From the Pastor’s Deks, 5/9/22

   I’m nearly finished reading Reversed Thunder: The Revelation of John & the Praying Imagination by Eugene H. Peterson. I consider the book to be one of the best I’ve read on understanding the book of Revelation. Peterson views the Revelation not as some futuristic world event yet to happen with fantasy-type events, but more so as a commentary by John on the present reality of the time. With this view, we have the opportunity to understand the book as a relevant commentary on our present-day challenges. I recommend Reversed Thunder as a helpful commentary on a difficult book to grasp, and as a helpful to considering our response to present day challenges.

   Rather than write thoughts about the content of the book, I thought I’d simply share a few quotes from it. Granted, knowing context may be helpful in fully comprehending Peterson’s meaning, but even with the quotes standing alone separate from context, I believe they have value. So with that said, following are direct lines from Peterson’s book.

   “…the people at the table are those the Lord invites, not the ones I like…”

   “It is an end-of-the-world war, but it is the world of temptation and injustice and deceit in us and our communities that is coming to an end.”

   “We are the recipients and participants in salvation, not its makers and shapers.”

   “There is, of course, a great deal of ethical instruction in scripture, but the instruction is not the action; salvation—at Gibeon, at Elah, at Kidron—is the action, and the one prominent characteristic in this action is an aroused ferocity against evil. There is simply no margin left for misunderstanding salvation as an Ivy League honor code.”

   “When the sharp sword-word issued from Jesus’s mouth in the Gaderene cemetery, the demoniac, Legion, was not slaughtered but saved (Mark 5:1-20). We who accompany Jesus across the mountains and through the valleys of salvation are permitted no other weapons. When St. Peter, eager to fight the evil forces that were sweeping Jesus towards the cross, bared his weapon and with an awkward swing managed to cut off the ear of the high priest’s slave, Jesus put an immediate stop to it—‘no more of this!’—and repaired the damage with his healing touch.”

   “When people are ignorant of the imagery of prophets and gospels, and untutored in the metaphorical language of war in the story of salvation, they are easy prey for entertaining predictions of an end-time holocaust on international politics. Jesus told us quite clearly that the people who make these breathless and sensationalist predictions are themselves the false Christs and false prophets that they are pretending to warn against (Matt. 24:23-26).”

Recap: Worship, May 8, 2022                                      

   Worship this Sunday concluded the use of the SHINE curriculum for creating worship services around the theme of JUSTICE. Injustice is always present and as people of faith we persevere to meet this malady with kindness, mercy, goodwill, and love. In the midst of all the difficulties we as humans create, we have the assurance that God loves us always, wanting the best for each and everyone of us, giving us all the ability to reach our potential for the good of all. And as God cares so deeply for us, always, we are created to pay-it-forward, always.

   Videos used in the service can be accessed with the following links:

Mother Love – Every child should watch this|Mother Love | True Story – YouTube

Little Things with Great Love – Little Things With Great Love – w/ Lyrics – YouTube

Caring for Creation – Caring for Creation – YouTube

O Day of Peace – O Day of Peace That Dimly Shines by Carl P. Daw Jr and Josh Garrels – YouTube

I’ll Love You Forever – Mother’s Day Short Film- I’ll Love You Forever – YouTube

   Facebook page video of the service – Canton Church of the Brethren – Illinois | Facebook

Worship Services over the next several weeks

   We are employing new material, Seasons of the Spirit, to aid in the creation of worship service over the next several weeks. Seasons of the Spirit is ecumenical in content and follows scriptures outlined in the Revised Common Lectionary. As such, the themes of services may vary from week to week, however, all services will be biblically-based and be formatted as services have been the past several months. Each grouping of biblical texts will receive two week’s of attention. The format of the first week will be more traditional is style and the second week will follow a more theopoetic (arts-informed) format. Service will continue to be in-person as well as streamed on ZOOM and Facebook Live.  

Topic: Worship Services April – June 2022

Time: April through June 2022 each Sunday 09:30 AM Central Time (US and Canada)

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