Pastor's Blog

April 2014

What did you just say?

One of my favorite TV shows of all time is Hogan’s Heroes (a comedic sitcom set in a German Prisoner of War camp during World War II). During one of the episodes from this show’s second season there is a scene in which Colonel Hogan (the senior ranking POW officer) tells Corporal Newkirk that he just had a great idea. After Hogan walks away, Newkirk asks Corporal LeBeau, “What was that great idea I just had?” LeBeau responds, “I don’t know; what did you say?” To which Newkirk admits, “I don’t know; I wasn’t listening.”

Does this ever happen to you? Are there ever times in your life that if someone were to ask you, “What did you just say?” you would have to admit that you didn’t know?

I think that probably happens quite often, more than we may realize. Why do I say that? Because there are certain words that we use without always remembering or understanding what they mean. One example might be the word “Alleluia.” We use that word quite often (especially at this time of the year), but do we understand what it means? If someone were to ask you, “What did you just say?” would you have an answer for them, or would you have to admit, like Corporal Newkirk, “I don’t know; I wasn’t listening”?

If you would like to know what you’re saying or singing each time you use the word “Alleluia,” here’s your answer: the word “Alleluia” (also “Hallelujah”) comes from the Hebrew language and means “Praise the Lord!”

Why do we sing “Alleluia” so much at this time of the year? As we remember what God has done for us, what else can we do but “Praise the Lord!”? “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Jesus also said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:1-3).

Jesus died and rose again. He won the forgiveness for all our sins. He has prepared a home in heaven for us. So let us sing, “Alleluia, Praise the Lord!”



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The Best Is Still To Come

When you are reading and come across an unfamiliar word, what do you do? Do you grab a dictionary off the shelf? Do you Google it? Do you just try to understand the word based on its context? Or do you maybe just ignore the word and keep reading?

If you are anything like me, ignoring the word happens all too often! Yet, do you ever stop to think about how much you might be missing by not understanding that one word? Take for example the word “betrothal”. It’s not a word that we use every day, but understanding the betrothal customs of Jesus’ day can really open our eyes to understanding some of the pictures recorded in the Bible.

In Bible times, betrothal was similar to, but not the same as engagement today. Engagement is a promise to be married someday. Betrothal was the actual marriage. From the day of betrothal on, the young man and young woman were legally married, but they didn’t live like it yet. Typically about a year passed as the groom prepared the new home for his bride. After everything was prepared a party was held, and then the bride and groom began their new life together. Betrothal gave this young couple marital status, but the best was still to come.

As you study the Bible, how often don’t you find pictures of believers being married to Christ and pictures of heaven as a wedding feast? When you understand betrothal customs, these pictures may mean a whole lot more! Believers in Christ already have legal status; we are connected to him, but the best is still to come. For it’s in heaven that we truly will be able to live with Christ our Savior.

Because of Jesus who lived, died and rose again for us, we already are living as children of God; but thanks be to God that, because of Jesus, the best is still to come!



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Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. ~ 1 Timothy 1:15