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Pondering Sunday's sermon...


Previous Entry Pondering Sunday's sermon... Jun. 19th, 2007 @ 09:49 am Next Entry
I've been musing on this since church on Sunday.....it was, as I'm sure *everyone* knows, Father's Day, and Pastor tried to make the Gospel lesson "fit". I don't believe he was successful....

OK, the text was Luke 7:36-8:3. A quick synopsis for those who don't happen to have a Bible handy (heathens! :grin:) : Jesus went to a Pharisees' house for a meal. While there, a woman (a "sinner") knelt by him, and washed his feet with her tears, dried them with her hair, then anointed them with perfume (the text used said "ointment", but the original Hebrew is perfume - *expensive* perfume) The Pharisee thought that if Jesus were such a prophet, he'd know who was touching him, and Jesus cut him down to size with the parable of "A man gave 2 servants loans - 1 for 10x more than the other. When both couldn't pay, he forgave the debts. Who loved him more?" The answer - the one who owed more. (duh!) He then chastized the man for not offering basic desert hospitality, and told the woman she was forgiven. (This is a *very* brief paraphrase. :grin:)

SO........how, exactly, do you make this fit Father's Day? I mean....I read it to the Sunday school class earlier, and *I* interpreted it to mean that we should NOT judge others - after all, we are ALL sinners, and none is better than any other. (Right???? Right.) The Pharisee thought that he was *much* better than the woman, and yet...he didn't offer to wash his invited guest's feet, didn't offer him the kiss of peace - both of which were signs of hospitality and honor. We discussed exactly how *all* of us do this - when I got into the sanctuary (the parish hall was flooded. Seriously. I thought about doing Noah's Ark...) 3 kids ran up to me to tell me that T. had "stolen 3 lollipops!"

So, I worked that in. "Gee.....seems to me ya'll were doing just this earlier. Ya'll couldn't *wait* to tattle on T - 'he's SO bad! He stole lollipops! WE were good - but HE wasn't!'. Yes, the "stealing" was bad - but, so was the tattle-taling. What makes *you* (pointing to T's sister) better than him? What could you (pointing to an older kid) have done to HELP him Not be Naughty?" (Well...we could have moved the candy box, we could have been more forceful about not letting him get into them....) I said, "hey - we ALL do this. When people cut in front of me while driving, I tend to get upset - 'Can't you see I'M IN A RUSH, here? What gives you the right to cut in front of me?' - gee, I'm doing the same thing the Pharisee did, huh?"...which gave them a lot to think about.

Pastor tried to make it work, he really did. I mean, he somehow got to the point of "Well, dads always say "one thing follows another, and this is how the story occurred..." :scratches head: I just...don't get it. No matter how I turn it around, no matter which version of the Bible I read, I STILL can't make it relate to Father's day. Or fathers in general.

I guess I'm just getting sensitive to this - I've been keeping up with the Torah Class, and the teacher is really working on getting us to see how the OT Hebrews thought, and why we NEED to know this in order to fully understand the NT. He's right - Jesus WAS a Jew, he was raised to follow the law (which, of course, meant the Torah), he read the Scriptures (which, of course, was what we now call the OT)...I've learned SO MUCH, and I'm only up to Exodus Ch. 21.

Oh, and on that note - why does the christun church ignore the OT, claiming that it doesn't matter now that Jesus has come? That is SO WRONG on so many levels, it isn't even funny! Jesus himself said in Matthew 5:17-18: "Don't think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete. Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah - not until everything that must happen has happened."

Well, he did fulfill *some* of the prophecies...but not all of them. A lot of them relate to the end times - which haven't happened *yet* (but are close....we're pretty close). And heaven is still there, and we're still on earth.....so, not everything that must happen has happened yet. So.....for a church to ignore the OT is just....it's wrong. You can't fully understand the NT without a working knowledge of the OT. (In fact, a lot of the NT is direct quotes FROM the OT...but you can't see it in most Bibles. :sigh: I have a copy of the Complete Jewish Bible - the OT quotes are exact, with references. It's enlightening, to say the least!). This is one reason my children and I have given up pork and shellfish, and why we celebrate the Sabbath on Saturday. We are discussing the 7 Feasts (4 of which were fulfilled by Jesus....we still have 3 unfulfilled ones!), and how we were celebrate them. (This is also why we will no longer celebrate christmess or easter.....pagan festivals, both of them. We'll do Giftmas in December, and Passover in the Spring, when the Death and Resurrection actually occurred . Oh, and Jesus's birth? Probably sometime in September, since the sheep were still out in the fields. NOT December, when it would have been too cold. The cool thing? The Feast of Succoth happens then...which just HAPPENS to be called the Feast of Tabernacles..some translations of John say that the Word came and...Tabernacled...with us. :grin: Succoth is also 9 months from Hanukkah - the Festival of Lights. Jesus was the "Light of the World"...do the math! :giggle:)

No, we're not going full-out Jewish. Don't need to - when you accept Jesus as Messiah, you are "seed of Abraham and heirs according to the promise" (Gal. 3:29) What is the "seed of Abraham"? The Hebrew people! (aka, Jews!) We're not *physically* Jews, but by our belief and trust in Jesus, we are *spiritual* Jews, and looked upon as such by God. So...yes, we need to keep our side of the covenants - celebrating the Feasts, keeping the Sabbath; in doing so we please God. Besides, most of the "kosher laws" are man-made - NOT Biblical, so we do not have to follow them (unless we want to). I personally don't think that God minds if I turn on a light switch on the Sabbath......:grin:

Boy..I got off-track there, didn't I? :grin: Oh, well...I guess I needed to get my thoughts out of my head and in some semblance of order. Or...not-order, as the case may be. :grin:

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spin a yarn
Date:June 19th, 2007 03:34 pm (UTC)

RYC on Anna's site

We've had drought in North Alabama as well. No floods just drought. we are down 19 inches of rainfall for the year.
I've never seen a year like this. It's not usually dry until late July early August...who knows what it will be like then. We did get a good shower this morning...probably what moved this way from ya'll. But probably not even a 1/2 inch of rain. Nothing is growing and the state is seeking disaster benifits for farmers who have nothing to show for their efforts. A friend of mine when to the farmers market and there were 3 vendors........IN JUNE...3 vendors! Somethings up!
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Date:June 19th, 2007 04:05 pm (UTC)
It's long irritated me, too, that so many Christian denominations seem to ignore the Old Testament. I remember going to Vacation Bible Schools with friends at their Baptist churches and being handed a New Testament. No complete Bible; just the New Testament. I always thought it quite odd. I don't think the more liturgical denominations (like ours) ignore the OT, but we could certainly study it more.

One of the members of our church is a professor of Old Testament at SMU and an ordained Lutheran pastor. He often teaches Sunday School classes and gives sermons that have lots of his area of expertise thrown in. I always look forward to his talks. Of course, I also love to hear our senior pastor... he grew up Jewish, so maybe that's why he pays more attention to the OT.

As for the celebration of Christmas or Easter, the dates as far as I'm concerned are arbitrary, but the reason for the celebration is anything but. The Christmas and Easter stories (the Easter story in particular) are what's most important -- we could celebrate both in mid-July and as long as the Biblical stories are told, I wouldn't care in the least.
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Date:June 19th, 2007 05:12 pm (UTC)
Actually, the dates *do* matter - it's laid out in Leviticus as to when and why we should celebrate the 7 feasts.

*God* laid out the when and why - who are we to argue with it? :grin:
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Date:June 19th, 2007 05:28 pm (UTC)
Oh - another thing (silly me, trying to comment and eat at the same time) - the Feasts are but shadows of things to come. Jesus fulfilled Passover with his Death, Unleavened bread with the 3 days in the grave, and Firstfruits with his Resurrection (still think the dates don't matter? :wink: These 3 Feasts are one right after another.) 50 days later, he fulfilled Shavout (you may know it as Pentecost) when he sent the Holy Spirit.

I have a theory that John the Baptist (who some think is Elijah re-born) was born on Passover (since you are supposed to set a place for him)....and that the 2 witnesses mentioned in Revelation will appear on Passover, as well.

Rosh Hashonnah is the next Feast due to be Fulfilled - I honestly believe that *we* will see it in our lifetimes. Especially if July 1 goes the way I think (and Biblical Astronomy thinks) it will. (Venus (Israel) and Jupiter (Satan/AntiChrist) are due to enter Taurus (I think....my mind just slipped) on July 1...and the EU is voting as to whether or not Solana will take control ON JULY 1)

There's been a LOT of signs in the heavens over the past few years...add in the fact that this is the 40th year since Israel became a nation.......
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Date:June 19th, 2007 05:30 pm (UTC)
:sigh: Try again - *NOT* Jupiter, but *Saturn* - they will enter the sign of Leo (the King) - the last time this occured it was Venus and Jupiter (Christ)...and was around 2 or 3 BC. Gee, wonder what event happened *then*? :grin:
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Date:June 19th, 2007 08:48 pm (UTC)
Interesting, but which feast does Christ's birth fulfill?

I would argue that what you outlined with Passover, Unleavened bread and First Fruits is intriguing but not definitive. As for Pentecost, which literally means "50 days after," there are several episodes of Pentecosts throughout the Bible.

You're right that we celebrate Christmas in December because of the pagan celebration of Saturnalia. This time of year saw several major celebrations in the traditional religions of Europe, and the Roman Saturnalia was the biggest. Roman Christians used the opportunity to communicate their message and give people an alternative to the pagan celebrations. It wasn't meant to correspond to any calendar convergence in the Bible; it was just an early form of marketing! And it stuck.

In many ways, I can see this as a very Lutheran thing: We're stubborn! We've been celebrating Christ's birth at this date for who-knows-what reason... why change now?
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Date:June 20th, 2007 12:24 am (UTC)
I believe that His birth was on Succoth - but that wasn't the Fulfillment. The Fulfillment will occur when New Jerusalem comes down from Heaven and God lives among us again (Rev 21:10-14).

There's no *proof* that he was born on Succoth...but it fits the pattern - and God is a God of patterns. You can see this over and over and over again in Scripture, if you look. (And you don't have to twist things to make it "fit", either...)

As to the Passover/Unleavened Bread/Firstfruits...I give you Matt. 26:1-19, Luke 22:1-14, Mark 14:12-17. Remember, the Jewish day begins at sundown the night before. Passover occurs; the next day is the 1st day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (a 7 day festival, IIRC), the 2nd day of Unleavened Bread is the Feast of Firstfruits. Christ was cruicifed and died Right before sundown (which makes it Thursday as we figure it - Friday the way the Jews figure it), the nextywas a day of Preparation, as well as the actual "feast day" (which started the night before)..(Friday - still with me?) for the next day was a Sabbath (Saturday). So, they took him down (without breaking his legs - on the FIRST Passover, the Hebrews were ordered to sacrifice a lamb, and be sure NOT to break any of it's bones). He was in the tomb ON unleavened bread (which, because Leaven represents sin) and the Feast pictures the burial of Christ - but his body didn't rot, then he rose on Firstfruits, where the Best of the Best was to be offered as a SIN OFFERING to God. Thus, Christ fulfilled all 3 Feasts.

And, actually, the only TRUE Pentecost is in the NT - there are mentions of the Feast of Shavuot, which is ALWAYS celebrated 50 days after Firstfruits. The disciples were in Jerusalem to celebrate the Festival - and, well, you should know the rest. :wink:

As to the "Lutheran Thing" - I hear ya! When I first started actually studying the OT, I was shocked, and tried to justify our NOT doing the Feasts.....but I couldn't do it. Jesus himself celebrated ALL the feasts, as did the disciples AFTER his death. Paul tells us that we do NOT have to do what the world does - we just have to do what God tells us to do...and guess what? He TOLD us to celebrate the Feasts, and to keep his words (commonly translated as "commandments" - do you know what the 1st word is? It's NOT "I am the Lord your God...", it's "I am Jehovah your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the abode of slavery". The catholic church changed it in 400 AD when it was decided that to be Jewish was evil. Seriously.....)

Anyway, as to why change now? Simple - the Bible says (and I can't find the reference - arrrgh! That's what I get for having NOVA on in the background..) that those who keep HIS commandments will be His. NOT those that only "say the prayer" or "do good works" - we have to accept and trust Jesus, and keep the commandments God gave His people, and we will be saved. (I checked it in 3 or 4 different translations, too....I couldn't get out of it. :grin:) *IF* you accept Jesus as Messiah, and trust in God, then you become a spiritual Jew, "grafted into Abraham's seed", and, therefore, the Abrahamic and Moseaic covenants concern you, too. You don't have to worry about the added laws - only the ones laid out in the Bible.

Anyway - this is almost as long as my original post! :grin:
(spin a yarn)
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