NOTE: Due to out-of-town commitments, there will be no Navigator E-News the next two weeks. Next Navigator will be published on July 8th.
THIS SUNDAY, 6/13
- This Sunday, Sammy begins a summer series from the Psalms . Can’t wait!
- As I’ve mentioned before, my favorite chapter in the Bible is Luke 15. But, my favorite book is the Psalms, having spent a considerable part of my adult life in these visceral lyrics. One of my seminary professors said, “A psalm is, by definition, mankind’s response to God’s activity in their life.” That’s why the Psalms cover the gamut of human emotion. The Psalms are intended to be sung, sometimes referred to as ‘Israel’s hymnbook.’ The Psalms are poetry. In his Reflections on the Psalms, C.S. Lewis, said, “If we have any taste for poetry we shall enjoy the Psalms.” Join us as we mine the treasures of the Psalms.
- Maps & Lists: continue to prayerfully consider your evangelistic/missional maps and lists. Remember, before you talk to a person about Jesus, talk to Jesus about that person.
- VBS – We’ve got 3 more Wed. evenings! Keep praying. Keep serving.
- FYI – Larry Viaille’s 10:45 class will be combining with Tom Heath’s 10:45 class on 6/20 & 6/27 due to Tom being out. They will meet in the Youth Room.
We’ve planned and had to reschedule this twice. So, I’m hoping ‘third time’s a charm.’
The longer I serve along side you, the more grateful I become for your love for Christ, his Word, and his people.
**Please mark your calendar for Sunday evening, October 3rd; 6pm, in our FLC. Spouses are invited.
Our next workshop will be Sunday afternoon, August 15th; 4-5pm in Room 108.
- Last time we looked at the Art of Welcoming and the first Law of the Learner.
- This time, we’ll succinctly tackle the remaining Laws.
- Additionally, I’ll be handing out to you resources I believe will further equip you for this assignment God has given you: to teach his Word and shepherd his sheep.
- Lastly, I’ll provide details for our Fall emphasis as a church. See ‘On the Horizon’ below.
The question is not, “Was there strong Bible teaching?”, but rather, “Was there strong Bible learning?”
Teaching/Learning Tip of the Week: ‘Sabbath’
**Humor me as we get a little theology out of the way to provide context.
It’s an interesting hermeneutic. Within the 10 Commandments, the only commandment that has taken on expanded nuance under the New Covenant is No. 4: “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it (set it apart as) holy.“
According to the Old Testament Law, the Sabbath was Saturday, which is why the followers of Jesus asked if they could take Jesus’ dead body and quickly place it in a tomb before the Sabbath began. And, until Jesus rose on Sunday, Saturday was the day Jews assembled in the synagogues to “have church.” The Seventh Day Adventists still rigidly hold to Saturday being the Sabbath.
All the gospel writers record stories of the religious leaders being infuriated at Jesus’ approach to the Sabbath. “How dare he ‘do stuff (even miracles) and live life as normal’ on the Sabbath!? We’ve got rules!!” The religious leaders had made the Sabbath more like bondage, creating endless ‘addendums’, informing people what they could, and couldn’t do, on the Sabbath.
But, Jesus made it clear to the religious leaders that they had completely misinterpreted the 4th Commandment. And, they were furious that he would dare challenge them, even setting himself up as God, claiming to be ‘Lord of the Sabbath.’
This is precisely why Paul, from prison, reminded his readers,
Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.
So, is the Sabbath a ‘day’ of the week? Sunday, being the day of the week we gather to worship corporately notwithstanding (because Jesus was raised on a Sunday), no – it isn’t. Biblical sabbath is a lifestyle. Sure, we must set aside time to allow our bodies and minds to refuel and recharge; and set aside time to worship Christ, allowing him to renew our minds. But, biblical sabbath is more than that. Much more.
Years ago, I read Mark Buchanan’s ‘The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath.’ Buchanan observes,
“Most of us feel utterly ransacked. We are waylaid by endless demands and stifling routines. Even our vacations have a panicky, task-like edge to them. We’ve forgotten the ancient wisdom of Sabbath, rooted in God’s own rhythm of work and rest. Sabbath restores our bent and withered parts. The gift of Sabbath is essential to our full humanity and faith. Knowing that, God made it a command. We’ve neglected it anyhow. We’ve lost the rest of God.”
Sabbath does not necessarily insinuate inactivity. Personally, I typically walk around when I pray. During times of leisure (which may even include work), we can still experience Sabbath, taking moments to focus on Christ and meditate upon his Word. (For a wonderful testimony to this truth, read Practicing the Presence of God by the 17th century, French monk, Brother Lawrence. Presently, the Kindle edition is available on Amazon for less than $3.)
So, this week’s teaching/learning tip is to ask God to restore ‘Sabbath’ in your own life. The old adage is true: “What’s in the well comes up in the bucket.” Is your bucket empty? Is your reservoir bone-dry? Do you suffer from chronic exhaustion. Rediscover Sabbath in your life – the rest of God.
ON THE HORIZON
On September 12th (the first Sunday after Labor Day), there will be no Sunday School. Rather, we will all gather in the worship center at 9:15 to hear Jerry Joplin, and then at 10:45 to hear D.L. Lowrie. You will hear about the rationale behind this event in the coming days. I am confident you will be as excited as I am.
Pastoral staff searches never go as fast as we would like. But, you never want to rush God. That said, our Youth Pastor Search Team has been meeting and praying. Please continue to lift them to Christ. God has already chosen our next Youth Pastor. Pray the team (and BHBC) would be good listeners, sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading.
DID YOU KNOW?
Purely naturalistic scientists won’t admit this, but modern science was founded by deeply committed Christian scientists. (I happen to have just completed the chapter on this topic in Steven Meyer’s ‘The God Hypothesis’.)
I have read numerous scholars representing various scientific disciplines, as well as follow a few of them on Twitter. One person I follow is, former atheist, Sarah Salviander, Ph.D. in Astrophysics. She writes,
“Contrary to modern mythology, the rise of modern science was not inevitable. If it was merely part of the natural progression of civilization, we would’ve had it thousands of years ago. But it arose rather late in the game, in the 17th century, in Christian Europe.”
What does Dr. Salviander mean here? Meyer, mentioned above, notes,
“It was during the lives of philosophers and scientists such as Bacon, DeCartes, Kepler, Boyle, and Newton that the term ‘laws of nature’ began to emerge.” (Of course, Aquinas had affirmed this centuries before.)
Salviander makes the point that there have been intelligent people for millennia. Why was it not until just a few centuries ago that science gained traction and made such advances? Because, all of a sudden, scientists collectively realized there were ‘laws of nature,’ and, logically, this suggests a ‘law maker,’ which buoyed their curiosity. It was this common pursuit of investigating these laws that catapulted scientific discovery into the modern age.
“Belief that the universe was designed and created by a transcendent intelligence, that nature is thus orderly, lawful, and knowable, is not only not contradictory to science, it was necessary to give rise to science in the first place.”
For those of you who are interested, Dr. Salviander has provided one of her lectures titled, The Christian Foundation of Modern Science. You can read her lecture here. (Just advance the slides.)
IN THE NEWS: from the L.A. Times…
Boy, can you imagine the poor guy who has to follow Rick Warren as pastor? The Warren’s have been used of God is so many ways. And the story of how he ended up in southern California decades ago is powerful. Read the article here.
ANYONE NEED A STOOL?
I have an extra stool for anyone who might like one for their classroom. Just let me know!
QUOTE of the WEEK
“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise” (Prov 13:20). Who are you reading, listening to, or investing time with this week?” – Richard Ross
Since I’ll be out the next two weeks, how about one more?
There’s more gossip passed around under the guise of ‘prayer requests’ than anything I know. – Jimmy Draper
LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE
Oh man, this made me laugh out loud…
And, this one…
Oh why not? Here’s one more…
SOUL FOOD: The Imagination of God
Have you ever considered our imagination being a part of being created in God’s image? I hadn’t until just a few years ago. It was a paradigm shift. Read the blog here.
Soli Deo Gloria, Nick