This last week we explored how Leviticus comes crashing into our current cultural context declaring our sin and resultant need, as well as the only pathway to true validation and acceptance in the face of such a possible crisis of identity. In addition to our weekly sentence summary of the book of the Bible from the folks over at the Bible Project, we were treated to this deeply encouraging truth seen in the book of Leviticus, and fulfilled in the Good News of Jesus:
We are far more sinful and flawed in ourselves
than we ever dared believe;
yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted
in Christ Jesus
than we ever dared hope.
It is the backdrop of Leviticus — with its thousands of priests and millions of sacrifices — that causes the beauty of the work of Jesus — the one priest, and the once for all sacrifice — to shine all the more brilliantly.
If you would like to continue exploring this section of The Whole Story found in Leviticus, the resources below are a great place to start:
- Review last week’s sermon on Leviticus.
- Download the Leviticus study guide here (scroll down the page a bit to ‘Related Resources’) to study on your own, or even better, as a family or in your community group.
- Click here to find a whole page of videos, milestones, study resources, and recommendations for further reading and study on Leviticus.
Every once in awhile, I will recommend a book that I find accessible and helpful for further study on The Whole Story. This week, that resource is Introducing the Old Testament: a short guide to its history and message, by Old Testament scholar, Tremper Longman III.
This is the first volume I pick up each week as I begin my preparation for the sermon. It is less than 200 pages, but what it may lack in overall length it makes up for with concise, insightful commentary on every book of the Old Testament, in just a few pages per book. For each book, Longman provides analysis on content, genre, and most helpfully, ‘Connections’ (how the book anticipates the Good News). He also ends each chapter with questions for review and discussion. And Longman doesn’t sacrifice scholarship while making this an accessible and enjoyable read — a tough balance to deliver on!
I highly commend it to you. It is available on Amazon, as well as at the Whole Story resource table in the lobby (beginning on Sunday, February 11th).
As always, please feel free to email me with questions or ideas for The Whole Story. I look forward to seeing you on Sunday, when we will begin the next chapter of the drama by studying Numbers. Be sure to read it before you come!
Filled with joy because of the welcome and acceptance found in Jesus,
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.