December 20th, 2020 – Advent 4
WORSHIP & Bible Study
Worship is at 10AM, Lord’s Supper for those present.
This week’s service Bulletin/Worship Link Here
Zoom Info: Meeting ID: 645 848 5288 Passcode: miracles
Bible Study after service or 11:15ish. I’ll keep the zoom line on.
Devotion & Prayer Thought
It is a fancy word – covenant – that isn’t used much anymore. We tend to use contract. Contracts are more easily broken. They are just contained within the four corners of the page. A covenant, at least the old ones, were signed in blood. An English covenant may not have been signed with blood, but it came with a seal. The honor of the house signet stood behind it.
In the Old Testament there are technically four covenants. There is the covenant with Abraham where God promises him a land and descendants as numerous as the stars. There is the covenant of Sinai where God tells Israel keep these commandments and you will live. Which of course Israel broke almost immediately making a Golden Calf. There is a covenant with Noah. That one reflects a bit of both. God promises he won’t flood mankind again. The seasons will continue in their course until the end. But God also grants mankind meat in exchange for ethical slaughter of the animals. And the fourth covenant is the one with David. “Your throne shall be established forever.” The distinction that runs through all of them is if the covenant is one sided, God promises to do something, or if it is reciprocal, God will do something if Israel does something. Abraham, David and the first part of Noah are pure promise of God. Moses and the second part of Noah are conditional.
And why this is important is because when God creates a covenant, he keeps it. The world has never again been flooded wiping out everything. The seasons have continued beyond our human historical record. God brought Israel, the descendants of Abraham, out of Egypt and gave them a land. This was a miraculous fulfillment, although we would not hold it to be the final fulfillment. As Hebrews says, “they saw the fulfilment from a distance. They desired a city whose builder was God. They desired a better country, a heavenly one. So God prepared for them a city.” And long after the Davidic dynasty was a historical curiosity, God put an heir of David on the eternal throne – the one at the right hand of the Father. “Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me.” And He sealed these covenants with His blood.
We are heirs of these covenants. We have the advantage of having seen more of them fulfilled in Jesus. The “mysteries that were kept secret for long ages have been revealed to all nations.” But we are also like Abraham, longing for their final great fulfillment. The mysteries have been revealed “to bring about the obedience of faith.” God has given us his promise. Unlike in the past where the questions might have been what kind of God is this and who his covenants are for, today those are answered in Christ. He is love; they are for you and for your children. The only question is do we receive them? Do we say “Let it be to me, according to your word?”
UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF: Dec 21st – Dec 27th
Mon. – Fri. ……….….… NO Preschool
Wed…………………….. NO Confirmation (2 Week School Vacation)
Thursday: ………………. NO Bible Study
6:50pm Special Christmas Eve Prelude
7:00pm Christmas Eve Service
Friday: ………………… 9:00am Christmas Morning Service
Sunday: …………………. 10:00am Worship
11:00am Bible Study
- Thurs 10am: Off for two weeks.
- Confirmation: Off for two weeks for school vacation. Pick up with confession after.
- Life Application Fellowship (LAF): Resuming January 13th (studying patience). See you on the Zoom line.
- Sunday Morning: Study will be at 11:15ish, after worship, in the sanctuary and on the zoom line.
- Catechism Moment: Watch your inbox. The Sacrament of the Altar – part 3.
RHAFT delivery update: We delivered 67 bags to RHAFT over the past six weeks! Thank you, members of St. Mark, for your generosity and willingness to help those less fortunate.