We begin a new sermon series through Paul's letter to a much beloved congregation in Ephesus. It is a power-packed theological discourse on God's Big Picture for the universe. But he opens up the whole letter by focusing on the word "Blessed." What could this mean for our study?
Every song that we've looked at that was sung by the first recipients of the news of Jesus' Advent has had hope as its central theme. But that hope is tempered by a bracing realization that the journey for those who choose to follow this baby can be hard and full of longing. Simeon's Nunc Dimmitis is the topic this morning
The angels sing because they are seeing the culmination of an eternity of longing and looking into what is being announced on the plains. The Shepherds transformation into singing and praising people show us what they were singing about. Mary's reaction should be ours as well.
When Mary has the news that the angel gave her confirmed by her relative Elizabeth, something "clicks" inside her and she bursts into song. But it's not a song of Christmas sentimentality that she sings. Instead, she talks about revolution and the overthrow of tyranny.
Revelation 14 finds the people of God standing around the Lamb, embattled by fighting the Dragon and the Great Beasts from the land and the sea. What are they doing? They are singing. Turns out there's curious power in our singing, so much that central to the mission of God's people will be found as we sing.
Finally, Moses stands before the completed Tabernacle. The people view the awesome cloud and fire above. The anticipation could not be greater. But the problem is: Moses is hindered from coming in! What does this say to us who long for the home that only God's presence can afford?
Exodus 32:1-14, 30-35; 33:1-6, 15-17 After all of the minutia of the plans for the Tabernacle, it's almost inconceivable that the Hebrews would betray YHWH this way. God's reaction is so strong in response, it deserves a careful look at what went wrong with the Golden Calf Incident.
The people of God, up until this time, haven't really been told to *do* anything. But now, at their arrival at Mt. Sinai, they are given LOTS of things to do. How do we account for the endless tedium included in these passages about the architectural blueprints of the Tabernacle?