What do we do with the Book of Job?

A short meditation on Job from Pastor Dave which appeared in the Kearney Hub.

What do we do with the Book of Job?

Advent 2013

Advent

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given” -Isaiah 9:6

 December 1st marks the beginning of the Advent Season, which extends through four Sundays to Christmas Eve. We hope as a church to both enter into the story of Jesus during these weeks and have His story enter ours. Advent is a season of hope, of light, of remembrance and anticipation.

We heartily commend joyful participation in the rhythms of Advent, and encourage folks to consider joining with one another in the following ways.

  •  Participate in Sunday worship service: Whether you have come regularly or not, enter this season by renewing covenant with your God Sunday mornings. Scripture readings reveal prophesies of Jesus birth and His fulfillment with promises of return, songs give language and music to Advent, and we will feast together at His Table.
  •  Read Scripture & pray together: See TPC’s “Meaning of Advent” as a resource for this practice. Read and discuss one of the passages each day. Include prayers like this traditional Advent prayer, “Almighty God, give us grace, that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit now and forever. Amen.”
  • Sing: Enjoy familiar songs and learn a few new ones. Title’s are listed in our “Meaning of Advent” resource, or can be found in hymnals or sites like hymnary.org
  • Advent Wreath: Each Sunday of Advent we read a passage of Scripture and light a candle on the advent wreath. This link provides some history, meaning of the wreath and each candle and more. Go ahead, make or buy one for your own home!
  • Advent Calendar:  Again, this site contains helpful information on calendars, which can easily be made or purchased.

In Advent we remember that Jesus has come, Emmanuel, God with us. And we look forward with eager anticipation when Christ will return to set things aright, finally and fully. And we live daily in light of His coming to us through His Holy Spirit, to comfort and to guide. This is the Advent season, rhythms that draw us into His story. Participate this season with great joy as we look to Jesus, whose name is called, “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end.” Amen. Come Lord Jesus.

TPC Members in the Kearney Hub

A number of our members have been in the Kearney Hub recently. Mary Kolstad and some of our children were featured in a story about the Spanish classes Mary taught this summer as a way of raising support for Water4Haiti. There was also an article on Don Bates and the wooden vehicles he makes in his spare time. It’s good to see God’s people using their gifts to enrich the lives of their neighbors and their brothers and sisters around the world.

Spanish Classes

Don Bates

Don Bates shows off some of his handiwork.

Matthew Smith and Indelible Grace Concert

Matthew Smith and Indelible Grace Concert

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 – 7:30 PM – FREE ADMISSION

Full band. Old hymns. New music.

Matthew Smith is a Nashville-based singer-songwriter who writes brand new music to centuries-old hymn texts. He is a founding member of the Indelible Grace community, whose work has drawn acclaim across denominational lines and is used in churches around the world. Born out of a college ministry, the reimagined hymns have found wide acceptance both among college students and the church at large, joining people who desire to honor tradition with those who want a modern musical approach. His latest album, Watch The Rising Day, explores the tension of living in a broken world while awaiting Christ’s return and the restoration of all things.

Matthew Smith and Indelible Grace – Come, Ye Sinners

A love offering will be taken. Matthew will also give a seminar for worship leaders and church musicians  at 5:30pm before the concert . This is how Matthew describes the seminar:

“During the seminar, I will share my story of how I came to write new music to centuries-old hymn texts and why hymns are still important for the modern church. Much of the time will be open for a Q&A discussion, interacting with your questions. Recommended for (but not limited to!) pastors, worship leaders, church musicians, and songwriters.”

If you would like more information about the concert, particularly how you can help us promote this event, or if you are a worship leader/musician interested in attending the seminar, please contact Pastor Dave Salyer (dave@tpckearney.org)

An Interview with Matthew

 

Who may attend a funeral?

The ultimate purpose of a funeral is the same as for any service of Christian worship: to worship God.

We sometimes think that a funeral is only meant for the family and close friends of the deceased. This leads us to feel awkward about attending a funeral for someone we didn’t know very well (or at all). We might feel as if we are disturbing a private event. But  this is not the case.

It is certainly true that these services are especially helpful for the acute grief that family members and close friends feel. But a funeral is a service of the church and it is therefore also appropriate for all members of that body to participate, even if they were not well acquainted with the deceased. There are at least two reasons for this. First, we are told to “rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” Our mere presence at this service is an encouragement and comfort to the bereaved. Second, we should all participate in funeral services because we can draw from them immense Spiritual benefit for our own lives.

Funerals are a time when we, as a body, come together to focus upon God and our life and death in the light of His love for us in Jesus Christ. It is a time for us to consider our own death and how we might die well in the Lord. It is a time to remember our own lost loved ones and to continue applying the salve of the gospel to those wounds in our hearts. It is a time to prepare for future losses that we all know will surely come. It is a time when we stand together as a people united to Christ and proclaim that death is not the final word for us.

So it is very appropriate for all Christians to come together and participate in a funeral service: to hear the words of eternal life from the Scriptures, to heartily sing the hope of the resurrection, and to lay to rest the God-given body of one of Christ’s lambs for whom he gave his life.

We know that many are simply unable to come to funerals because of work or other engagements, and that is totally understandable. This note is merely intended as an encouragement to those who are free to come but may be wondering if it is appropriate for them to do so. Know that you are always welcome to attend any funeral we perform and that your presence is a ministry to your brothers and sisters in Christ.

Pastor David Salyer
Associate Pastor
Trinity Presbyterian Church, Kearney, NE

Advent

Advent

What are we celebrating during the season of Advent?

The English word Advent is derived from the Latin advenire, “to come to.” Advent has to do with the Lord’s coming to us. The Lord has come to us (at the birth of Christ), regularly comes to us (especially when we gather together for worship), and will come to us (at the end of this age).

Advent season, then, is a time to reflect upon all the ways—past, present, and future— in which the Lord comes to us. Many advent devotional schemes ask us to pretend that we are living before Jesus’ birth. They ask us to act as if we ourselves are expecting the birth of a cute, little baby. I mean, who doesn’t like babies? But we must remember that Jesus also comes to us a man, as a sacrifice, as a king, as a judge, and in many other roles that make our redemption possible.

There is certainly merit in celebrating the birth of the Christ child, and this is what we do in the following season of the Church Year: Christmas. Advent is slightly different in focus. We would be remiss if we did not celebrate the ways that Christ comes to us now, particularly in our Lord’s Day worship, through Word and Sacrament (Matt. 18:20, Heb. 2:12, 1 Cor. 10:16). We would be remiss if we did not celebrate the hope of His final coming when all sin and wickedness will be finally undone (Rev. 21). So let us keep all of these “comings” prevalent in our corporate and private worship this season.

The songs we sing during Advent are often songs we usually associate with Christmas, but if we inspect them closely we will find that many of them make a point of connecting Christ’s first coming with his present and future comings. The traditional Advent hymn, “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus” exemplifies this multifaceted season.

Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

When we understand and celebrate all the ways the Lord has come, is coming, and will come to us, we can more readily make this the cry of our hearts: “Come, Lord Jesus!”

 

(Parts of this essay were adapted from an article by Rev. Jeffrey Meyers)

Follow Me (Sermon Series)

Follow Me (Sermon Series)

Our current sermon series is entitled Follow Me: The Gospel According to St. Matthew. In his eyewitness account, Matthew writes mainly for the Jewish people of his day. He presents Jesus as the fulfillment of the Hebrew Scriptures and the answer to every promise that God has made to his people. Jesus makes it clear that he is leaving the old world and beginning a new one. To all who would come with him he says: “Follow me.” There is great reward in this new world, but there will be much opposition in getting there. Jesus calls his disciples to walk that road with him and he promises to be with them always.

As we apply this truth to our own lives, we too will find that Jesus is everything for which we’ve waited. Because of this, we will respond to his call, even when it costs us, so that we can enjoy life with him in his Kingdom, both now and forever.