Showing posts from May, 2017

Worship Helps for Easter 7

Good Friday is easy to understand – Jesus died on the cross to pay for the sins of the world. Easter is pretty easy, too – Jesus rose from the dead to give the assurance of eternal life to all who believe in Him. But what about the event forty days after Easter? What’s so special about Jesus’ ascension? Our culture certainly has no clue about the Ascension. There are no Ascension Day parades; no Ascension Day parties; no Ascension Day sales at the mall. No one is giving the excuse to the pastor, “Sorry, I can’t make it to church Thursday night. We are going to Grandma’s to open Ascension Day presents.” Though our society may not understand the importance of the Ascension Day, we Christians continue to celebrate this minor festival of the Christian Church year. “The Ascension” by Benjamin West portrays the glory and magnitude of what Jesus’ ascension into heaven means for Christians. The disciples are gathered on the mountaintop looking up in bewilderment and amazement. Two angels are ann…

Worship Helps for Easter 6

Moses, by divine inspiration reports the first murder this way, “While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him” (Genesis 4:8). Many of the classical paintings portray Cain rising up with a club to kill his younger brother. Some of the paintings even portray God confronting Cain immediately after the murder. “The First Mourning” by French artist, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, is different. It is a unique subject matter that depicts the moment after Adam and Eve found the body of their son, Abel. Bouguereau painted this work in 1888 shortly after the death of his wife and infant son in 1887. This is a striking painting because the way it deals with death. Adam and Eve, are distraught. Sin not only cost them their home, their comfort, and their own lives. Now it cost them their son. Adam and Eve are holding their dead son. Few things on earth can compare to the sorrow parents feel at the death of a child. God’s curse upon sin is felt most severely when a parent …

The Lord is picking a fight

1 Kings 18:16-45 16So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him. Then Ahab came to meet Elijah. 17When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is that you, the one who brings disaster on Israel?” 18He said, “It is not I who have brought disaster on Israel, but rather you and your father’s house when you abandoned the Lord’s commandments and followed the Baals. 19But now gather all Israel before me on Mt. Carmel, along with the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah who eat at Jezebel’s table.” 20So Ahab sent word to all the children of Israel and he assembled the prophets on Mt. Carmel. 21Then Elijah spoke to all the people: “How long will you limp around on two crutches? If the Lord is God, follow him. If Baal is God, follow him.” But the people did not answer him a single word. 22Then Elijah said to the people, “I am the only one left of the Lord’s prophets, but the prophets of Baal total 450 men. 23Let two bulls be given to us. Let them choose one bull for themselves and cut …

Worship Helps for Easter 5

Title: I Am The Way Artist: Lizbeth Gage
Worship Theme: I am the way, the truth, and the life.  Christ’s message is so exclusive that it rejects all others. There is only one way to the Father, and that way is a person.  He does not say, ‘I show you the way,’ like a second Moses, but I am the way.  Nor ‘I have the truth,’ like another Elijah, but I am the truth. Not only ‘I lead unto life,’ as one of his apostles, but I am the life. The exclusivity of salvation resting in the person of Jesus Christ is a rock against which the unbelieving world crushes itself, but upon which God builds his Church.
Old Testament:1 Kings 18:16-45 So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him, and Ahab went to meet Elijah. 17 When he saw Elijah, he said to him, "Is that you, you troubler of Israel?" 18 "I have not made trouble for Israel," Elijah replied. "But you and your father's family have. You have abandoned the LORD's commands and have followed the Baals. 19 Now summon the p…