Drummond Hill Newsletter, Wednesday, November 16, 2022
Wednesday Meditation (Isaiah 9:6)
For I amabout to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind.
How do we begin anything entirely new? To be new, it has no trace of the past and present. It stands on its own without any reference to the past.
In this passage, God speaks of starting new heavens and a new earth that are about to be created. In this new creation, the past is not remembered or comes to mind. This is a really difficult saying for us to understand. In our case, the past is what led to the present to a point that a famous historian once said that those who do not know the past will likely repeat the mistakes of the past in the present.
God’s new creation, however, carries nothing from the past into the present. Jesus himself remarks that in resurrection, people will be in new forms that are fit for the new creation of God. I have been wondering about what this would be like. Life as we lived it and life as we know it will not be part of this new life in resurrection. No wonder our imaginations are unable to figure out what this new life in resurrection will be like.
Perhaps this is why we struggle so much when we try to bring about God’s eternal life into our present world. We are trying to shape this life when we have no idea what resurrection life looks like. This is why all forms of churches end up failing and, if not careful, we end up creating churches and faith communities in our images instead of them being created in God’s image. So many times, both megachurches and small local churches end up reflecting the values, beliefs, and behaviours of their leaders instead of being institutions following Christ’s teachings.
It is always crucial that we, the entire faith community of Drummond Hill Church, humble subject ourselves to God and examine whether we are being recreated by God as part of new heavens and a new earth or simply busy engaged in building Drummond Hill Church to embody who we are. This self-reflection is not easy. Yet, we must always. When we get attached too closely with certain practices we like or insist strongly that our church ought to be made up of certain people, we end up competing against God’s mission of recreation of the world where the former things are not remembered or come to mind.
On Sunday, November 13, we came together as the poster asked and worshipped in a new way. It was primarily based on God’s message embedded in music as we praised and enjoyed God’s presence.
The musicians who led us in worship took a lot of time choosing music that would connect the sacred and profane, that is, the church and the world. They did their best to bring the world into God’s presence and at the same time did their best to bring out God’s message.
We think of worship in many different ways. Worship is given to God. God may gladly receive the entire worship or parts of it. Romans 8 explains the role of the Holy Spirit in our prayer. In the much the same way, we believe that it is the Holy Spirit that elevates worship as something that is accepted by God or left as nothing more than human efforts that do not praise God.
Of course, many people may call this type of worship, a concert. They may simply come just for music while others are deeply connected to God in praise and worship. We have strong tendencies to make judgments as to what is right or wrong for God. Instead of letting our worship lift up our souls to God in praise, we become proxy gods who tell others what is and is not acceptable. Christianity throughout history has been involved in determining what is right and wrong for God. Often when churches did this, we made terrible mistakes.
This is not to say that everything we put in as worship is therefore accepted. In reality we are not sure whether God would have been pleased with this worship or not. It is our prayer that much effort we put into praise and worship God did glorify God. We continue to pray that God will correct and reshape us in ways that when we do the similar worship later that worship will be more acceptable to God than the one we did this past Sunday.
One glad result of last Sunday’s worship is that many people did tell us that they felt they worshipped God freely and unreservedly. It was good to hear from those who came from other traditions expressed their views as either not their way of worshipping or were able to fully be part of worship because in their tradition, this type of worship is quite regular. In the meantime, many of us who have experienced this way of worship for the first time are looking forward to the next time when we can worship more freely in the Spirit.
Wine, Women and Song
In the Seder Passover Supper that our Jewish neighbours celebrate each year, at the beginning of the service with hand washing, wine is poured. The first cup is held while a blessing is said. It sanctifies the wine. After the blessing, it is drunk.
Before the 2nd cup of wine is poured, vegetable is dipped in salt water and eaten to symbolize their slavery in Egypt. They also break the middle matzah into smaller and larger pieces. At this time, the poor are invited to join the Passover meal.
The 2nd cup of wine is poured and a child asks a question regarding the meaning of Seder. An adult responds. The section concludes with a prayer of thanksgiving the wine is consumed. Everyone partakes in the passover meal.
After the meal, the third cup is poured as grace after the meal is said. With the blessing over wine it is drunk.
The fourth cup is known as the cup of Elijah. When it is poured, the door of the house is opened inviting Prophet Elijah to come. This ritual is followed by recognition of God and God’s guidance. After singing and praises and blessing, the cup is drunk.
It is presumed that Jesus also participated in the Passover supper in the night he was betrayed.
Deborah was a judge in Israel in the land of Ephraim. After God gave sinful Israel to King Jabin of Canaan for twenty years, people of Israel raised their voices to God. God spoke through Deborah who called Barak to go to Mount Tabor with 10,000 from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulen. Barak insisted that Deborah go with him. She agreed, but prophesied that Sisera, the leader of Jabin’s army would die at the hand of someone other than Barak.
The ensuing battle, God puts Sisera’s army in confusion. Sisera ran away on foot and came to a tent where Jael, wife of Heber who was a Kenite descendant of Moses’ father in law. Sisera beckons Jael for a drink. When he fell asleep, Jael put a tent peg through his temple.
God’s deliverance of Israel was done through two women.
Many Psalms contain the record of how God delivered Israel from their slavery in Egypt. As people recited psalms they remembered God’s rescue as the steadfast love of God shown in their history. In the Psalms are also praises of God as the true and only God of the universe.
Cinnamon Bun Tuesdays is now concluded. We thank all those who came and participated. We thank Gail, Linda, Ruth and Sandy who worked hard behind the scenes.
Wine, Women, and Song (Thursdays, November 17)
Reign of Christ Sunday, November 20: Remembering the Old
First Sunday of Advent, November 27: Old as new
Love Your Church
In order to carry on our ministries, we are asking you to help us raise $20,000 on top of the regular offerings. You may choose to help us with small amounts weekly or monthly. Another way is to make a one time donation. Whatever you can help will be greatly appreciated.
and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.