We look at a Psalm of Ascents to consider what it means to gather for corporate worship. How do we relate the practices of ancient Israel to the modern church? We will see that the centrality of gathering together marks us as pilgrims on the road to the New Jerusalem.
Many people experience anxiety around a sense of self and purpose. It’s often said that a Christian should find one’s identity “in Christ”. But, what does that really mean? We are also aware that we should take our concerns to God in prayer. But, how do we experience God’s direction for our lives if he doesn’t speak audibly? How do I separate God’s leading from my own desires? We might just find these answers somewhere between the garden of Gethsemane and Wreck-It Ralph.
In the closing text of Genesis we see two very similar deaths both looking forward to fulfillments of God's promises to future generations. These narratives close the section of the patriarch's and leave Israel in Egypt - setting up the Exodus, Sinai and the Promised Land. While Genesis leaves us "in flight" within God's larger redemption of Israel it shows us the type of faith "not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar". Every generation of Christians, until Christ returns, will live and die in this same expectation of promise - which we can learn from these faithful men and trust based on the record of God's mighty deeds.
The sons of Israel are born out of the conflict of two sisters which will continue with this family all the way to Egypt. However in the most puzzling moment of this text we can already see the great promise of God, that those who are grieving will be rewarded.
The covenant sign contributes as God confirms the promised son will come from Sarai. Laughter will follow Isaac, beginning with his very name, but Abraham trust against all doubt that God's promises are sure. God initiated as a promise and established as a covenant;now Abraham has responded obediently to mark his subservient relationship.
In Genesis 5 we see God’s great patience while sin increases on the earth. And continuing on into Genesis 6 we examine a difficult text and learn from Noah who found favor in the eyes of the Lord in the midst of an unfathomably corrupt and violent generation.
This week we continue to examine sin and the anatomy of sin in Genesis chapter 3. We will learn how a right understanding of the fall and sin is a prerequisite of everything that follows in scripture.
Sermon Summary: When we elevate a ritual over it's intent we lose God's purpose for it in our lives. Jesus continues to indict the lack of care the religious leadership shows for their people and instead points us towards three great works: necessity, piety, and mercy. How can our burdens be relieved until we know the Lord of the Sabbath and his will for our work and rest?