The Song of Songs

No discussion of Jesus’ invitation to intimacy can be complete without wandering into  the Song of Songs.  Join us Sunday as we take a taste of this great poem of human love and intimacy, which is a foretaste, a prelude, pointing towards Jesus’ passionate love and his longing to know us, His bride.

What does this ancient middle-eastern, romantic (sometimes edgy) poem have to show us about intimacy with God?  About what does that look like?  About how does Jesus see us?  About how are we to see Him?  And what stands in our way?  How will we respond to His passion for us and his pursuit of us?

Song of Songs2:8-14

The voice of my beloved!
Behold, he comes,
leaping over the mountains,
bounding over the hills.
My beloved is like a gazelle
or a young stag.
Behold, there he stands
behind our wall,
gazing through the windows,
looking through the lattice.
10 My beloved speaks and says to me:
“Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
and come away,
11 for behold, the winter is past;
the rain is over and gone.
12 The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
is heard in our land.
13 The fig tree ripens its figs,
and the vines are in blossom;
they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
and come away.
14 O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,
in the crannies of the cliff,
let me see your face,
let me hear your voice,
for your voice is sweet,
and your face is lovely.

Upcoming Sermon: Seeing the Resurrection through Isaiah 53

The Apostle Paul claimed that he preached the cross, and only the cross. And yet later in that same book, 1 Corinthians, he claims that if Christ wasn’t raised, all his preaching was in vain, and that of all people, we are to be pitied most.

How does the resurrection teach the cross, and how does the cross teach us about the resurrection?

Join us this Sunday as Sam Williamson speaks to us of Isaiah 53 and the resurrection of our Lord.

Is. 53:1 Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

Sermon: On the Road to Emmaus

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the central theme of our faith, so we’re taking a few extra weeks past Easter to continue looking at it.  This Sunday we’ll discuss the intriguing Bible study Jesus held with the two disciples on the way to Emmaus.

What about these disciples is so common with us 2,000 years later?  Come Sunday and let’s discuss.

Invitations to Intimacy: Practicing His Presence

“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

In one of the most magnificent and comforting promises ever given, Jesus promised He would always be with us.  But it certainly doesn’t always feel that way.  How might we live our lives and experience our relationship with the Lord so we sense His Presence more consistently?  Come Sunday and let’s talk about it!

 

Seeking God and “Welcoming & Confronting Doubt”

No matter how strong and confident we are, we all succumb to doubts from time to time.  Abraham was no exception.  So what can we learn from Abraham about how to look at our doubts, and how to deal with them?

And just WHAT is going on in this strange chapter of Genesis, when Abraham expresses his doubt to God?  Come Sunday and let’s talk about it!

Read Genesis 15:1-21

Upcoming Sermon: Remembering, Engaging the Past to Connect with God

Over and over, God command us to “Remember!” How does “remembering” re-engage us with God?

“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (Deut. 6:6-9)

Come this Sunday and hear Sam share with us how remembering God’s past gives us hope for the future.

We are invited to join sister church Cross and Resurrection for a Seder meal

Cross and Resurrection has been sponsoring a Seder meal for the last several years. This year it will be led by Andrew Barron, a missionary for Jews for Jesus. And they’ve invited us to join them on Friday, April 7th at 6:00 pm at Cross and Resurrection church.

Click this image above for a copy of the brochure

Please do consider joining them. You can find contact information on the brochure: Seder Announcement.

One of the most significant Jewish holidays, Passover, or Pesach in Hebrew, recalls and rejoices over the Israelites’ redemption from slavery in Egypt. The symbolic elements of the feast cause us not only to look back and remember what the Lord did for our people in the past; they also foreshadow a greater redemption through Jesus, the Passover Lamb. Jewish people around the world have celebrated Passover for thousands of years; however, most do not understand the ultimate significance of the festival.

Invitations to Intimacy: Seeking Poverty, Finding God

Throughout the history of God’s people, there have been commonly practiced exercises to help us seek God. There is probably no more praised practice than that of fasting, though few today actually practice it.

What is the real purpose of fasting? How can it connect us with God. Why did Jesus himself fast and yet tell his disciples not to, at least not yet?

Come this Sunday as Sam talks to us about the fasting of Jesus and how it can draw us closer to God.

Matt. 3: 13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him …  16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and the Spirit of God descended like a dove and came to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

Matt. 4:​1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness being tempted by the devil. 2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God…’”

Luke 4: 13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country.

Invitations to Intimacy: An Invitation to Trust

It doesn’t matter who you are.  No one is exempt.  At one point or another, everyone encounters unexpected difficulties and tragedies in life, some of which bring great sadness and pain.  How do we place our trust in God at these times when circumstances seem the most grim?  The death of Lazarus was certainly one of those times.  Come Sunday and hear Brooks speak on God’s invitation to trust.

 

Invitations to Intimacy: Invitation to Friendship with God

In Genesis 18 we find Abraham’s remarkable negotiation with God over the fate of Sodom.  There are many insights we might draw from this text about intercession, angels, the priestly role, and so on… but what is God really up to?  Is He patiently waiting for Abraham to shut up?  Is He curious to see if Abraham will land on the right number?  Or is there something far more beautiful He’s after, and far more important for you and I today?  Come Sunday and find out!

Genesis 18:16-33

16 Then the men set out from there, and they looked down toward Sodom. And Abraham went with them to set them on their way. 17 The Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, 18 seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19 For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.” 20 Then the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, 21 I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, I will know.”
Abraham Intercedes for Sodom
22 So the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord. 23 Then Abraham drew near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” 26 And the Lord said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
27 Abraham answered and said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. 28 Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” 29 Again he spoke to him and said, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.” 30 Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose thirty are found there.” He answered, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.” 31 He said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.” 32 Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” 33 And the Lord went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.