(Note: You can access the Sunday Morning Preaching Schedule Through May 26) This Sunday we will begin a new Sunday School quarter and two new sermon Series. This post in an update on some changes to what will be taught in Sunday School and preached on Sunday morning. I had planned to teach on marriage in the Fellowship Hall during Sunday School. Instead, I am moving that series to Sunday Morning. There are two reasons for this change. The material is very much needed in our congregation as a whole, regardless of age or life station.
Additionally, Dr. Peter Jones has us all stirred up after a great conference last weekend. Questions have been persistent since he came. "What can we do?" is the most commonly asked question. We will be addressing that question in various ways for some time. But, I wanted to take some time in Sunday School to reflect on this question through the lens of history. I will begin teaching on the triumph of Christianity in the polytheistic, pagan context of Greco-Roman world. It will be an immense encouragement to study how the early church became so numerous in the midst of a polytheistic culture that was at times brutally hostile. There are some surprising elements to this story, many of which we can apply directly to our own situation. We will seek to discern parallels and contrasts with our own times, while always making Scripture rather than history our final guide. There is some very good new literature on this topic, which has been of interest to me for some time. I'll begin each class with a Scriptural devotion on the subject at hand.
What about Daniel? There are four remaining sermons in Daniel, which I plan to give in the coming months, approximately one every month. The text of those sermons are deeply apocalyptic and deal with common themes. They will emerge monthly to open our eyes to the spiritual realities that we are confronting, and to the Lord who is on our side.
We begin a new series on Jonah this Sunday Evening. I recall discussing with Joshua Knott preaching through Jonah. There were a number of reasons why I thought Jonah would be good but I confess none of them relate to the obvious providential connection that now exists for us: God calls Jonah to take a message of repentance to a One-ist people. And, as you know, Jonah's zeal and attitude is less than stellar. Like Jonah, we are not called to retreat but to be faithful and bold witnesses regardless of the cultural currents. And like Jonah, well...join us for Sunday night services. What a wonderful book to dive into in the context of a Sunday night worship service where we have time to pray for one another and encourage one another as a church body.
Christianity Explored, A Study of Ephesians, an Inductive Study of Matthew and the ESL class are all continuing. These are great classes, with great teachers and great fellowship. Let this be the quarter that you take the plunge and get involved in Sunday School!
PS--Apologize for the insider references to Dr. Jones and One-ism. Check the sermon archive or come Sunday to find out more!