Greetings from a wintry Wasilla! This morning freezing rain left a nice quarter-inch thick coat of solid ice on our little corner of the far north. The roads were as slick as a bobsled track (without, alas, the sidewalls to keep the cars on the street). However, this afternoon’s half-foot of snow should cover all that up very nicely! But enough of the weather….
Sunday services. This Sunday morning I’ll preach from John 19:1-16, in which the Jewish leadership compels a reluctant Pilate to condemn Jesus and sentence him to die by crucifixion. Pilate may have been reluctant, but his pusillanimous caving under pressure earned him special infamy forever enshrined in the creed: “crucified under Pontius Pilate.” But Pilate was only God’s instrument – what a mystery! – to bring eternal salvation to sinners through the death of Christ.
At the evening service we’ll consider the 2nd Commandment: “You shall not make for yourself a carved image” (Exodus 20:4). As with all the commandments, there is more here than meets the eye. These words have much teach us about how we are to worship the Lord.
Courage in the Ordinary. Robyn and I were blessed by this White Horse Inn interview with blogger Tish Harrison Warren. The subject is how God is active and working even in the mundane and ordinary, which is where most of us live. Listen to it, you’ll be encouraged. You’ll also like this very well-written blog post Warren wrote that led to the interview.
Courage in the Extraordinary. This is a superb article about a man of God you’ve probably never heard of, Paul Robert Schneider. His unwavering faithfulness to Christ as a Reformed pastor in Hitler’s Germany cost him his freedom and ultimately his life. It’s not a long article, but you’ll be inspired and encouraged by his example. May we have men like him in our day – preaching Christ at all costs and calling evil, evil! (I also liked the fact his last sermon was on Psalm 145, which I happened to preach from last week).
Family Camp/Conference Speaker. Rev. Dr. Chad Van Dixhoorn will be our speaker for next summer’s Family Camp/Conference (we need to work out the details of the format). Rev. Van Dixhoorn is Associate Pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Vienna, Virginia, and teaches Church History at Reformed Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. He is an expert on the Westminster Assembly (the men who wrote our Westminster Standards), having edited a five-volume set of the minutes and papers of the Assembly.
We’re looking forward to having Chad, his wife Emily, and (hopefully) his five kids visit us next summer!