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02.03.2019

 

 

SERMON SUMMARY: 

“Holiness” seems like a foreign concept to many of us. What does it mean that God is holy, and how does that impact our relationship to him? Come consider with us as we turn to the book of Isaiah to explore God’s unique character.

 

 

REFLECTION:

On the whole, I do not find Christians, outside of the catacombs, sufficiently sensible of conditions. Does anyone have the foggiest idea what sort of power we so blithely invoke? Or, as I suspect, does no one believe a word of it? The churches are children playing on the floor with their chemistry sets, mixing up a batch of TNT to kill a Sunday morning. It is madness to wear ladies’ straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews. For the sleeping god may wake someday and take offense, or the waking God may draw us out to where we can never return.

Annie Dillard, Teaching a Stone to Talk

 

 

SCRIPTURE:

Isaiah 6:1-8

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”

4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

8 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”

 

Hebrews 9:11-14; 24-28

11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God…

24 For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. 25 Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, 26 for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN:

Most merciful God,

we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.

silent confession

For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

 

 

SONG TO CONSIDER:

1. When we see the risen Savior with the bread that he has blessed,
He becomes the living Servant, heav’nly food for holy rest.
Stay with us, for day is fading, feast with us, O secret King,
Show to us how Scripture’s story speaks of you in everything.

Do not our hearts burn now?
For you’re here in power.

2. Jesus, show yourself the Author and Perfecter of our faith,
In your living and your dying, consummation of God’s grace.
From creation to the exile, incarnation to the grave,
Resurrection to ascension; come, O Jesus, come to save.

Do not our hearts burn now?
For you’re here in power.

Open our eyes, shine on our sight,
O risen Lord, reigning on high;
Give us your life, bread from the skies;
Lift up our hearts, open our eyes.

3. You’re the Word that spoke creation, you’re the end of Moses’ Law,
You’re the goal of Abram’s blessing, you’re the King whom David saw;
You’re the Day the prophets longed for, you’re the covenant of grace,
You’re the hero of the Scriptures, now we see you face to face.

Do not our hearts burn now?
For you’re here in power. (Chorus)

4. Jesus, show yourself the Prophet, Jesus, show yourself the King,
Jesus, show yourself the Priest, all in all, and everything.

from Our Strivings Cease, released November 18, 2018
Words & Music: Bruce Benedict and Zac Hicks, 2012, 2018
(c)2012 Cardiphonia | Unbudding Fig Music (ASCAP)