GLYNN LANGSTON and his wife Ann will be here February 9. Glynn is the blind missionary we support who has a wonderful ministry to reach out to the blind and visually impaired. They will be visiting the Niles congregation that Sunday morning and will be with us Sunday evening. Put that on your schedule. It is a great encouragement for us to be a part of the work Glynn is doing.
LADIES! ANOTHER MEETING WITH ST. JOSEPH! Our ladies have been getting together with the ladies at the Saint Joseph congregation, and the next meeting is set for Thursday, February 13 at 6:30 P.M. at Chili's in Saint Joseph. Please let Tracey Brewer know if you would like to go. The Saint Joseph ladies need a count and we may set up ride sharing.
WEATHER PROCEDURE. We are in that time of year when the weather can cause us to need to cancel a class or a worship service out of concern for the safety of all of those who would attend. Some of us drive over 35 miles one way to get to services, and our location and lake effect conditions can make the conditions at the church building different than what is going on in South Bend. For that reason we are asking Bill and Patty Gibson to make the call as to whether to cancel services or not. If conditions in Dowagiac make it unwise to have people traveling, or if the parking lot is not cleared the Gibsons will call Tracey Brewer, the Hoyts, and the Claytons, who will in turn call others. If you have doubts call Bill and Patty Gibson or the Claytons. The bottom line is that if you have doubts about whether you can make the trip safely or not, stay home. We do not want anyone getting hurt.
INTRODUCTION What do each of these places have in common?
Mecca, Kaaba, Nine-walled Temple (Bahá'í House of Worship, Wilmetter, Illinois), Vatican, Gautama, Andhra Pradesh, Wailing Wall, Mormon Tabernacle, Crystal Cathedral (now known as Christ Cathedral)
A. The history of altars and places of worship.I. FIRST THERE WERE ALTARS.
B. What did God want in the past, and what today?
A. Noah (Genesis 8:20) — a raised structure for incense and sacrifices.II. THE TABERNACLE — Hebrews 8:5; Exodus 25-28
B. Abraham — Genesis 12:7-8
1. Came back to it after Egypt — Genesis 13:4.C. Jacob — Genesis 33:20; 35:7 — also Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David.
2. Genesis 13:18 — Built another in the plain of Mamre.
D. First instructions in Exodus 20:22-26 — Personal and specific. No tool use, no steps — nakedness prohibited.
A.Sacred tent with furnishings — two parts.III. THE TEMPLE — Three of them — 2 Samuel 7:1-7; 1 Kings 5-7.
1. Holy place — Table of showbread, golden candlesticks, altar of incense.
2. Holy of holies — Ark of Covenant — the presence of God. Once a year entered by high priest on Day of Atonement for the people.
IV. THE SYNAGOGUE — Rectangular building — no altars, no sacrifices, used for readings, prayer, teaching — Served as center of Jewish community.V. THE CHRISTIAN PLACE OF WORSHIP
A. Acts 2:16-21 (Joel 2:29-32) No physical place.VI. SO WHAT IS THE ANSWER?
B. John 4:20-24 — No place of worship.
C. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 — No external place of worship.
D. 1 Corinthians 6:19
A. Galatians 4:4-6
B. Ephesians 3:17
C. Acts 2:46; Acts 3:1 — What is in your heart?
THE BACK PAGE
A TERRIBLE LETTER
“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm — neither hot nor cold — I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
If you know your Bible you know those terrible words came from Jesus Christ in Revelation 3:15-16. All of the letters in Revelation are written to a specific congregation by name but all of them fit congregations of the church today. The Laodiceans were a wealthy congregation financially. In verse 17 Jesus tells them, “you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” They had no financial problems, but they were spiritually bankrupt, and their apathy and lack of effort causes Christ to say “you make me sick to my stomach.”
Earlier in this same book Jesus writes to the congregation at Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7-11) and his tone is very different. “I know your deeds. So, I have placed before you an open door that no man can shut. I that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. … Hold on to what you have, …”
The Lord has opened many doors for us. I hope you were as encouraged by our business meeting (see THE BACK PAGE in our January 12 issue) as I was. What we need is to understand that these letters we read in Revelation address congregational success, problems, and needs. Those still exist in the world today, and congregations can see themselves in the descriptions that Jesus gives.
We have another great opportunity to serve the community and glorify God. The “Feed America” program has a truck that they bring to those willing to serve food to those in need in our area. It is a big truck and is full to the top with food to be given to people who need it. We are signed up to serve two times this year and will need 20 workers each time to distribute food in our parking lot. The dates are May 26 and September 10 at 3:30 in the afternoon.
What a great opportunity this is! There is no financial obligation on the congregation, but there is a labor obligation. We have already told them we will do it, and our food bank workers are arranging for the food give away. Let Bill, Patty, Tracey, Tina, or Richard know that you want to be a part of this. We do not want to be a “meet, eat, and retreat” congregation. We want to serve God and those who are in need. Save those dates. We will have sign-up sheets when the dates draw closer.
— John Clayton
Our sign by the street!
Sign saying from www.sayingsforchurchsigns.com.
Scripture links/references are from BibleGateway.com. Unhighlighted scriptures can be looked up at their website.