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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Today in Church

Today was the first of a new sermon series on American Idols.  The scripture lesson was a tough one: the testing of Abraham by God by requesting he sacrifice his son Isaac.  David Miller, our pastor, showed a clip from Lord of the Rings that included the line: “I am not here to rob you; I am here to help you.”  That is God’s purpose in the first commandment; “you shall have no other gods before me.”  He is not here to rob us, but to help us.  Freedom comes only when no other gods or idols are placed before God.  In Sunday school we learned the importance of treating others as equals, as Jesus came to us and treated us as equals: “I do not call you servants any longer; because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father” (John 15:15).  We should avoid all pretensions based on knowledge or accomplishments, and put love first.  Another lesson challenged us to extend our love and concern beyond our circle of friends.  The lesson taught: “God calls us to be present even to the stranger.”  Another lesson came from Psalm 126:3 “The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy.”  This lesson emphasized the important of personal experience; viewing a photograph of the Grand Canyon pales in comparison to our experiencing it in person.  We should strive with Bible study, prayer, and communion with the faithful to appreciate God more fully.  Our final lesson for the day sought to make us more sensitive to the trials of others, and to “bring goodwill into life’s trying moments.”  We were encouraged to replace a condemnatory attitude with one of due regard for factors in the situation unknown to us or misunderstood.

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