Monthly Archives: January 2017

  • The Office of Deacon

    This morning we are blessed as we receive three deacons into the ministry of our church. “The office of deacon is set forth in the Scriptures as ordinary and perpetual in the Church” (Book of Church Order). In the NT the ministry of deacons is presented alongside that of the elder/overseers (in Greek two words are used interchangeably to refer to the office of elder (presbuteros and episkopos). For example, addressing the Philippians, Paul says, “Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus: To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers (episkopois) and deacons (1:1). Likewise, in 1 Tim. 3 the qualifications for the offices of the church are listed, first for the elders (1 Tim. 3:1-7) and then for the deacons and their wives (3:8-13)

    The word translated deacon in the NT is a very … Read More »

    Posted in: Pastor Brian's Blog
  • Sanctity of Human Life Sunday

    I’m not a huge fan of certain segments of Christendom attempting arbitrarily to add dates to the church calendar. Usually the attempts represent pet doctrines and hobby horses representing small segments of the church which will likely be gone within a generation. Additionally, it is usually the case that such attempts are so culturally specific that it’s impossible for them to applied to the millions of Christians not residing in the Unites States. For example, not many years ago a group proposed making one Sunday Pulpit Freedom Sunday, a Sunday when politics and pertinent political issues were to be freely spoken of in the church’s divine service.

    In my opinion there are a number of problems with attempting to single out certain cultural issues on a particular Sunday, but one irony is worth highlighting. It is ironic that special Sundays are … Read More »

    Posted in: Pastor Brian's Blog
  • Ordinary Time

    You perhaps noticed that the bulletins changed colors last week from the gold of Christmastide to the familiar green of ordinary time. While some regard the brief period beginning with Epiphany and ending with the Feast of the Presentation on February 2 as Epiphanytide, most, however, see the Sunday after Epiphany as being part of Ordinary time.

    The calendar is structured around three cycles: preparation (Advent, Lent), celebration (Christmas, Easter), and realization (the time after Pentecost and Epiphany). During preparation, we do just that. We fast and pray. We spiritually prepare for the coming reality. During celebration, we do just that. We feast and play. We spiritually exult in the fulfillment of what we have been waiting for. During realization we practice all of the implication of the reality we have experience.

    Unfortunately, some hear the words, Ordinary time, and think of … Read More »

    Posted in: Pastor Brian's Blog
  • Epiphany

    Last Friday was Epiphany and it is celebrated by many churches today. Epiphany is a loanword from Greek. It is used several times in the NT and it means appearance. It was used outside of the NT to refer to a manifestation of the gods. So appearance, manifestation, and revelation are all good words to think of when we use the word epiphany.

    More specifically, Epiphany is a fixed feast day on the church calendar. Since it is a fixed day it is always celebrated on January 6th. When it doesn’t fall on Sunday some churches celebrate it on the Sunday between January 2-8. As suggested by the definitions above, Epiphany is the celebration of Christ’s manifestation, but more specifically his manifestation to the gentiles. This manifestation is codified for us in the story of the Magi—sometimes called Wise Men—from the … Read More »

    Posted in: Pastor Brian's Blog
  • Understanding Scripture

    The concept of the covenant is highly important for understanding Scripture.  It is the key to interpreting and appreciating the Scriptures. When we understand the covenants and what their purpose, design and functions are then it helps us understand what is happening in the big picture of the Bible. Covenants are often compared to marriage. However, this is one type of covenant that is not the type of covenant upon which all of Scripture is built. In Redemptive History there are three major covenants (Covenant of Redemption, Covenant of Works, and the Covenant of Grace). These covenants are not all alike. Marriage is a parity covenant. A covenant of two equal parties coming together. This is not the type of covenant Adam was in nor is it the type of covenant Abram entered into. This was more in the form … Read More »

    Posted in: Pastor Brian's Blog