Celebrating 500 years of biblical and confessional Christianity. To God alone be the glory!
Mission: Purpose We are a community of God's people; called, sustained, and empowered by the Holy Spirit. As the body of Christ, we are obedient to Him, who is the Head, in proclaiming the kingdom of God both in words and actions. We exist to encourage each other to grow in Christ Through sharing the gospel with all people. Through providing a fellowship for all Christian believers by maintaining a biblically focused Christian atmosphere by serving God and others Mission To make disciples of all people, through baptizing and teaching in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Operating as usual
1 How lovely is your dwelling place,
2 My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.
3 Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
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I know I've shared this before but it bears repeating on this occasion. The Nash's are a very faithful couple who have not been attending worship due to the virus. But every couple weeks or so, they still come to church for four reasons: one is to get out of the house. The other is to drop off their tithe. The other is to receive the Sacrament. And the final reason: They simply love and miss their church. One time, after they had received Holy Communion, it took Heide nearly ten minutes simply to walk out of the sanctuary. She'd take a few steps and stop to take it all in. Talk about a soul yearning and fainting for the courts of the Lord! God's Word and the place where it is proclaimed is an immeasurable blessing. For here we are reminded again and again of what great a price our Father paid for us to be his.
I. When I was a kid, I felt like I had to go to church. I mean, if you know my parents you'd know that I had no choice. But my attitude was often eyerolling. Can't sleep over, Brent. We got to go to church. Then I grew up and realized maybe the proper attitude was to want to go to church, right? Like Heide who misses it so much and can't wait for the vaccine so she can come back. But then...I take a look within myself. Jesus tells us it ain't food or drink that make us unclean but what's within. I see a very real and ugly problem: sin. Sins on top of sins with more sins added in for good measure. I'm a mess. I'm a failure in the mirror of God's holy Law. And guess what my attitude becomes? I have to go to church. I NEED this. I need the message of God's pardon and forgiveness. I have nowhere else to turn. I must fly to the pew and the altar.
II. And here we hear how amazing and loving the Creator of the universe is, don't we. The psalmist remarks that the sparrow and swallow have found a home in God's house. The swallow even nests near the Lord's altar. Think about this. God told Aaron and his sons to wear undergarments under their robes so that when they ascended to the altar, they wouldn't expose themselves. You guys are sinners and need to be careful. These birds are cool by me, though. They ain't done nothing wrong. I always close the sanctuary doors when Chopsey's here because I think it's simply improper for a dog to be in the Lord's house. Why, Joe? Maybe it's me who don't deserve to be here. What's Chops ever done?
III. How can the sons of Korah be so in love with the house of the Lord? For the same reason we can be: It's where we're reminded that sinners are now worshippers of the one true God and subjects of the one true King. O LORD Almighty, MY King and MY God. We. Are. His. But we are his at a great and terrible price. During the psalmists' day, morning and evening sacrifices would be slaughtered and burned on this altar as a vivid reminder that there is a price to be paid for sin. The irony! The same altar where the swallows found a home was where many a lamb would die. Up until that point where the temple curtain would be ripped in two symbolizing that the need for the daily sacrifices for sin was officially over. Because the ultimate Lamb had died, paying the awful price, drinking the bitter cup, so that we could have the privilege...the sheer joy to come to this house and call him MY God and MY King. It's not these walls that Heide misses so. It's this message and the fellowship of hearing the message of Christ crucified with other sinners who can join together and proclaim because of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world...he is OUR King and OUR God.
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. - Proverbs 18:24
Christus Victor Lutheran Church's cover photo
1 Corinthians 10:1-4
For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.
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This (the cross above the altar)...is the pinnacle of history. The cross of Christ, Good Friday, and, of course, the empty tomb. All of human history centers on this whether people acknowledge him or not. Think of the Israelites and the Old Testament believers down here (lower left). And though early on in their history they had no idea about Bethlehem or the Virgin birth, they were ascending this mountain of history trusting in God's promises as he revealed them in his Scriptures and through his prophets. And then there's us (descending on the right side). We have the benefit of hindsight. We look back to God's promises kept for us. And we journey downward until our Lord finally reappears. This side and that side...same family. Same church. Baptized in the cloud and in water. Nourished by the same Rock of Christ as we journey on earth on our respective sides of history.
I. Read verse 5. Like our Old Testament reading, sure God gave his desperately thirsty people water from the rock. He knows they needed it. I mean he created the human body and I would think the Great Physician knows that the human body needs water. I mean, he created the desert too so I think he'd especially know that they needed water in their particular location. What could have God's people done that they did not do here? They could've asked. Instead, they grumbled. In fact, it got so bad that Moses was fearing for his life. They had just seen these amazing plagues. If anyone could provide water in an arid land it was surely this pillar of cloud and fire that accompanied them. But they grumble instead assuming that they were to die. It seems like it's been raining for most of the winter. Which is a pain when you got three dogs. I grumble when I open the backdoor in the morning. Why? God decided we need more rain. I grumble when the phone rings for the 5th time in one day from the same shut in? Why? God wants me to talk to his lonely child. I grumble when I'm on my way home and people don't accelerate. Why? I ain't late for an appointment and I always got music. Grumbling happens on both sides of the mountain, no?
II. But God sustains his people on both sides as well. He physically watered his grumbling kids in the desert. And he spiritually accompanied them in the person of Christ as well. The preincarnate Lord would sustain them. The promised one that they looked up to from the very first promise in the garden, as recorded by Moses. He was their spiritual Rock, even though the people of the Exodus had no idea what Bethlehem's Baby would even look like. These people would be baptized into Moses. He was the spokesman for God himself and the Lord would use the same Moses to write a large portion of their Scriptures and his promises. Christ would water his people in such a way. You diligently search the Scriptures...I got news for you...they testify about me. And at that pinnacle of history, our great Rock of Christ would take all the grumbling of a sinful world and would be struck yet again. Only this time not with the staff of Moses, but with a spear. And from his holy side would flow water yet again. Only this time, blood would flow too proving to the centurion -- and to you and I -- that God himself died our deserved death. The Lamb was indeed slain so we could be spared. Payment for our grumbling sins was made in full with the ceasing of his divine heartbeat. And, like God's people on that side of the history mountain, our Savior Rock still sustains us through Word and Sacrament. Through Water (font) and blood (altar). We are all one family...one church. Living in the shadow and grace of the Cross.
13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.[c] This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”
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Shortly after this there was gonna be a showdown. The great I AM would accompany Moses to Pharoah and would take on Egypt's gods. I AM would turn the Nile into blood. And the god Khnum, the guardian of the Nile would have to be renamed I am not. The great I AM would send a plague of flies nullifying the god Uatchit who was the god of flies and...was, in fact, not. The great I AM would send a deep darkness making Re, one of the gods of the sun, into also an I am not. These plagues of the great I AM would even cause Pharoah's magicians to finally declare that this was the finger of God. This is a something, king. Well yeah. I AM. And on this Transfiguration Sunday we're reminded that Christ, dazzling on the mountaintop, is, in fact, the I AM.
I. Moses tries to weasle his way outta his call here. In fact, the Lord has to give Moses signs to prove that he was in fact who he said he was in chapter 4 and to reassure him that he would be with him during this showdown. But in our lesson he tries the whole oh yeah what if I show up and they ask what your name is? Probably thinking this might be an impossible question for God, who would surely be above a name. God calls each one of us to be his ambassadors. To look different in the eyes of the world. To live as children of the light. To pray when others rage. To love when others hate. To be patient when others are so impatient. Yet how many times do we find "excuses" to not answer these calls? How many times do we conveniently decide to be Christian incognito? It's easier to lash out than to bite our tongue and pray for patience. It's easier to hate than it is to love...especially "those" people. It's easier to be impatient because it comes so naturally to sinners.
II. But God is patient with Moses and answers his excuse question with divine brilliance. I AM who I AM. Tell 'em I AM sent you. Moses, there's a reason I told you to take off your sandals. There's a reason you ain't ever seen a bush on fire but not burning up. Because these so-called Egyptian "gods" we're gonna confront are zero. They're fairy tales. Like unicorns...they don't exist. But I AM. I alone make the ground you stand on holy. I alone can make a burning bush not burn up. I alone can make the plagues you're about to see with your own eyes happen. Because I AM...and they are not. And your descendants will see even more of what I can do. Three of 'em will see my Son in dazzling brilliance on a mountaintop. Why? Cuz he is I AM. And the great I AM will do what no other false god would ever even dream of doing for the sinners he created: He would would suffer at the hands of mere men and then ascend yet another hill but this time to die. Peoples throughout the world who worship I am nots will scoff at this but he will suffer and die for them too. Why? Because he's it: I AM. And I AM so loved the world. There's a man who works at a woodworking shop that the Nurse patronizes. He was chatting with her the other day. Once spent 1.5 years in a coma from a combat related injury. Even worse, spent nearly 40 years of his life in the false Muslim faith. Today he's a seminarian. And he told her that whenever someone asks him how he's managed to pull through it all his answer is simple: Jesus. I mean, he's it. He's the I AM. Even in hindsight he now sees the great I AM working in his life. This is our God, peeps. Correction: This is THE God. The only I AM. And like this carpenter, we belong to him by grace through faith in Christ. Let us go forth redeemed, forgiven, washed clean, and ready to rep the great and only I AM.
The following is a link to a fundraiser that you can see has been in place for some time. These are fellow believers and recently it has come to my attention that their current needs -- even beyond the needs of their business -- are quite dire. Please pray and consider. - PJ
gofundme.com Hi friends and family- This campaign began in August, when an evergreen to… Sarah St. Onge needs your support for Small NY Business Hit by Covid Shut Down
The Women of CVLC will resume meeting on Saturday, February 6th at 10:00 am in the Peter Room. We will be following a Bible Study format and will begin our study with "The Armor of God" by Priscilla Shirer. Attendees will be responsible for providing their own books. Books are available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble online and Christianbook.com, as well at other vendors. If you have any questions, please contact Deneice McMillan at 910-309-1585.
On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” 4 “Woman,[a] why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.[b] 7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. 8 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet. They did so, 9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” 11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.
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There's this old school Christian band called Tourniquet. And one of their songs is called "Pushin' Broom." While the lyrics don't allude to Martin Luther's doctrine on vocation, they do touch on the very concept. Essentially it's about a guy living in a small town working a relatively menial job (thus the title). And this guy has dreams of moving onto bigger and better things in his life. Dreams of having his name on some billboard in lights (possibly as some famous musician). But, the Lord makes it clear that for the time being, this guy's place in life was pushing a broom. And there's nothing wrong with that. Because it ain't about what your vocation or status in life is. It's about who we belong to.
I. Christ blesses one of the many institutions that God has instituted here: a wedding. A marriage, really. He does by attending it. I get any invitation in the mail and I'm that grump who immediately starts to formulate a tactical retreat plan. How do I get out of it? But Jesus willingly goes. Willingly shows his approval and blessing for this great institution. Not only that, sets the bride and groom up with a substantial gift. There's no way the guests were gonna consume that much wine. This was a gift the couple would have beyond their big day. And you heard the banquet master: Christ don't give cheap wedding gifts. But Jesus blesses all institutions and vocations, doesn't he? We may feel like the guy from the song: I'm just spinning my wheels. I need out of this job, this relationship, this virtual classroom, this pandemic. Nah. Jesus attends all of those too. And he blesses them. And he'll change our circumstances when he sees fit to do so.
II. How is it that we can look at the circumstances of our lives -- our marriage, our singleness, our jobs, our salaries, our families, our living situations -- and know that Christ attends all of these and blesses them? "My time has not yet come." After Christ utters these words to his Mom, he immediately performs his first miracle. So what is Jesus referring to here? His ultimate hour. The cross. His sacrifice for each and every one of our sins including our griping and complaining about life circumstances. This was the mere beginning of his journey to the Golgotha. His disciples would put their faith in him as a result of this marvelous miracle, and he would continue to strengthen their faith with many many more. But even that wasn't his hour. His hour was dark. His hour was sorrowful, as he sweat drops of blood. His hour was monumentally disrespectful as a mere mortal governor would pass a sentence of death upon the only One who could turn water into wine. His hour was agonizing as he hung pierced in the heat. But his hour was a resounding success and an absolute triumph. For his Mom. For his disciples. And for you and I.
II. You might be an employee, a child, a student, single, married, financially well off, or not. But in Christ, we are the redeemed children of God. And he blesses and attends all of our life situations and vocations. So get used to his presence, even if you can't see him while you push the broom in the garage. Because of the cross and his darkest hour...we will be in his glorious presence for eternity.
|Monday||09:00 - 14:00|
|Tuesday||09:00 - 14:00|
|Wednesday||09:00 - 14:00|
|Thursday||09:00 - 14:00|
|Friday||09:00 - 14:00|
|Sunday||11:00 - 12:00|
|Sunday||09:45 - 11:00|
Bethel Baptist Church is an Independent Fundamental church serving the Favetteville,Fort Bragg surrounding areas. Charles(Ray)Clark- Pastor
See More about us at www.cedarfallsbaptistchurch.org Visit us today!! YOU ARE WELCOME!
Youth and Young Adults Ministry of Covenant Love Church in Fayetteville, NC for 6th Grade to College Age.
Welcome! If you are new to the area and looking for a inviting parish community, we welcome you to join us at any of our weekday or weekend Masses.
"Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." James 5:16
Our Vision is Total Commitment through Shared Ministry under the power of the Holy Spirit, Developing Strong Disciples who are Committed to the work of the Kingdom, Exercising Our Faith Serving God, who continues to save souls and builds families.