Tag Archives: Minor Prophets series

Why our church prayer meeting tripled in attendance this week

22 Dec

We normally have 8-10 faithful pray-ers at the Faith Church prayer meeting each Wednesday evening.  This week we had 27.

On Sunday night, a lady in our church family, who lives just a few doors down the road from the church building, was walking to a Bible study Christmas party, and she was struck by a car as she crossed the road.  Her injuries are severe, and she has been in a persistent vegetative state ever since.  I had a first in my short tenure as pastor yesterday as I sat with her family and the neuro-trauma staff of our hospital to discuss the likelihood of removing her from life support.

Those who knew her remember that, though she had a very difficult life, she laughed loud, smiled broadly, and served God with all heart.  My last memory of her was a week ago, as she stood behind the food counter in our church kitchen helping serve a meal to kids who had come for a Children’s Ministry event.

She is part of the reason why we had to bring extra chairs into our prayer meeting room.  The tragedies in Portland and Connecticut filled our hearts with grief too.

Over the last few weeks it seems like the light and life of Christmas has been shaded by darkness and death.  At Faith Church we regularly start our prayer meetings with a psalm of praise.  This past week I used Psalm 23, which famously mentions the valley of the shadow of death.  The image is quite vivid: high walls of a ravine that shadow daylight and invite treachery from thieves.  It was a real-to-life scene that the author of the psalm, David, knew quite well.  You might not be in a ravine, but you feel David speaking to you.

And we’re supposed to be happy and celebrate the birth of Christ in a few days.  Celebrating can feel like such a burden when we’re in pain.  We have a sister church that holds a Blue Christmas service every year because many people can’t fathom singing “Joy to the World.”

Tomorrow at Faith Church we finish our series studying the Minor Prophets with the prophet Malachi.  The people in Malachi’s day felt like worshipping God was a burden too, mostly because they lost sight of what it meant to be in relationship with God.  I wonder if we are like them.  Perhaps you might read Malachi before joining us tomorrow.  Look especially for how God responds to the people.  Does God have emotion?  How does he feel?  It would be great to discuss this.

Prophecies That Were Actually Fulfilled

12 Dec

As we get closer to 12-21, the date the world will end based on a Mayan calendar (I know…they might have misinterpreted it…), we’re going to hear more and more about prophecies.  Last year it was Harold Camping’s rapture date, and then the other one too.  Or was that two years ago?  I really don’t want to take the time to do the research.  You get the point.  Prophecies come down the pike regularly, and they just as regularly go unfulfilled.  I’m having a hard time caring.

Are any of you jaded about prophecies?  I am.  Having grown up in an environment that prophesied a rapture behind every major world event, I’ll admit my skin was tingling a bit that day of Camping’s first prophecy.  But in the end I played REM’s song “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It, And I Feel Fine” over and over, and it did make me feel fine.  These so-called prophets regularly get it wrong.

What we need are some prophecies that actually come true!  Wouldn’t you like to see a prophecy that is fulfilled?  I know it is Christmas, but Christmas always points toward Easter.  So how about reading the prophet Zechariah to search for some prophecies that did come true, prophecies about Easter.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Are Zechariah’s words just a bunch of Nostradamus-like gobbledy-gook?  Or is there something more here?

And just for fun, since it is 12-12-12, another supposed day of significance, here’s a laugh from www.radiofreebabylon.com:

12-12-12 Coffee with Jesus

If God hated their worship, could he hate ours too? (Check out the podcast!)

16 Oct

So God hates worship services.  The quotes affirming this in my previous post are from the prophecy of Amos.  God isn’t mixing any words.  It was a rather wealthy era in Israel’s history, and they were living it up.  To be specific, this was during the years when Israel was split north (Israel) and south (Judah).  Amos’ prophecy is mostly for the north.  Why did God hate their worship?  What were they doing wrong?  I urge you to read the prophecy.

For me the key question as I studied this was, if God hated the worship of the Israelites in Amos’ day, might he also hate worship that happens at Faith Church?  If so, why?  What caused him to hate worship then, and is that happening again today?  What can we do about it?  Let’s discuss this!