Memorize & Ponder for Sunday Jan 11, 2015
A Profile of Pastor Paul – Part 2 | Proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah
Proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah
Acts 17:2-4 (NRSV)
And Paul went in, as was his custom,
And on three sabbath days
argued with them from the scriptures,
explaining and proving that it was necessary
for the Messiah to suffer and to rise from the dead,
and saying, “This is the Messiah Jesus,
whom I am proclaiming to you.”
Being the Church in Christ: Wisdom from Pastor Paul
(The Brentwood Sermon Series for 2015)
Throughout 2015, the Christian community at Brentwood Presbyterian Church will be considering how to be the church in Jesus Christ, guided by the wisdom of Pastor Paul. We invite you to listen for what the Spirit is saying in the text, then question how those insights might change the ways you see things and act in the world. Share your thoughts during the week on the meaning the Spirit creates for you in this text by posting a comment on our website – www.brentwoodpc.ca.
A Provocative Pondering
Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us provoke one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together … (Hebrews 10:23-25a)
We sing these words from Phillips Brooks’ wonderful carol, ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem,’ every Christmas season:
The hopes and fears of all the years
are met in thee tonight.
These days the fears appear to dominate, if we pay any attention to the events going on around us and the feelings flowing through us. Wars and rumours of war, homelessness, poverty, disasters, senseless killings, famine, economic stress and collapse, disease and death, … How can anyone find hope in the midst of all of that?
Paul’s world was not all that different. People didn’t know the scope of what was happening throughout the world to the same extent that we do. But all of those fear-generating things were happening close to and in their homes. Where could they find hope? Or did they just accept the domineering power of fate in the midst of their fear?
Paul’s message, discovered in a new way on the Damascus road and proclaimed wherever he had a chance to speak, was that there was hope and that hope was found in accepting and aligning with Jesus as the Messiah, the One in whom the Creator brought all of his intentions – hospitality, justice, and peace for all the earth – to fruition. This good news – ‘Gospel’ – brought a hope that casts out fear through God’s love. Our own fears can be put to rest when we find our hope in that same Jesus as Messiah, the One in whom God fulfills his loving intentions for all of creation.