Month: November 2022
One of the most-sung Christmas hymns of our time is O Come All Ye Faithful. It showcases the sacred need for worship. It says for us to “sing in exultation” and to “come,” “behold,” and “adore” Christ the Lord. To do as the song says, we must gather to worship. This song is a call for corporate worship reminding us there is tremendous power when people get together to praise Jesus’ name. Worshipping corporately while singing Christmas carols really is the secret sauce to making Christmas so holy. And that’s exactly what this Advent season is about for us: worshipping our newborn king together. When you dig into the pages of the Christmas story, we even see this truth rhythmically expressed in scripture. From Mary at her cousin’s house to Simeon in the Temple and the Shepherds in the field, each in their own unique way, worship God for the gift of Jesus through singing songs. It really is magical to study what is sung surrounding the birth narratives of Jesus. So this Christmas, come worship with us. In so doing, we will experience something even deeper than the rhythmic energy we feel from holiday hits. We’ll experience the power that surrounded our newborn king 2000 years ago.
Peter is one of the most prolific characters in the Bible. In some ways he is a “bull in a China shop” but in other ways he is a devout, charismatic leader who starts the entire construct we know as church. To put it bluntly, “Peter is complicated.” He denies Jesus but is also the first to cut off a man’s ear to defend Jesus. He argues that he’s the greatest and even attempts to walk on water, but he is also the only person Jesus refers to as Satan. He’s complicated. But a robust character study shows that he is crucial to understanding the gospel and how God engages humanity. As a matter of fact, Peter is the perfect example of why we teach the Divine Levels of Engagement. At First Baptist, we believe God comes to us all in three divine, yet differing, levels we title as “My Story. Our Story. The Story.” This framework is essential learning for anyone looking to grow in faith. In both practical and spiritual ways, we are very much like Peter and have faith stories that mimic his experiences in the text. To help showcase this truth, this November we will look at God’s Divine Levels of Engagement with Peter and show how they are like ours.