Summary: The third and final sermon in a three part series, ‘The Church that You and God have Always Wanted.’
(1) As we conclude our current series, ‘The Church that You and God Have Always Wanted,’ we are treated one last time to some classic bulletin bloopers. (2) Today’s focus is on preachers and guest speakers.
(2A) The Rev. Merriweather spoke briefly, much to the delight of the audience.
(2B) During the absence of our pastor, we enjoyed the rare privilege of hearing a good sermon when J. F. Stubbs supplied our pulpit.
(3A) Barbara C. remains in the hospital and needs blood donors for more transfusions. She is also having trouble sleeping and requests tapes of Pastor Jack’s sermons.
(3B) We have received word of sudden passing of Rev. Smith this morning during the worship service. Now let’s sing "Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow."
(4) Finally, this is my absolute favorite blooper and I will try to read through it…
(4A) Missionary from Africa speaking at Calvary Memorial Church in Racine. Name: Bertha Belch. Announcement: Come tonight and hear Bertha Belch all the way from Africa".
The challenge now is ‘how we do transition out of that?’ Let’s try a brief history lesson! (5)
In 1963 President Kennedy took a trip to West Berlin during which he uttered the famous line, ‘I am a Berliner’ while standing in front of the infamous Berlin Wall that divided Berlin into two cities.
This was at a time Germany was a divided nation. The western part of Berlin, like the western part of Germany was democratic and held free elections. The eastern part of Germany (and the eastern part of Berlin) was occupied by the Soviet Union (now Russia) and was a Communist state with little freedoms. In 1987, 24 years after JFK’s trip, President Reagan likewise made a trip to West Berlin and uttered the famous line, ‘Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!’
That wall kept families apart and created two different Germanys. One prospered and grew while the other held its population in check through force and coercion. Today however, the wall has come down, Berlin was reunited and so was Germany.
This morning we conclude our series with an honest look at some walls and barriers that I believe causes churches to become less effective. The purpose in thinking about this issue is that God wants the church, our church, any church to grow and be alive in Him and through Him!
In our main text for this morning we read of a leader who realizes (6) that the past has an effect on the present and the future. The book of 2 Kings opens with the death of King Ahaz one of, if not the most, evil of Israel’s kings, and the division of Israel which takes place about 40 years after Solomon becomes king.
Two kingdoms, a Northern Kingdom called Israel, and a Southern Kingdom called Judah were created after Solomon’s death. Israel lasted 209 years after Solomon’s reign and Judah lasted 345 years after his reign before both were invaded and conquered by the ancient nation of Assyria.
As we read through the book of 2 Kings there are two repetitive phrases that we need to take note of. The first is actually two different phrases that describe the character of the King based on how he responded to the spiritual leadership his position required.
The first phrase is (6A) ‘he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.’ The second phrase is (6B) ‘he did what was right in the sight of the Lord.’
It is interesting to note that one of the comments I read in an introduction to the book of 2 Kings indicated that only 20 percent of the kings of Israel and Judah’s followed the Lord and did was right in His sight. And the King that we are going to look at this morning was one of the 20 percent and one of only two kings in both kingdoms that were called good.
His name was Josiah and in the opening verses of 2 Kings 22 we read, ‘Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. His mother was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah from Bozkath. He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight and followed the example of his ancestor David. He did not turn aside from doing what was right.’
Now the episode that we heard read a few moments ago takes place about 18 years into Josiah’s reign when he is about 26 years of age and he orders that the funds collected from the people at the Temple be used for the rebuilding of the Temple.
When Josiah’s aides arrive, the chief priest or head pastor, Hilkiah, tells them, “I have found the Book of the Law in the Lord’s Temple!” He then hands the scroll to the aides who return with it to Josiah and one of them, Shaphan, reads it to him.