Pastoral Letter no. 2

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My dear friends:

I hope that you are enjoying these Christmas sermons on John's prologue. I certainly have enjoyed doing a deep-dive into the text, both to see how John expresses the Good News of Jesus' incarnation in such a compressed fashion and to notice how these themes continue on in the rest of John's Gospel. It almost makes me what to keep going in the Gospel of John!

But as I mentioned this past Sunday, starting with the beginning of the year, we will be in the book of Genesis. Right now, I'm planning on preaching straight through Genesis on Sunday mornings through 2015--with the usual detours during Easter and Christmas. However, we may get ourselves through Abraham's cycle (Genesis 25) and take a short break before coming back to it. We'll see how this works out as we going along.

One reason why I feel compelled to preach through Genesis is because it is vital to a robust Christian worldview. We talk a lot about "Christian worldview" in our Presbyterian circles without, perhaps, fully realizing what we are talking about. Simply put, a worldview stands for the answers for the basic questions that motivate all humans: What is reality and who is responsible for it? What is this world? How do I know anything? Who am I? Why am I here? Is there any purpose to life?

What I hope we will find is that the Bible generally and Genesis particularly gives us answers to those questions. We'll see that the Bible answers who is responsible for reality as we know right in the beginning: "In the beginning God" (1:1). We'll see that the Bible will answer the question about who we are by telling us that we are God's creation made in God's image, differentiated as male and female (1:26-27). We'll see that our purpose has to do with work and relationship, but ultimately with worship--being in right relationship with our Creator and King (2:1-25). We'll see what went wrong and what God intends to do about it (3:1-15). And so forth.

Now, these questions and answers are important. They are important for answering the big questions that our culture is asking (e.g. on marriage, divorce, remarriage; homosexual orientation, activity, and marriage; creation care and environmentalism; and many other things). But they are also important for our day to day lives--our purpose and place in this world. And they are especially vital for understanding the Gospel and how the entire Bible fits together, how God generally works, and how God gracious condescends to our weakness in all sorts of ways.

And so, I hope that with the new year that you'll make a point in being with us and in studying this marvelous book with us. I'm so eager to see how God's grace will transform us in the year to come!

In the grip of God's grace,
Posted December 10, 2014 @ 12:34 PM by Sean Lucas

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