This last Sunday, we unpacked the Biblical theme of “joy.” And we began by asking a simple — but very important — question. Namely, “What is joy?”
While it may seem obvious, unless we really understand what joy is, we will search for the wrong thing. So we then spent some time thinking through what our misconceptions about joy may be, and getting some clarity on what God had to say about it (hint: see Luke 2:10, and context). To view the sermon from Sunday, 17 December, click here.
As we shared with you in last week’s post on “peace,” we want you to continue learning about the bible’s teaching on “joy.” Therefore, we have teamed up with the Bible Project for our Advent series this year. In fact, it was this wonderful team of people who love Jesus who gave us the idea for this series in the first place! So, please take a look at the four-and-a-half minute video on Joy below. I think you will find your comprehension broadened as you go on an animated tour through the whole Bible.
Finally, download the study notes (see the link right above the video) to use as a guide with your family, some friends, or your community group. It will guide your continued exploration to discover what biblical joy is all about.
For our joy,
Samuel Johnson was born on September 18, 1709, and was an English writer who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer.
How Can We Pursue A Long Repentance In The Same Direction?
This last Sunday, in Calvary’s morning gathering, we studied the book of Haggai together as part of God’s Whole Story. Together we heard God speak through his prophet to his people after the exile, challenging them to remain faithful and to rebuild the temple.
The book of Haggai is the second shortest book in the Old Testament. It has 4 oracles (think: sermons), 2 chapters, and about 1,100 words.
In the book of Jeremiah we read of God’s intention for Daniel and all of those with him who have been exiled from the land of promise.
We are in a sermon series called The Whole Story, so named because we started off with the assumption, and belief really, that the whole Bible is a unified story that leads to Jesus. Each and every book is a bit like a chapter that contributes to the overall story that God is telling.
We Are Calvary
To say that we live in times of rapid change may be the very height of understatement. Our culture, and its norms, is changing at an unprecedented rate, making it increasingly challenging for the church to remain relevant—and faithful—in proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God, in a way that will bring about the expansion of that kingdom.
This past Sunday we (finally) made it out of the weighty, dark, somber, and serious writings of the Prophets of the Exile, and stepped into the Return from Exile of the people of God. Our first look into this aspect of the redemptive drama comes via three courageous servants of Yahweh—Zerrubabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah. There story is found in the book of Ezra-Nehemiah (although our English Bibles separate them, through the centuries the Jewish people have always treated them as one book; so we will too.)
Especially When You Don't Feel Like It
Sunday is just about my favorite day of the week (“just about”…because my day off each week, our family’s Sabbath Saturday, is a tie or really close second). I love getting up that morning, making my smoothie, sitting in my favorite chair in our fireplace room, and pulling my Bible onto my lap. I relish the time spent listening to my Father speak, and I delight in those moments spent talking with him about the morning’s ministry, the people in our gathering that I hope he will transform, as well as the eleven other pastors (and their congregations) on whom I pray his blessing every Sunday.