Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Bethany Bullet - June 12, 2012

Every year our Parish Theme must come to an end.  So too will this one; yet I wonder is this the end of “The Story?” Well, before we ponder that, ponder this:  How could “THE STORY…HIS STORY” be a Parish Theme to begin with? The Scripture is far too profound, far too deep, and far too complex to turn into a theme, right?  Well, when you think about it, The Story is really the compilation of a vast amount of “short stories.”

Beyond a shadow of a doubt the shortest story in The Story is a one word story that we find sprinkled throughout Scripture. The one word story… “AMEN.”  Amen means, “So be it!”  It is the shortest story of The Story.  
·         When God speaks these words it means, “What I have spoken is true! This promise shall come to pass.” 
·         When God’s people speak these words they mean, “Thus we believe and thusly we shall behave.” 

THE STORY itself ends with a pair of Amen’s! (Revelation 22:20 & 21):
·         “I am coming soon says Jesus. Amen!” 
·         “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with us. Amen!”
“Behold I am coming soon.  AMEN”, says Jesus; verily – verily – truly!  So shall it be. 

“This promise shall come to pass.” Behold I am coming soon and God Himself says to that AMEN.” 

We’re not only coming to the end of another Parish Theme, the end of a school year, the end of an NBA season, and the end of an NHL season; no we are drawing to a close of something far more significant - the end of the age!  Things as we know them to be.  Sorrow and sighing, pain and loss, grief and guilt, and death – the old order is passing away.   All things soon shall be new; for, “Behold He is coming soon.”  How soon?  “…In a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.” 

Behold He is coming soon.  AMEN!

“The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.” writes the elder and the church says, “Amen!” 

When we say Amen to the declaration that Jesus is Lord, we affirm that Jesus is God among us and as one of us. Amen means, “Thus we believe.  

We believe that Jesus Christ is:
V  The One - Who is, Who was, and Who is to come. 
V  The Second Person of the Eternal all knowing (Omniscient), all powerful (Omnipotent), and ever present (Omnipresent) Triune God.
V  The Alpha and Omega
V  Our Lord (who though God is also man and who though man is also Divine).  
V  The Name above all names and the only One by which we might be saved

His grace be with us.  Grace, undeserved favor, mercy extended where it is undeserved.  And we say, AMEN

THUS we believe that Jesus came to earth and lived a perfect holy life. On our account, though guilty of no crime and innocent of all transgression, He suffered and died in our place, not merely experiencing the pain of death but the rejection of the Father Himself.  AMEN?  AMEN! 

THUS we believe that though dead, He came back to life on the third day and now LIVES forever. He reigns and rules in heaven. He will (at the time set beforehand) return once and for all to end things as they are now and usher in an eternity where sorrow, tears, and death are no more. God is all and all.  Amen? AMEN!  WE BELIEVE THUS!

AMEN means not only “Thus we believe” but also “Thusly shall we behave.”

Thus we shall behave:
As those who know that though we do not deserve it, we are the favored of God.
Amen? AMEN!

Thus we shall behave:
As those who know that there is no one any guiltier before God than we are. 
Amen?  AMEN!

Thus we shall behave:
As those who know that no one is beyond God’s love.  
Amen?  AMEN!

Thus we shall behave:
As those who know that we have not somehow earned and merited that which others cannot!  
Amen?  AMEN!

Thus we shall behave:
As those who have been called to a life worthy of the name Christian; that means we will seek through the Spirit’s power to live in a manner that is pure and holy to glorify Him. 
Amen?  AMEN!

Thus we shall behave:
As those who have failed to live a life worthy of the calling, but having repented of the same, will seek the Spirit’s power once again to do just that. 
Amen?  AMEN!

So is this the end of the Story?  Well, I think until THE ENDING this makes it just THE BEGINNING! 
Amen?  Amen!

-Pastor Kevin Kritzer


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