The Rock Church Worship Service


Let My Words Be Few (I'll stand in awe of you)
Hosanna (Praise is rising)
Our God Saves (In the name of the Father)
Blessed Assurance (Jesus is mine)
Hallelujah (Saved by Your mercy)
Blessed Assurance (Jesus is mine) coda


Continuing our temporary break from grace and peace
I have this scroll in my office
Mini replica of the Torah
Torah is life, beauty, poetry
Reading words from God to people, life-giving words
They place honey on their children’s lips and tongues
Don’t just memorize things, but giving them the full experience, the sweetness of Him

Ed. note – this makes me think of C.S. Lewis talking about how sex doesn’t have the same pleasure as chocolate.

As we’re reading the text and God’s redemptive story
Life giving beauty and poetry
Giving us an idea of what redemption looks like and how it plays out
The sticks on each end of the scroll are referred to as trees
There’s trees at the beginning and the end (Genesis and Revelation)
We live in the middle, in this redemptive story that’s going on
Torah is life and life-giving
Each rabbi has their own interpretation of these life giving words
Called their yolk
This yolk was given to disciples and they taught it to others
This is what Jesus is referring to when He says my yolk is easy
Jesus gathered a group of teens / 20-somethings as his disciples
We’re seeing His interpretation of Torah
Many times you will see you have heard it said, but I say unto you
Here’s the full intent of the Torah
How Jesus interprets the text is how I want to live
I want to look at Matthew 5:38
The beatitudes
Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth
What Jesus is doing is He’s giving us His way of living
There’s always three ways
Going to ask some people to come up here
Dorn and Jerry
Jerry you’re the roman oppressors
Dorn you’re the victim
The aggressor will be perceived as the strong one
Right hand strikes, slaps with the back of the hand
Left hand is for wiping
Right hand is authority
Striker always with the back hand
We read it and the first way is turn the other cheek means just take it
The scripture doesn’t want us to take the passive route
Dorn could offer the other cheek
What Jerry cannot do is back hand slap the left cheek – he might break his wrist
He can only make a fist and attack that way
By turning the other cheek, Dorn is asking for a jerky to strike with his fist, this makes them equals????
Second option is revenge
It doesn’t keep things level, it keeps escalating
Take it up another notch
Revenge seeks to take down and remove equality
Jesus offers the third option of turning the other cheek
Now the cloak
If the aggressor wants the outer garment
Under the outer garment would be a tunic
Under the tunic would be skin
Asking for the outer garment is a form of humiliation
Jesus says offer your tunic
What’s left is nakedness
This is more humiliating to the aggressor than the naked
Noah’s sons see Noah drunk and naked and are ashamed
They cover him up, but they have shame
Lay it completely on the line
Not lie down and go passive, not revenge, but to take it one step further and put it back on the other person, the aggressor
Good Roman soldiers would carry backpacks
According to Roman law, they could make Jews carry their stuff for one mile – any further and the soldier would get in trouble with their leader
Instead of one mile, he goes two
It’s not about passive or revenge, but the third way
It seeks to redeem the aggressor
This person is trying to redeem me
The aggressor may not accept, may not want the redemption
But that’s not the point
We are asked by Jesus to always offer them that redemptive chance
Let me tell you a story about my dad
He was a senior pastor for 30 years
And I still wanted to be a pastor
Leading the church in royal oak Michigan
There was one person in particular who didn’t like my father
So he raised a whole bunch of people to stand against my dad
My dad knew what was going on
A split in the church occurs and the other man becomes their leader
This is healthy
The other leader got sick and my dad visited him with grace and peace
Not revenge, not “see what happens when you mess with God’s children”
There’s always redemption, always this way of redeeming people
Take the third way
Jesus tells the story of a king who decided to settle his accounts (Matthew 18:23)
It would have been impossible to pay back the king 10,000 bags of gold in his lifetime, so it would pass on to his descendants
You create this long line of debt
The servant begs and the king has splagma and forgives the entire debt
Jesus says let me tell you about the character of God
Have mercy, have patience with me
And the king throws away the debt book
This forgiven servant then turns to his fellow servant who owes pennies and doesn’t forgive
The king hears about this
We’ve all got these books that tally up who’s done wrong by us
There’s this king who takes these books and throws them away
I’m not going to hold this against you
The book has been sent away
When we come to the table to partake of the Eucharist, of the bread and the wine
I love eating and drinking
Whenever you get together, remember all that I’ve done for you
I want to redeem you, I want you to be restored
Eucharist = God’s gift of grace given freely
When I come to the table with my friends
I break the bread, the body of Christ
Adam, you and I, we need the grace of God equally
I’m acknowledging when I eat with someone that we’re equals
We receive the body of Christ
And then when we pour the wine together
We both need the grace of God, we need the blood of Christ
So we partake, and we say grace and peace
We’re gonna sing I Receive
As we do, remember that it’s not just one way grace
We are co-creators with God
Let the grace and peace of God rest over you as we sing this song


I Receive (Pure acceptance)

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