Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Miserable Ones (Les Miserables)

What a great Sunday! We got creative, covered Father's Day, AND grappled with Romans 5! I love our church so much. If you weren't able to come, you missed (as John called it) "movie day." I broke all the rules I learned in preaching class. I started by simply reading the passage (with a few clarifying comments):
Romans 5:6-11 ESV
6For while we were still weak (some trans: “powerless, without strength, helpless”), at the right time Christ died for the ungodly (the unworthy, undesirable, the miserable ones). 7For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8but God shows (or “God has demonstrated”) his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.

11More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
After some introductory remarks, I turned it over to John Barber who walked us through the old classic story and recent motion picture, Les Miserables. We saw how human art (vis. this story) reflects the ancient story of God's grace, and how this one encapsulates Romans 5.

I love our church.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Father's Day

I think I'm looking forward to Father's Day more than ever. Maybe it's because it's the last one before my kids start going to college. Maybe it's because it's the first one since learning my dad has terminal cancer. It could be because I'm really tired and I'm ready for a break (we usually go camping for a week after Father's Day)! While all those reasons certainly contribute, I actually think it's because I'm looking forward to church on Father's Day! I don't mean to shock, but this is unusual! Ask any pastor and if he's honest he'll tell you the secular holidays are some of the most difficult for which to prepare. In truth, most pastors dread preaching on those days--especially the ones that fall on a Sunday. Here are the choices: preach from the Bible and ignore what's on everyone's mind (in this case you'd better keep it short!), do the gratuitous special holiday thematic sermon (shmeh--they all seem to sound the same to me), or scrap everything conventional and do something totally creative and outside-the-box different.

I'm fired up about church on Father's Day this year because the sermon (hint: it's not really a sermon) is going to be all three!!

I'm telling you: this year is going to be one to remember. And it won't be the same if you try to catch it on MP3 later.

If you don't go to church, I invite you to Providence tomorrow (for times and directions, visit Bring your dad or a man you know. You (and he) will not be sorry!