I saw the inside of a lot of churches when I was kid, Dad was posted to a new Army Base every few years, so there was that. Plus we visited church going relatives during holidays AND it used to be the polite thing to do to accept any invitation to a “special service” at the church of a random co-worker or neighbour. It all added up!
Mostly I remember the mind-numbing boredom, “How many verses can one song have anyway?” I remember something else too though. I remember a hushed sense of awe, a quiet reverence, stained glass windows with the morning sun shining brightly through, huge oak beams and polished wooden pews that smelled of lemon pledge. There was something special about it all, though I could never put my finger on just what.
In all of those church visits I never once heard a clear proclamation of the gospel so when I finally did become a believer I rejected everything that smacked of those empty childhood religious experiences. I’ve since learned that was a mistake.
To profane something is to treat what is holy as though it were common.
That is what Malachi is going after this week… me too!
This Sunday morning we will gather to say farewell to the year 2017. For some of us the year will have been marked by wonderful achievements, celebrated milestones, and great joy; others will be staggering to the finish line — thrilled to see it finally ending.
It has been a tumultuous year in the world around us. Many rich and influential men saw their lives crumble in the face scandal as abuses of power and position were exposed and condemned. Accusations of criminal corruption continue to circulate at the highest levels of government, and horrific attacks of terror spread panic in the streets from Las Vegas to London and beyond.
In Luke 12 Jesus has much to say about fear.
Please join me as we end the year focused on the only words which really matter in times like these.
In the first of our two services this Christmas Eve (10:30 AM) I am planning to look at what Jesus has to say regarding traditions in Mark 7.
The holiday season for many of us in the western world is steeped in an almost mystical kind of nostalgic feeling that is propped up in large part by family, social, and even Christian traditions. Is this a good, bad, or irrelevant thing?
Advent candles, wise men at the manger, decorated trees, and Santa Claus; all will be tested in light of Jesus’s teaching on the place of scripture and tradition.
Our second service (5:00 PM) will feature Christmas Carols, Communion and a sincere call to come home for those who have wondered far from faith.
I hope to see each and every one of you this Sunday as we celebrate the joy of advent.
Please join us at DCC this Sunday morning for what is sure to be a wonderful time in fellowship and in the Word of God.
The morning gets under way at 9:45 with pre-service prayer and then coffee time.
The service will begin at 10:30 with our usual time of worship and fellowship, followed by Pastor Dan Van De Laar with the continuing sermon series which he has entitled; A Study Through the Epistle of Hebrews.
Over the last 10 years or so this coming Sunday morning has become a favourite for many of us at DCC; I am speaking of course of our annual Children’s Christmas Pageant and Pot-Luck Breakfast.
The day will begin with pre-service prayer at 9:30 followed by breakfast, coffee, eggnog, and fellowship until the service gets underway.
While we are sharing breakfast the children will be practicing for the concert, which we will enjoy along with a time of worship and Christmas carols, and the morning will conclude with a message from the Word of God brought by Pastor Joel.
As we study our way through Malachi, we encounter some passages that are not directly applicable to New Testament believers. Obviously we are no longer concerned with correct procedure where sacrificial offerings are concerned because Christ “entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of His own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.” (Hebrews 9:12)
There are still, however, many issues presented that do speak directly to us, a few of which we will spend time examining:
Priestly responsibilities, which are also required of faithful pastors and teachers,
God’s expectation that correct belief be followed by correct practice, and
Healthy (as opposed to unhealthy) fear of the LORD.
I hope you will join me November 19 and 26 for a pair of messages I have entitled “YUCK”.
(Read Malachi 2:1-9 if you are curious about the title.)