The Rock Covenant Church

The Rock Church Worship Service

Rejoice The Lord is King
Ten Thousand Reasons (Bless the Lord O my soul)
Your Love Is Everything (When I'm dry and thirsty Lord)
I Am Set Free (I am set free oh)
Love Came Down (When my heart is overwhelmed)

A while ago now I lived in Chicago and I volunteered at a family homeless shelter
In the South Bay statistics say there are around 7,000 homeless people
Family Promise of the South Bay
The idea is that each church in the coalition will provide a home on a quarterly basis


Just going to start with a non-sequitur.

Iron sharpens iron,
    and one person sharpens the wits of another.
Proverbs 27:17 (NSRV)

Piggy backing off of what Jon was talking about a couple of weeks ago
Proverbs has a bunch of really cool metaphors
Iron Age was after the Bronze Age
Iron was more plentiful
Bronze had to be cast
Iron had to be hammered
A real equality to this verse and this image

But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood self-condemned;
Galatians 2:11 (NSRV)

Paul is coming into his own and is starting to make a name for himself
But he has a checkered past (used to persecute Jews)
Peter walked with Jesus
And Paul says, I don’t think that’s what Jesus would have done Peter
Great equalizing factor that we all benefit from what everyone has to offer
Paul saw the big picture, the game outside of the game
There’s the Gospel and there’s a way it’s being presented by your actions
There’s a commentary that calls Paul and Peter’s interaction a loving reproach
It’s a loving moment
That moment of bravery was beneficial to Paul as well because it helps him find his own voice
Also reminds me of a moment in the Old Testament
Prophet named Nathan, worked in the court of King David
Had the unenviable task of confronting David about Bathsheba

11 Thus says the Lord: I will raise up trouble against you from within your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes, and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this very sun. 12 For you did it secretly; but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.” 13 David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan said to David, “Now the Lord has put away your sin; you shall not die. 14 Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child that is born to you shall die.”
2 Samuel 12:11-14 (NSRV)

That’s a heavy thing to walk into the king and say
This wasn’t their first interaction, they had a past relationship
Big difference between a loving reproach of a friend and a prideful approach of a stranger
Only a trusted friend could come in that close to David and deliver that message
Heard of Elvis?
He had a group of friends he took with him everywhere called the Memphis Mafia
He died at the age of 42 because he did whatever he wanted (drugs, peanut butter and banana sandwiches)
Nobody in his circle was strong enough to say “That’s not a good idea”
How many people do you have in your life that you can go to that are like Nathan?
How many people are you able to be Nathan for?
I’m never thankful in the moment of reproach, but in retrospect I am
We find out the big things about job losses, heart breaks (ed. note: the status updates)
But are we learning their hearts?

9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help. 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm; but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though one might prevail against another, two will withstand one. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NSRV)

Rock climbing isn’t something you really want to do alone
Unless you want to wind up like “21 Days”
Started in the beginning when God created a companion for man
Someone he would never quarrel with
First argument: Adam puts on the fig leaf and Eve says “you’re not wearing that are you?”
Moses and Aaron, helping Moses become who God wanted him to be
There’s the game outside the game but there’s also a game inside the game
Michael Jordan was good at that
Le Bradford Smith talking smack after beating Michael
Okay, next time we play, I will score 73 points in the first half
He got to 61
I think about what it must have done to Nathan’s faith to deliver that message and not be jailed or executed
And with Aaron
One last thing to look at: the idea of conflict
Sometimes conflict is necessary
1974 Ali was getting ready to fight Foreman
We think of the grill seller, not such a scary proposition
But he was a bad dude
Foreman was world champ and had beaten Joe (?) 6 times in the first two rounds before they stopped the match
Ali went to Africa to train in the heat (LeBron?)
But the best way to train is to spar
Have to fight to train to fight
Ali picked Larry Holmes (future world champion)
Surrounding yourself with equally-abled people
I don’t want you to not like me, so I’m not going to love you and spar for your life
Recent article stole this idea from me
Same author talked about a piece of theology that challenged him and shook him and gave him a hunger for the Word
Ed Note: I had something like this with Da Vinci code
When Jeami first mentioned the idea of a school in Uganda, I didn’t jump right on board
But instead of my doubts discouraging her, they spurred her on to prove that it could happen
And she proved beyond my doubts
Social media has this concept of a hater, someone who likes to stir up drama and deny you
None of us are famous enough to have haters
Are we letting people close enough that the iron sparks? <- Ed Note: THIS!

11 Do not speak evil against one another, brothers and sisters. Whoever speaks evil against another or judges another, speaks evil against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy. So who, then, are you to judge your neighbor?
James 4:11-12 (NSRV)

Humble ourselves in the glory of God
And when you’re so desperate to show the love of God in the world, differences don’t have to result in divisions
Sharpen each other but not divide each other
In the hands of the master you’re being built and molded

Paul has been with us for over 10 years
I’m really grateful for Paul as a friend and as a coworker
Want to teach you a prayer from our Quaker friends
Palms down (release), palms up (receive)

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