The first Epistle of John begins this way. “We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us—we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
In the 16th chapter of John, the apostle quotes our Lord as follows: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” There is a special blessing in this Dominican saying for every one of the Master’s disciples. It is an offer of peace in him and good cheer. His offer is as surely available today as it was when he first spoke it to those original disciples. The peace and good cheer that he offers is grounded in his victory – over the world.
Silent Sabbath, the day between Jesus' death on Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday, is not something that Adventists always observe. But marking the silence of God on Silent Sabbath offers a rich worship experience, one that you are invited to enter today.
This Silent Sabbath service was recorded at the La Sierra University Church on Easter Weekend, 2014.
"The lights are off for us today, and we are safe, because God is doing God's work," says Pastor Chris Oberg.
Kessia Reyne Bennett has served as a university chaplain, an evangelist, a pastor, and a social media professional. She is currently pursuing a PhD in systematic theology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois.
On January 24, she spoke at Loma Linda University Church's Re:Live Sabbath School during a weekend focused on the topic of women's ordination called "Women's Ordination: The Road to San Antonio." In her sermon entitled "Rights and Wrongs," Bennett addressed the problem with the argument for women's ordination.
Occasionally, the most powerful impact the words of Scripture can have is in the embodied, public reading of the text. Case in point: This past Sabbath, the pastoral staff at the La Sierra University Church in California--a staff that includes four women--read aloud the words of 1 Corinthians in which Paul admonishes the church in Corinth that women must be silent in the churches.
I find myself reflecting on the story of David and Goliath this week. It is a story that captivated me as a young child, as I think it does most children. In this story, we find David, a young shepherd, thrust into a situation much bigger than himself, both literally and figuratively. It is not a situation he thought he’d be in, and yet, here he is, taking a stand for his beliefs and his people against a giant.
There is something that seems almost idyllic about growing up in a small home town where you know everyone and everyone knows you. Rootedness, shared traditions, familiar faces, safety – or if not that, at least predictability. Even if times are hard, or circumstances challenging, there is a certain rhythm of life that develops that resists change and challenge. We know who everyone is, where they live, where everything goes.