So much for my resolution to spread the Word – been a few weeks for varying not very useful reasons. However, still think it’s useful and would rather admit my weakness and rebegin than abandon.
Our senior pastor’s begun a series on the names of God. Last week’s sermon was on Malachi 3:16-18, in which the Israelites are talking with each other (about God). Historically, the Israelites were returning back from their exile in Babylon and basically rebuilding and recreating their culture. Israel’s strong history of the government and culture pointing its people towards God was remote; just as America’s culture is steeped in Biblical underpinnings, but those underpinnings have less and less of an impact upon us today. Rather than bemoan that state, Pastor Glenn made a point I found interesting: are we / were we depending on our culture support our Christian faith? Were we / are we reliant on ‘going with the flow’, rather than investing personally and as a faith group? Does it have to be easy to be right?
Pastor Glenn pointed out how highly God values those who seek him, and pointed to Malachi’s depiction of the scroll of remembrance and of God’s promises to ‘see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not’ for those whose names are written in the scroll of remembrance. (See also the book of life listed in Revelations 20:12, where that book of life is mentioned as being separate from the books describing deeds. There’s talk of judgement based on deeds, but then also sparing based on one’s name being in the book of life.)
So we’re going to spend our next sermon series exploring the names of God, particularly as a means to understand the attributes of God that those names convey. Per Glenn’s illustration, you can only fall in love with a real person, a person you know, by what they’re like, and by their NAME. Or, in this case, names…