Sermons from March 2022
Ruth 2 We are continuing our studies in the book of Ruth, where will discover new dimensions of hesed (“unfailing love for the helpless”). Even though Ruth is a barren widow, poor and an immigrant living in a foreign land, she takes bold and daring initiatives to provide food for her mother-in-law. Her boldness and industry do not go unnoticed by Boaz, who reciprocates her hesed in ways Ruth or Naomi could have never imagined. The text has much to say about the dynamic of God’s grace and human initiative and the importance of crossing social barriers and breaking societal rules to raise the dignity of the marginalized.
Ruth 1 For the last several weeks Bernard Bell has given us the broad sweep of the kingdom of God in heaven through the Daniel’s apocalyptic visions of ravenous wild beasts and destructive empires that rise and fall under God’s sovereign hand. For the next four weeks we will turn our attention to the book of Ruth, examining how God’s kingdom comes to earth in an age of moral deterioration, political disaster and civil war. Ellen Davis observes, “Like the Israelites in the time of the Judges, we are worn down and worn out by ‘great events’ on a national and international scale… and so, perhaps the teaching of this book of Ruth is especially apt now in a time of widespread disorder and personal loss, simple acts of mutual regard—the Hebrew word for that is hesed, the discipline of generosity that binds Israelites to one another and to God—acts of hesed can open up the future God intends.”
Dan 12 As we emerge from the Omicron wave of Covid and mark two years since PBCC closed its campus at the beginning of the pandemic, the light at the end of the tunnel looms large. But for Russia’s war in Ukraine there is as yet no light at the end of the tunnel; the train is still heading further into the darkness. Daniel asked how long it would be till the end of the time of distress. He is given different answers: a time, times and half a time; 1290 days; and 1335 days. How far away is the light and what does the light bring?
Dan 11 The world admires the courageous resistance of the Ukrainian people and President Zelensky in the face of the brutal Russian invasion. Is it possible to mount an effective resistance without sinking to the same brutality as the invader? Both Daniel and Revelation are resistance literature, written to encourage God’s people to resist evil while remaining faithful to him. Daniel 11 portrays human empire sweeping over God’s faithful people. How do they resist?