly charms,

who betrays nations with her whorings,

and peoples with her charms.

Behold, I am against you,

declares the Lord of hosts,

and will lift up your skirts over your face;

and I will make nations look at your nakedness

and kingdoms at your shame.

I will throw filth at you

and treat you with contempt

and make you a spectacle.

And all who look at you will shrink from you and say,

“Wasted is Nineveh; who will grieve for her?”

Where shall I seek comforters for you?

Are you better than Thebes

that sat by the Nile,

with water around her,

her rampart a sea,

and water her wall?

Cush was her strength;

Egypt too, and that without limit;

Put and the Libyans were her helpers.

10  Yet she became an exile;

she went into captivity;

her infants were dashed in pieces

at the head of every street;

for her honored men lots were cast,

and all her great men were bound in chains.

11  You also will be drunken;

you will go into hiding;

you will seek a refuge from the enemy.

12  All your fortresses are like fig trees

with first-ripe figs—

if shaken they fall

into the mouth of the eater.

13  Behold, your troops

are women in your midst.

The gates of your land

are wide open to your enemies;

fire has devoured your bars.

14  Draw water for the siege;

strengthen your forts;

go into the clay;

tread the mortar;

take hold of the brick mold!

15  There will the fire devour you;

the sword will cut you off.

It will devour you like the locust.

Multiply yourselves like the locust;

multiply like the grasshopper!

16  You increased your merchants

more than the stars of the heavens.

The locust spreads its wings and flies away.

17  Your princes are like grasshoppers,

your scribes like clouds of locusts

settling on the fences

in a day of cold—

when the sun rises, they fly away;

no one knows where they are.

18  Your shepherds are asleep,

O king of Assyria;

your nobles slumber.

Your people are scattered on the mountains

with none to gather them.

19  There is no easing your hurt;

your wound is grievous.

All who hear the news about you

clap their hands over you.

For upon whom has not come

your unceasing evil?