13th Sunday after Pentecost
Memorial Service on the 10th Anniversary of September 11
This Means War!
Text: Ephesians 6:10-18
I was up bright and early in the morning for class. No matter how interesting the subject, first hour class was never fun for a college student. After two morning classes, I had a break third hour before we had morning chapel on campus. I walked back to the dorm room. Fall was not far off, so the temperature was nearly perfect in Minnesota.
I walked into my room and my roommate immediately said, “Dude, you gotta see this.” I glanced at our TV. He had the news on. I think the first thing I said was, “What? Is that real?” I couldn’t believe what I saw—two massive skyscrapers billowing fire and smoke into the air. America was under attack!
Every day we had gathered for chapel in college. As usual I sat with my friends and next to my girlfriend (Becky). But chapel certainly had a different mood and feel that day. This was an epic event for the world, but in particular for our generation. My grandfather remembers where he was on December 7, 1941 for Pearl Harbor. My father cried as a grade school boy when they announced on November 22, 1963 that the president had been assassinated. But our generation has had nothing traumatic happen yet. The world wars were just history facts. Vietnam was something we saw in graphic movies or that our parents sometimes talked about. The Persian Gulf War was seemingly no big deal. We went over to the Middle East, flexed our American muscles, and called it a day. My generation had experienced nothing like this.
I could tell it would be a historic day, and not just because 2,977 people lost their lives. This was an attack on American soil. This was the Middle East versus the United States; terrorists versus people living in peace; Muslims versus Christians. All I could think was, This Means War! Rally the troops! Strap up the armor! Fire up the jets! Lock and load! This Means War! Read the rest of this entry
This is the eighth weekly reading in the plan for reading your Bible in one year. The assignment for this week is Galatians and Ephesians. It should only take about 5 minutes a day, or about 1-2 chapters a day to complete the assignment.
Here are some comments to help you grow in knowledge and faith as you read Galatians and Ephesians:
Background: There is no doubt that the apostle Paul wrote Galatians. To whom and when, however, are debatable. The problem is in whom you classify as Galatians. There were the Galatian people who lived in the northern part of Asia Minor. But the whole area was called the Province of Galatia by the Romans. Whomever the recipients were affects the date that Paul wrote the letter. Paul did not travel to the northern part of Asia Minor until later on. But he visit the Roman province of Galatia right away. We will go with the theory that he was writing to people in the south, which would put the date of the letter around 52 A.D. The purpose of the letter was to abruptly confront these people who seemed to be abandoning the truth of the gospel and instead returning to the laws of Moses as the way of salvation. God grant that as we read this we clearly hear and understand the truth of our Savior who has set us free! Read the rest of this entry
14th Sunday after Pentecost
Be Strong in the Lord
1. With his mighty power
2. With his mighty armor
Text: Ephesians 6:10-20
Let’s get ready to rumble! A man named Michael Buffer has made that phrase (and the way it is said) quite popular over the last two decades. Michael Buffer got started as a ring announcer for boxing matches. The unique way in which Buffer says that phrase has landed him dozens of other gigs. He has given his call to action before boxing matches, wrestling matches, and various other sporting championships. He has made appearances on TV shows such as Saturday Night Live and American Idol. He even trademarked the phrase in 1992 and has since made $400 million just off that trademark. It seems that any time there is going to be a big event, a big battle, or a big fight, Michael Buffer is there saying Let’s get ready to rumble!
Well, are you? Are you ready to rumble? Are you ready to battle? Are you ready to fight? Maybe you didn’t completely realize it. Maybe you weren’t fully aware of it. But I would hope that with the theme for worship today, you would now understand that all of us are entrenched in battle. Each and every day is a struggle. Each and every day is a fight. Each and every day is war.
Therefore, we must be ready to battle. We must be ready to fight. As Michael Buffer would say, we must be ready to rumble. The apostle Paul explains how we can do that today. He tells us how we can Be Strong in the Lord. Read the rest of this entry