I am re-teaching Faithcraft at our church so while I am doing that I am redoing the videos and such and making them a little more useful for you guys. I am adding 2 more weeks and changing the order of the weeks a bit. I am also making 3 video devotions for each week that will be online. I will try to include a copy of the script when I finish the full package. Until then check out these 3 new videos below. Also, I am wondering if people would be willing to donate some money to help me finish putting this package together. I have fixed the donate link in the sidebar and I have in my head a way that people who want to get the study for free can have it and those who are willing to pay can have it too. Please let me know in the comments if you would like to pay now to have the final process sped up.
To check up what we have so far you can get the rough drafts here
I know many people have been asking for the outline of Friendship Faithcraft. I have been meaning to make it one of my complete series for a while now, but I can’t seem to find the time. So in the interim here are my notes and a few files that should help you get started. It isn’t the pick up and go option that I would like, but it may help some of you in your plans this summer. If you have any questions let me know.
Please see the link above to purchase Faithcraft. I will get these links working again after I fix our virus issues.
Tonight I preached a new sermon about how we as Christians are “re-sewing the curtain” that was torn into at the time of Jesus’ death. I also wrote a new story to go along with it. You can find the story (The Park) here. I have never actually placed the full text of a sermon up here. This is really just the notes that I used to preach from. I am sure there are some typos and such, but I imagine you can get the gist.
Turn with me to Mark 15:37-38
In the middle of this huge crucifixion narrative with all of these things happening that fulfill the old testament prophesies about the messiah and such we get this one little verse, just a dozen or so words, that if you didn’t know the context could get overlooked.
Read the verses
Most scholars believe that this curtain is the one the separated the temple from the Holy of Holies.
Inside the holy of holies is where God dwelt. Now on this side of the cross it is hard to get our heads around this concept.
I mean we call this place our sanctuary and tell our children that this is God’s house, but God doesn’t live here. I mean not in the sense of the fact that after we all leave God is sort of hanging out shutting of the lights and waiting for us to come back on Wednesday night.
But in the temple things were a little different. This holy of holies was a big, big deal. No one was allowed inside of it.
One day a year on the day of atonement a priest carrying the blood of bull for his own sins and a goat for the sins of the people was allowed to enter.
He was to carry in a brazier full of incense to cover his sin so that he wouldn’t die from being in the presence of the LORD.
This holy of holies place was a serious thing.
Now take all of that in, all of this idea of the Holy of Holies being a the place where God was said to dwell and was a place where no one was allowed to go and then read this verse again.
Read Verse again
Jesus died, and the curtain was torn from top to bottom.
How amazing is that. In essence we see God in a very real and dramatic way saying, “HERE I AM! I HAVE MADE A WAY FOR YOU TO SEE ME! I HAVE BRIDGED THE GAP! I HAVE PAID THE PRICE! I HAVE ATONED FOR YOUR SIN! COME AND SEE ME!”
In this one act God was saying to his Jewish audience (who would have immediately gotten the significance) You may now come in.
What has been running through my mind this week is this idea of what did the Jews do about the curtain?
I did some internet research trying to find out, but I couldn’t really find anything. But the temple wasn’t destroyed by the Romans for another few decades.
So I imagine they didn’t just leave the curtain torn. I imagine they sewed it back up, or replaced it with a new one.
But even if they didn’t. Even if the Jews didn’t replace the curtain of the temple with a new one. Too many people in the church today are trying their best to sew up the veil.
Too many people have been given access to God and now they are trying to cover him back up.
But I am getting ahead of myself. I want to tell you guys a story that is about this very idea.
This story is written to manipulate your emotions a bit. You are supposed to root for Sam while being upset with Jim and the crows.
But if we take a step back I think we will see that in many ways Christians today are acting the exact same way. We have been given access to God and now we are trying to sew up the veil.
We sew up the veil when we care more about this church than about God
We cannot get so focused on our church that we forget the God that we claim to follow. We can’t get so caught up in our own plans and our own ideas that we forget to seek God’s face and guidance.
We sew up the veil when we stop reaching out and just expect people to come in.
Waaaaay too much of the evangelism of the modern church is focused on having large events and inviting people to come.
If we want to reach out and let people know that they can have access to God we must take the love of God outside of these walls.
If you aren’t a church type person this building can be scary. So we must go beyond these walls.
We sew up the veil when we don’t commune with God ourselves
You have access to God. Are you communing with him or do you take that wonderful sacrifice of Jesus for granted
We sew up the veil when our actions don’t reflect the glory of God.
Too many times when people look at Christians they don’t see the Love of God. God opened the way for everyone to come to know him, but when they look at our lives too many times they see people who are don’t live any different from the rest of the world.
The see us being judgmental and mean instead of being loving and full of grace.
The curtain of the temple was torn from top to bottom. Are you throwing it open and telling everyone you meet about how much God loves them and wants to know them or are you doing everything that you can to sew it back up again?