Something Old, Something New

Good morning,

You may have noticed that there is a certain “pattern” to my sermon series.  I strive to get us into both the Old and New Testaments each year.  In the past year we’ve had series on the O.T. prophets, the parables of Jesus, O.T. prophecies about the birth of Jesus, the Gospel of Mark, and now we are in the middle of a series on Esther.  Spoiler Alert – we are going to be in the letters of John in July and August and then in Nehemiah in the fall!

Now, every pastor sets up their preaching calendar a little differently.  Some like to “jump around” in the Bible and not really use a series at all.  Others will spend much of an entire year on one book of the Bible.  Some will preach much more from the New Testament than the Old Testament.

Recently a minor “kerfuffle” arose in the pastor “world” when popular pastor and writer Andy Stanley preached that the time had come for Christians to “unhitch” themselves from the Old Testament.  He supported his argument by suggesting that Peter, James, and Paul had done so.  Many prominent Christians have questioned Stanley’s comments on social media, and he has since sought to publicly clarify what he meant and reaffirmed his commitment to the Old Testament. 

So why should we study the Old Testament when we are living under the New Covenant?  Glad you asked!

The Old Testament lays the foundation for the teachings and events in the New Testament.  It shows us why we need a Savior.  It contains countless lessons for us to apply to our lives today.  It helps us understand prophecy.  It contains wonderful poetry that inspires and encourages.  But most importantly – it is inspired by God!  Jesus refers to passages in the Old Testament throughout the Gospels, and the other New Testament writes do as well.  In fact, when Paul writes to Timothy that all scripture is God-breathed, it’s the books of the Old Testament that he is referring to!

Here at Ebenezer, we believe that all Scripture is God-breathed.  The Bible…the whole Bible…is the inspired, inerrant, and authoritative Word of God.  So, we will continue to preach and teach from both the New and Old Testaments, and I encourage you to include both in your personal devotions.  AND, if you do come across a troubling passage in the Old Testament, feel free to ask me about it.  I can’t promise that I’ll have an answer, but I can promise that we’ll look for one together!

Here’s what’s happening:

  1. We really need some more volunteers for the Junior Worship ministry.  Each Sunday morning the Junior Worship time consists of a Bible Story and then some sort of activity (craft/game/etc..).  Our hope is to “pair” people up who are gifted in different areas.  If you would be willing to lead a short Bible lesson or lead the group in an activity about 1 Sunday a month please see me or Beth Ressler.
  2. It is VBS registration time.  The registration portal is open and active on the website.  It’s easy to fill out. PLEASE encourage your grandkids, neighbors, nieces, nephews, etc…to preregister!
  3. It is “Child Clearance Update” time once again.  Everyone who has had clearances done in the past is still good to go.  However, if you haven’t had them done, please see me ASAP.
  4. VBS Decorating tomorrow from 6:30 – 8 pm.  It continues each Thursday night until VBS on June 11-15.
  5. The annual church picnic at West Earl Community Park is Sunday, June 10 at 10 am.  Sign up board to bring food is posted in the sanctuary.
  6. The E.C. National Conference is May 30th – June 1st.  I will not be in the office on those days.

This Sunday the action really picks up in our series on Esther as we look at the events of Esther 5 and discuss one of those “respectable sins” – the sin of pride.  As always, I encourage you to invite someone to join you at Ebenezer this Sunday!