Series for the Season

The Bible is a materful book inspired by God. Themes, colorful characters, subplots, foreshadowings, prophecy, fulfillment, and literary balance shape this living book, an endless treasure. The Bible holds these components together through story, symbol, and metaphor. Some symbols are used only once: a burning bush, a withered fig tree. Other symbols span the Bible: trees, angels, mountains, rivers, rainbows…and birds.

The story goes that Erasmus, a Renaissance scholar, was watching with the pope as wagonloads of wealth were brought through the gates of the Vatican. Turning to Erasmus, the pope observed. "No longer can the church say with Peter, 'Silver or gold have I none.'" Erasmus replied, "True. And neither can the church say to the lame man, 'Take up your bed and walk.'"

Mantaining spiritual vigor in the midst of great wealth was a challenge for the church of past centuries-and still is for the church today. We have been entrusted with incredible resources.

How do we balance our joyful celebration of Christ’s resurrection with the enduring reality of our fallen world? That’s the question we will focus on in these services for Eastertide, the seven weeks from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday. The answer lies in the gospel we proclaim—a gospel of transformation. God takes what is and changes it to conform to his will. While this leads us to repent of former ways in the hope of future ones, it does not allow us to deny the former ways.

WEEK 5

CHRISTIAN IS IMPRISONED IN DOUBTING CASTLE

Call to Worship

Come, worship the King, give glory and honor to Jesus Christ, whose name is above every name. Listen to his instruction and so put on the full armor of God so that you may resist Satan and give praise to our Lord.

Scripture: Psalm 42

Sermon: "Hope in Dark Days"

Affirmation of Faith: Apostles' Creed

Sang Suggestions

A copy of this article, complete with graphics, is available at the end of the article.

This series of messages was prepared for the worship life of Hillcrest Christian Reformed Church for Lent 1999. Our intent during this season was to help members of the congregation to slow down the pace of life, to think reflectively and devotionally about their relationship with God by focusing on the person and work of their Savior.