July 4th, 2021 – 6th Sunday after Pentecost
WORSHIP & Bible Study
Worship is at 10AM, Bible Study after service or 11:15ish
This week’s service Bulletin/Worship Link Here
Zoom Meeting ID: 645 848 5288 Passcode: miracles
You have probably noticed that we have been concluding special pandemic worship accommodations. The last of these, our “Zooming” of worship services, will be discontinued as of July 11th. In the Spirit of Hebrews 10:25 we wish to encourage all to “not neglect to meet together but gather to encourage one another.”
Devotion & Prayer Thought
Tom Holland is an English writer something like the American Malcom Gladwell. They explore interesting concepts that can be told in interesting ways. Gladwell does it from scientific or social scientific things (10,000 hours) while Holland from a historical angle. Holland majored in writing books about the ancient word, like Rubicon about the Rome of Julius Caesar and Persian Fire about classical 5th century Greece and their conflict with Xerxes. His most recent work is called Dominion which advanced a thesis which is quite old, but also one that nobody in the academy would touch today. In his research and study of the ancient world he came to understand the values of Rome and Greece which are quite different than the professed modern values of the West. The ideal was perfection. There is a reason all those Greek statues look like “gods”. The goal was fame or having your name and family live on. The fundamental difference in the pagan world was between the weak and the strong. The strong took what they wanted, and they were entitled to it, to show weakness was contemptible. What we would call casual cruelty to fellow human beings was just deserts. Holland set out to explain how “The West” moved from brooding Achilles and tricky Odysseus as the exemplars to the idea of universal human rights. He couldn’t do it without Christ and I would add Paul. The Dominion he Chronicled is Christendom, the Kingdom. His thesis was that you don’t get the modern west without the meeting of Athens of Jerusalem. And really he goes further, everything we truly say we admire today in the moral realm is the gift of the cross.
I added Paul, because you don’t get a better passage of the conflict between Athens and Jerusalem than our Epistle lesson. The Corinthians, Greeks, heirs of Athens, are always “falling” for those boasting. Boasting of one’s greatness – the best orator, the smartest philosopher – is how one grows their fame. One would boast of how their words moved cities. An itinerant teacher would boast of everything his teaching might allow you to be. But when Paul starts “boasting”, he says “I will boast of the things that show my weakness.” He boasts of being run out of town. His boasts were not of his revelations, which were not minor, but of the thorn in his flesh. Paul boasted of his hardships, his persecutions, his sufferings for preaching the gospel. All of this would be anathema, weakness, to the Greek. Why was it not to Paul? Because in this he was following Christ. Whatever “Paul” accomplished, his weakness made plain that it was not Paul, but Christ through Paul. “For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
The Greek view of the fundamental difference being between the weak and the strong, if not natural law, is our fallen nature. We get this in our bones. But part of the witness of the cross is that even perfection will not get out alive. Our power is not perfected in acts of strength or cunning. “My power is made perfect in weakness.” We can’t earn it; everything comes to us by grace. The division is not between the strong and the weak, because we are all weak. The division is between those who will accept grace, for themselves and grant it to their neighbor as an equal, and those who would demand the law. The dominion of grace is the Kingdom of the Gospel. May the light of the gospel continue to enlighten our hearts toward our neighbors as fellow humans.
UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF: July 5th – July 11th
Mon-Fri………………… Rummage Sale Collection
Tuesday………………… 7:00pm Elders Meeting
Thursday: ……………… 10:00amBible Study
Saturday……………….. 9am-3pm Rummage Sale
Sunday: …………………. 10:00am Worship
11:00am Bible Study
- Thurs 10am: Galatians, come join us!
- Confirmation: Returns in September
- Life Application Fellowship (LAF): Returns in September
- Sunday Morning: Study will be at 11:15ish, after worship, Walking through the Gospel of Mark
- Catechism Moment: Lord’s Prayer. If you didn’t get it in your inbox, let me know please!