When Traditions Parade as God’s Word – CRC Sunday Sermon


PALM SUNDAY
April 14, 2019
(links to recordings of hymns and the sermon are in blue font)

Pastoral Reading
Matthew 21:1-17 (Triumphal Entry)

Opening Hymn
All Glory Laud and Honor (Trinity Hymnal #235)

Prayer
Prayer Focus this Week: Kathy Robinson

Congregational Hymns
Praise the Savior, Now and Ever (Trinity Hymnal #243)

1 Praise the Savior now and ever;
praise him, all beneath the skies;
prostrate lying, suff’ring, dying
on the cross, a sacrifice.
Vict’ry gaining, life obtaining,
now in glory he doth rise.

2 Man’s work faileth, Christ’s availeth;
he is all our righteousness;
he, our Savior, has forever
set us free from dire distress.
Through his merit we inherit
light and peace and happiness.

3 Sin’s bonds severed, we’re delivered;
Christ has bruised the serpent’s head;
death no longer is the stronger;
hell itself is captive led.
Christ has risen from death’s prison;
o’er the tomb he light has shed.

4 For his favor, praise for ever
unto God the Father sing;
praise the Savior, praise him ever,
Son of God, our Lord and King.
Praise the Spirit; through Christ’s merit
he doth us salvation bring.

My Dear Redeemer and My Lord (Trinity Hymnal #238)

Offering Hymn
When I Survey (CRC #58)

Scripture Reading
Isaiah 1:1-20

Preaching the Word
When Traditions Parade as God’s Word (link to sermon audio)
YouTube link

Closing Hymn
God’s Sufficient Word

Victim or Advocate? – Experiencing Evil’s Attacks is a Pre-requisite to Helping Victims

Mat 10:16-22  “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.  (17)  Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues,  (18)  and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles.  (19)  When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour.

(20)  For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.  (21)  Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death,  (22)  and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

In this ministry at Unholy Charade and Light for Dark Times, we often come across people who identify themselves as “advocates for victims of abuse.” Now that is a very good thing – to be an advocate, to be one who speaks for victims. But with a fair degree of regularity we hear from such people and are left to wonder – do they really grasp this evil? Have they personally experienced it?  In people who have not been the targets of this wickedness, or who are still oblivious to what it really is, there remains a blindness. A lack of experiential, Spirit-given wisdom about it. And as a result, they really are not qualified to be an advocate for abuse victims. At some point they will fail those they claim they want to help. They will give false counsel and they will excuse the abuser.

A friend of mine wrote to me recently about this. She said:

I was having a conversation with a friend of mine and we were talking about a pastor who didn’t “get” domestic abuse because he hasn’t experienced the evil of an abusive person. My friend said ‘If he is a true pastor he has experienced evil and abusive people. It goes with the job.’

True pastors (and true Christians) will experience evil and abusive people. It goes with the territory. If a pastor can’t wrap his brain around the idea of evil and how evil operates, well then one must question whether he is a pastor at all.

Every true Christian is hated by the world. Darkness hates the light of Christ that is present in us. But only when we realize what these attacks are, what motivates them, what their source is, do we become wise as serpents in regard to the serpent’s methods and tactics. This is really another test of whether we truly know Christ or not. People who remain willfully blind to the existence and strategies of evil, who refuse to recognize it especially as it shows up in the church….well, such people must not have assurance that they know the Lord at all.

 

What Does Walking on Water Mean? – CRC Sunday Sermon

April 7, 2019
(links to recordings of hymns and the sermon are in blue font)

Responsive Reading
Psalm 47 (Trinity Hymnal #803)

Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.
How awesome is the Lord Most High,
the great King over all the earth!
He subdued nations under us, peoples under our feet.

He chose our inheritance for us,
the pride of Jacob, whom he loved.
God has ascended amid shouts of joy,

the Lord amid the sounding of trumpets.
Sing praises to God, sing praises;
sing praises to our King, sing praises.
For God is the King of all the earth;

sing to him a psalm of praise.
God reigns over the nations;
God is seated on his holy throne.
The nobles of the nations assemble as

the people of the God of Abraham,
for the kings of the earth belong to God;
he is greatly exalted.

Opening Hymn
Psalm 47 (Psalter #47A)

Continue reading “What Does Walking on Water Mean? – CRC Sunday Sermon”