Sun, Nov 20, 2016
With so very much anger, bitterness, and even violence still swirling around from the recent election, we will look at a far more peaceful transfer of power. Saul is chosen by lot to be the king the people had asked for. Peaceful, but not without some ominous notes. Samuel reminds the people they are rejecting God as their king with no effect at all. The newly chosen king is found hiding away with some luggage. Then there are those who leave the celebration already doubting and rejecting him. We will, Lord willing, look at all of that and perhaps find a deeper meaning to it all.
Sun, Nov 13, 2016
Duration: 31 mins 26 secs
Sun, Nov 06, 2016
Duration: 20 mins 45 secs
We will pray, but not talk a lot of politics even though in his good providence we come this week to the chapter where Israel wants a king “like all the other nations”. They see their political idea as reasonably, God sees it as rebellious. Something there to be learned about human government and the King of Kings. This is also our week to gather at the table of the King with the sacrament of communion.
Sun, Oct 30, 2016
Duration: 20 mins 47 secs
So, the holiday weekend is upon us! There are in fact two. The big one most everyone is celebrating. The other one far fewer know or care about. Ya know, the one I am excited about. The one not requiring costumes (yes!) and not giving candy (wait, what?) It is the 499th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation. So, we are going to step out of 1 Samuel for a week and think again about being a Reformed church, what that means and why it matters.
Sun, Oct 23, 2016
Duration: 21 mins 15 secs
There are two major and related returns in chapter 7 of 1 Samuel. The first is the return of Samuel to the story after a three chapter absence. The second is the return of Israel to true faith and renewed covenant commitment. I said related because it is clear the preaching of Samuel led the people back to the Lord. Hoping we will all benefit from this vivid picture of true faith and repentance as well as the amazing mercy of God.
Sun, Oct 16, 2016
Duration: 34 mins 17 secs
So the Old Testament reading could pretty well fill our time this week. Need to take in the next three chapters. They form one story and it does not, in my opinion, really make sense, let alone make its point, without seeing the whole story. And a powerful and important point it is! I know some of you read ahead anyway, might be a very good week for others to try that so I can think about summarizing rather than reading the whole thing. A good read though either way. Fascinating that the main character is the Ark of the Covenant. Or is it?
Sun, Oct 09, 2016
Duration: 25 mins 36 secs
Chapter 3 brings us to the call of Samuel. Actually several as God calls and Samuel thinks it is Eli. We learn something of the patience of God, the judgment of God, but also the amazing love and grace he shows his people. The chapter starts with the very dark note of the Word of God being rare and ends with a prophet bringing truth. Perhaps a message for our time also?
Sun, Oct 02, 2016
Duration: 24 mins 39 secs
Difficult not to marvel at God’s good providence as this morning we were preparing the service to remember a dear brother and saint passed into glory and got word of a new covenant child born into our church family. We mourned even while celebrating God’s abundant goodness.
When we get together again in a few days we will see the terrible corruption of the house of Eli and how it does not disrupt the good plans of God. In fact, the wickedness ultimately points us to true righteousness, the very direction we need to look, toward Jesus, as we live our lives and especially as we come to the Lord’s Table together.
Sun, Sep 25, 2016
So we got started in 1 Samuel and my intention had been to cover the complete Hanna story but you know how that goes. So we will revisit Hanna and think a bit more about her prayer, God’s response, and her song of praise. Too good to hurry past!
Sun, Sep 18, 2016
Duration: 37 mins 32 secs
Getting back to work, we are going to spend some time in 1 Samuel. After the times of the Judges Israel is still a mess. The book begins with the mess in one particular family and one particular distressed woman. Then we get to see the Lord moving – in this woman’s life and in the life of Israel. In fact, bringing life where there was none. Sorrow to joy, mourning to dancing!