There are so many problems in the world today, and sometimes it feels like everybody has a different opinion about the solution.
The Bible makes clear we need a hero.
We need someone who can take on the forces of evil and conquer Satan. We need someone who can take on sickness and death and provide healing and resurrection life. We need someone who can reverse all the different ways that man’s rebellion has broken the world. We need someone who can deal with the problem of sin.
If we are honest with ourselves, we know we can’t do that.
Perhaps someone might wonder, can anyone do that?
In the Old Testament, God promises yes there is. In Genesis 12, we saw that he’s going to be a descendant of Abraham. In Genesis 49, we see he’s going to be a descendant of Judah. And in 2 Samuel 7, we are going to learn this Sunday, he’s going to be a descendant of David.
God looks back to the promise Abraham and tells David it’s going to be one of his descendants who brings that great blessing into the world.
He just needs to be perfectly obedient.
As we read the rest of the Old Testament, we discover that qualification is a big problem because most of David’s descendants aren’t obedient. And those that are end up dying and everything gets worse afterwards.
This of course is part of what made the New Testament authors so excited about Jesus.
Join us this Sunday as we look back to the Old Testament and specifically 2 Samuel 7 in order to help us look up to Jesus with greater understanding and appreciation and love and excitement.
Come ready! Come expectant! Come praying!
I realize talking about the Davidic covenant for an hour on Sunday is probably not something most small children wake up in the morning longing for.
First of all, all this talk ultimately is about Jesus. Second, while they may not be able to understand everything or even most things on a Sunday morning, they can understand some things. And third, sometimes children surprise us and are able to appreciate more than we might initially think possible.
To use an illustration I once heard that I am beginning to appreciate more and more, everyday parenting is more like gardening than it is like harvesting. So sure, it might not look like there is a huge harvest every Sunday morning, but we are trying to plant seeds Sunday after Sunday that will bear fruit later.
What are some of those seeds?
- A high view of God’s Word
- Habits of working at listening
- Enjoying being with God’s people
- Excitement about going to church
- Preparing to benefit from Sundays
- Making serving others and glorifying God bigger priorities in our lives than simply being comfortable
- Skills of thinking through a message, getting the main point, and then applying it to our lives
- Thinking of others and trying to make it easier for them to benefit from God’s Word and not get in the way of that.
And really, those are just a few.
Perhaps you could take some time and think about how you can plant one of these seeds in your child’s life this coming Sunday?
As you do, I want to encourage you to make sure you have realistic expectations.
After all, what would you think of a gardener who planted a seed and went out the next morning and was angry when it hadn’t sprouted into a full grown plant immediately?
Unfortunately, while that seems obvious, I am afraid sometimes we are disappointed because our expectations for our children aren’t fair or realistic.
Obviously your children are all different ages and have different abilities so your expectations are all going to be a little different, but I wonder if I can offer just a little help? (Please be patient with me as I am sure most of these are probably so obvious, but I am thinking I might share just in case it could be helpful for some.)
- Expect that it is going to take work on your part. We probably all wish we could just sit down with our children and tell them one time that they need to be excited about Sunday and they would be excited every time after that. There’s usually a little more work that is needed for them to benefit than that. Be encouraged. If you feel like you have to work hard at this, you are not alone! Don’t be surprised if listening to a sermon with a few children sitting next to you is more difficult than sitting there by yourself. But honestly, that’s the way it is with most things actually. And yet, in spite of the difficulties, there’s usually a lot more joy in the end as well.
- Expect that it won’t always be amazing every Sunday. It would be kind of unfair to expect that every Sunday is going to be amazing for our children, because it’s not always that way for us. We sometimes are excited and ready for church. Sometimes we are not. Children aren’t different. Of course, part of parenting is helping them learn what to do when they aren’t feeling what they should. But they don’t usually come out of the womb knowing that. They come out dominated by their feelings. But again, that’s one reason you are there. To teach them.
- Expect that they probably won’t sit perfectly still. They most likely will make some noise. It’s not every day that our children have to sit quietly for an hour in a room filled with adults. Even when they watch television for an hour there’s usually some movement. Of course, as they grow you want to help them slowly but surely learn to control their movement and noise so that it is less distracting for others and even for themselves. Over time, children can learn to sit more quietly than we might expect. There are going to be unusual Sundays where they have particular struggles but for the most part, with practice, encouragement, and a little bit of planning ahead many children can sit fairly still for a Sunday message. (Now that said, obviously children are different and sometimes there are even physical issues that make it more difficult for them. As their parent then, you know them, and you would probably want to have somewhat different expectations. For example, I would be asking myself, knowing their physical limitations, what can I reasonably expect? And then expect that.)
- Expect that your children at least try. You know your children. You know what they can and can’t do. You know a little bit about what is going on in their heart. Plus, you know yourself. You know how difficult it is sometimes to listen well. So, you probably shouldn’t expect they will have the whole sermon memorized by the end of Sunday or that they will sing every song as loudly as they can. But let them know at least, you want to see them trying to honor God in the way they approach Sunday mornings. If they talk about how difficult that is, perhaps you can use that as an opportunity for the gospel.
- Expect that you will need to notice when they do and offer encouragement. Did you ever have a boss that only ever commented when you didn’t do what they wanted you to do? There could be all these other days when you did a good job, but the one day they thought you didn’t, that’s when they spoke to you? For many of us that kind of leadership can be discouraging or frustrating. Try to make a habit of verbally expressing praise for good behavior on Sundays even more often than you make comments about how they did poorly. I don’t have a verse right now for that, but it seems to me, a wise and helpful approach for most people.
And oh yes, this Sunday I will be saying David a whole lot. So the younger ones can listen for that, mark down how often I say it, and come see my wife Marda afterwards for a prize and encouragement.
- Sunday Morning Worship Services, 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
- Sunday’s Order of Service
Welcome, Announcements and Call to Worship
Worship in Song:
- Come Ye Sinners
- Rock of Ages
- Let the Nations Be Glad
Scripture Reading (2 Samuel 7:1-17) and Pastoral Prayer
Preaching of God’s Word: 2 Samuel 7:1-17
Response Song: Nothing but the Blood
- Link to YouTube playlist of Sunday Songs
- Women’s Ministry. Mark your calendars for the next Women of the Word fellowship! Saturday, June 5 at 9 a.m.
- Transition to One Service. On Sunday, June 20th, we will transition to one service at 9 a.m., with both inside and outside seating. We appreciate your patience during this upcoming transition as the elders continue to evaluate our attendance and needs. We anticipate having childcare available for children pre-kindergarten (Infant, Little and Big Pebbles).
- Membership Class. Our eight-week membership class will begin on Sunday, June 20th. Even if you haven't decided to become a member, please consider joining us for the first class, “An Introduction to CBC.” To sign up, please email Adam Bakonis.