Feels like picnic weather outside, doesn’t it ? I hope you’ll join the church family for a really fun time this coming Sunday out in Black Forest. There will be lots of fun things to do and, most of all, a chance to spend time together !
Meat is being provided for the meal, but individuals and families in the church are asked to bring other parts of the meal. You can find all the information at this link : https://www.smore.com/app/pages/preview/7xdgx
Thanks to Lee, Keely, and Kay Pettijohn, and to the Sunday afternoon Sticky Group for organizing this good time !
Housekeeping Reminders from Last Week
Just these two housekeeping reminders, in a nutshell, from last week :
If you use the church building for Bible study, discipleship, music practice, or any other activity during the week or weekend, please be aware of where your children are and what they are doing. Make sure any rooms that have been used are cleaned up. We have recently had problems with rooms being used by children or young people and left in disarray. The nursery will be locked during the week, and use of the nursery must be scheduled through Allison Roth. Finally, children should not be on the stage, behind the stage, or in the audio-visual booth without the approval of the worship leaders.
If you have a church ministry-related announcement to communicate to the family, please communicate that to Rebecca Gaus no later than Thursday for inclusion in the bulletin the following Sunday. Rebecca can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The advantage of this is that people can take your information home with them and have a hard copy to refer to during the week of what’s going on at Emmanuel. Verbal announcements prior to worship on Sunday will be made from the bulletin at the discretion of the person giving the announcements. Please do not come on Sundays with a verbal announcement to submit prior to worship. Too many verbal announcements at the start of the worship service eventually distract us from the real purpose for which we are there. In addition, this is a courtesy to the person giving the announcements, for whom Sunday morning is also a time of worship, not church business. (Reminder : Your responsibility for your announcement is to get it into the bulletin by Thursday – email@example.com.) Make use of the bulletin board between the Conference Room and kitchen to post any personal, family, or community event announcements you would like. Sunday’s bulletin will be used only for church-sponsored activities and, if space permits, other ministry events led by or involving the family at Emmanuel.
If you have questions about communication or use of the church facility, please don’t hesitate to contact one of the following : Missions & Outreach – Scott Parker ; Worship – Tom Rea, Laura Maddox, or Laura Neale ; Youth & Family Ministry – Jeff Roth or John Gloe ; Spiritual Formation & Discipleship – Chris Neale ; Support Ministries – Mike Mahoney ; Fellowship & Sticky Groups – Jeremy Talley ; Facilities & Property – Alex Grieshaber.
Thank you !
Pastor Jeff and Allison Time Off
Pastor Jeff and Allison will be taking next week off (June 23-29). Please help them have a great and refreshing week by not telephoning, emailing, or texting them. I’m very excited about Jeff’s plans for youth and young family ministry for the fall. He is developing a great team for that. With VBS coming up next month, Jeff and Allison have their plates full ! Let’s keep them in our prayers !
You asked some great questions following our “Jesus in a Nutshell” sermon last Sunday. Thanks for submitting so many good questions, … including the question “How old is Jesus ?” which I mis-read on Sunday as “How old are you ?” No, Jesus is not 52 years old, and most of the time I wish I weren’t either ! Seems like it wasn’t too long ago that “52” was “25” !
Here are three questions you submitted which we didn’t have a chance to address during the worship service. I will attempt an answer here and hope you will bear with my limited ability to comprehend fully how God became a man !
If Jesus was “the angel of the Lord” in the Old Testament when appearing to Abraham, wrestling with Jacob, etc, was He just temporarily putting on flesh and then taking it off again ? He wasn’t actually God incarnate until His birth of a human mother, was He ?
I think the stories of “the angel of the Lord” are some of the most fascinating and in some ways reassuring — in the sense of God being very present with His people — in the Bible. In some of these Old Testament stories we see an individual in human form who is called “the LORD” (Gen 12:7 ; 17:1 ; 18:1 ; 32:30). At other times we read about a being who appears to be an angel but who, as the story progresses, is described in terms that indicate him to be deity. Those encountering this angel include Hagar (Gen 16), Jacob (Gen 31, 48), Moses (Ex 3), Gideon (Judges 6), Joshua (Joshua 5), and the Israelites in the wilderness (Ex 23).
That this angel is God is affirmed by the following :
The writer of Hagar’s story identifies the angel as “the LORD,” and Hagar calls him “the God who sees me” (Gen 16:13).
The angel who speaks to Jacob in a dream identifies himself as “the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and made a vow to me” (Gen 31:11-13).
In Moses’ case, the angel of the Lord who appears in the burning bush claims, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob” (Ex 3:6). The phrase “angel of the Lord” is used interchangeably with “the Lord” in that story.
In these stories and others this angel …
has the power to give life (Gen 16:10)
has the ability to see and know all (Gen 16:13 ; Ex 3:7)
has the power to perform miracles
commands worship (Ex 3:5 ; Joshua 5:14) … though angels are not to receive our worship (Rev 19:10 ; 22:8-9).
is identified by God’s name (Ex 23:20-23) … even though God says He will not give His name to another (Isa 42:8).
Thus, a being who possessed attributes of God appeared to people in Old Testament times in bodily form. Who is this “angel of the Lord,” or this “man” who claims to be – and shows himself to be – God ? It would seem that these were appearances of the Christ who, Scripture tells us, existed before His birth as a baby to Mary. A group of Bible scholars writing in Hard Sayings of the Bible make this summary statement : “It is clear … that the angel of the Lord in the Old Testament was a preincarnate form of our Lord Jesus Christ, who would later permanently take on flesh when he came as a babe in Bethlehem.”
Does Jesus possess a body (from the incarnation) for the rest of eternity ?
Interesting question. Here are some things to consider in regards to the incarnation of Jesus Christ :
Those who testified to the fact that Jesus had a human body and human nature :
Matthew and Luke (in the genealogies recorded in their gospel accounts)
John (John 1:1,14 ; 1 John 1:1)
Paul (1 Cor 15:3-4 ; Eph 2:13-15 ; Philippians 2:7-8 ; 1 Tim 3:16)
the author of Hebrews (Heb 2:14-17)
Peter (Acts 2:22-24 ; 1 Peter 1:18-21 ; 1 Peter 2:24)
Pontius Pilate (John 19:5)
the angel Gabriel (Luke 1:31-32)
The completeness of the Incarnation
Jesus experienced normal human development. (Luke 2:40,52)
Jesus was subject to his parents. (Luke 2:51)
Jesus experienced human emotions. (John 11:33-35 ; Luke 22:44).
Jesus experienced human limitations such as hunger, thirst, and fatigue.
The permanence of the Incarnation
Jesus still had a physical human body with the wounds of crucifixion after His resurrection. (Matt 28:9 ; Luke 24:39)
As a representative of the human race, Jesus is presently serving as our high priest and mediator : “There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim 2:5).
After His ascension to heaven, Jesus still identified Himself as “the root and the offspring of David.” (Revelation 22:16).
Jesus signified He will still be “the Son of Man” at His future Second Coming. (Matt 24:30 ; 26:64).
To me, the significance of this is to demonstrate that God intends for you and me, too, to live in our real – but glorified – human bodies after the resurrection. He will regenerate and restore us completely ! What an amazing thought !
Regarding the use of the Hebrew word “echad” in the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4) … if this word refers to a complex unity, what do Jewish scholars who don’t believe in the Trinity make of this ?
Tough question. Can’t say I’ve hung around many Jewish scholars. Here are a couple thoughts that come to mind and which I hope will help us probe this question further :
First of all, not all Jewish students of the Bible have rejected the deity of Christ. When Paul came to the synagogue of Berea in Macedonia (Greece), he was greeted by the Jews there. These didn’t uncritically accept him and his message, but neither did they immediately throw him out. Instead, they listened and searched the Scriptures : “They were more noble-minded … and received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). Ultimately, they believed Paul’s message fit the message and prophecies of Israel’s Scriptures and they placed their faith in Christ.
Despite hints of a Triune God given in the Old Testament, by the time of Jesus the hope of Messiah had become greatly politicized to the point where Jewish leaders were seeking a political deliverer rather than a God-Man who would die for sins. It’s possible that “lopsided” view of the Messiah has stuck among some Jews. It seems to have been a reason for rejecting Jesus.
In medieval times, some influential Jewish rabbis began to reinterpret Old Testament prophecies we understand to refer to the Messiah as speaking instead of the nation of Israel. This interpretation is maintained today by some Jewish scholars. Dismissing Jesus and His claims of deity makes it easier, I suppose, to dismiss the idea of a God who exists in Tri-unity.
Thanks for being a group of people that asks and answers great questions. So often there are many layers to a question. Space and time don’t permit me to do much more here, but I hope you will continue the questions and discussion among yourselves !
This Sunday we’ll take a look at Satan … in a nutshell.
See you at 10:15. Adult study of John, and final 101 class at 9:00.