Sermons

Summary: I designed the whole service to be a celebration of the Jewish holiday Shavuot, with the NT fulfillment of Pentecost. Order of Service and transitional notes included.

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ORDER OF SERVICE – June 12, 2011 – Pentecost

Welcome

Scripture: Psalm 117:1-2

C172 – Come into His Presence

Invocation

Announcements, offering

Pre-amble to Pentecost

H272 – Thy Word

H275 – How Firm a Foundation

Scripture: Ruth 1:16-17

Waving bread loaves, giving thanks for our blessings

H274 – Break Thou the Bread of Life (v1-2)

Communion

H274 – Break Thou the Bread of Life (v3-4)

Message

H257 – The Comforter Has Come

Prayer

Birthday cake

ORDER OF SERVICE – June 12, 2011 – Pentecost

Welcome

Scripture: Psalm 117:1-2

C172 – Come into His Presence

Invocation

Announcements, offering

Today we are doing something quite different from anything I have done before. We are celebrating the OT feast called Shavuot, which goes by other names: the Day of First Fruits, the Feast of Weeks, the Feast of Harvest, or Pentecost. It is held 7 weeks – a week of weeks – after Passover, on the 50th day. It was originally commanded to the Israelites back in Leviticus 23 as a celebration of the wheat harvest.

Today we will be celebrating this Jewish feast with a Christian flavour. You see, part of the feast of Pentecost is the sacrificing of animals: 7 lambs and 2 rams. Obviously we don’t need to sacrifice animals anymore because Jesus has become our sacrifice, as we will observe shortly in communion. But this is why Christians in the 1st century stopped celebrating the Jewish feasts: because they came to understand that Jesus fulfilled them.

Now, we are not obligated to celebrate feasts; we don’t have to do this. Romans 14:5 says, “One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.” And Colossians 2:16-17 says, “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” Paul doesn’t condemn Christians who celebrate them, and he doesn’t condemn those who don’t. However, there is value in knowing about them, and much can be gained in taking part in them. I hope that through this celebration today, you will feel drawn closer to God.

Going way back in time… the Israelites were living in Egypt, slaves to the Pharaoh. God sent a deliverer, Moses, who would free the people and bring them to the land God had promised to them 430 years earlier. God broke the hold of the Egyptians by sending plagues, up to the 10th and final plague, the death of the firstborn. Moses led the people from Egypt, towards Canaan, the promised land.

Hebrew scholars use Exodus 19:1-2 – “In the third month after the Israelites left Egypt--on the very day--they came to the Desert of Sinai. After they set out from Rephidim, they entered the Desert of Sinai, and Israel camped there in the desert in front of the mountain” – to determine that the Israelites camped out at Mt. Sinai on what we now call Pentecost. Mt. Sinai was a very important place, for it was there that God gave the Law.


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