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|Hey iTrust! 17 Jun 2012|
This coming Sunday is The Third Sunday after Pentecost (17 June 2012).
No lesson this last week because of the iTrust Car Wash Fundraiser. Thanks to all who came out to help!
This week we will continue on with the series “Does God Exist? – Building the Scientific Case.” If you can remember back the week before the car wash [ J ], we started on the lecture about “Faith and Reason.” This week we will finish that and, hopefully, look at the first lecture on cosmology, entitled “The Finite Universe.” Why is that important? Because, for those who postulate the non-existence of God, a finite universe is problematic. The atheistic worldview pretty much needs an infinite universe; if the universe is finite, then that implies the universe had a beginning, and a beginning implies a beginner. So when the scientific data indicates a finite universe, the atheistic worldview has had the rug pulled out from under it.
This lecture will go through that much more rigorously, and on the following week you’ll watch the lecture on the “beginning” idea.
We mentioned back on June 3 that Mrs. Winrich and I will be gone for a couple of weeks (June 24 and July 1). Dr. Brant will show the videos for those two weeks (the subjects are supposed to be “In the Beginning”, just mentioned, and “A Finely Tuned Universe”, unless you get off schedule L ). We get back with you on July 8, and right after that is Higher Things Twelve!
Here are the Scripture readings (lectionary) for this coming week, plus the summary note of how they tie together. We always encourage you to read the weekly Scriptures before you get to church. We think you’ll find that valuable!
First Lesson – Ezekiel 17:22 –24
Thus says the Lord God: “I myself will take a sprig from the lofty top of the cedar and will set it out. I will break off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and I myself will plant it on a high and lofty mountain. On the mountain height of Israel will I plant it, that it may bear branches and produce fruit and become a noble cedar. And under it will dwell every kind of bird; in the shade of its branches birds of every sort will nest. And all the trees of the field shall know that I am the Lord; I bring low the high tree, and make high the low tree, dry up the green tree, and make the dry tree flourish. I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it.”
Second Lesson – 2 Corinthians 5:1 –17
We Walk By Faith, Not By Sight
For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Gospel Lesson – Mark 4:26 –34
The Growing Seed and the Mustard Seed
And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”
With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it. He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.
The Cross of Christ Is the Tree of Life, Which Bears Abundant Fruit after Its Own Kind
The Parables of our Lord convey the mysteries of the Kingdom of God to those who are “able to hear it,” that is, “to His own disciples,” who are catechized to fear, love and trust in Him by faith (Mark 4:33 –34). He “scatters seed on the ground,” which “sprouts and grows” unto life, even as “He sleeps and rises” (Mark 4:26 –27). “On the mountain heights of Israel,” He plants a young and tender twig, and it becomes “a noble cedar.” Indeed, His own Cross becomes the Tree of Life, under which “every kind of bird” will dwell, and in which “birds of every sort will nest” (Ezek 17:22 –25). His Cross is our resting place, even while now in mortal bodies, we “groan, being burdened” (2 Cor 5:1 –4). Yet faith we live for God in Christ, who for our sake “died and was raised” (2 Cor 5:15 ). We know that, in His resurrected body, “we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Cor 5:1 ).
See you in iTrust!