On a crisp December Sunday morning we enjoyed singing Christmas carols accompanied by our dedicated worship music team. Bill read a Psalm of praise and led us in heartfelt corporate prayer. The Christiansen family shared several scriptures and lit the advent candle of Peace.
We delighted in a spirited harp duet of Go Tell it on the Mountain by Peggy and Vanessa. The resonating haunting minor key carols of What Child is This and O Come, O Come Emanuel exemplified that the baby to be born was also our anointed Savior born to die on a cross.
Pastor Kevin continued preaching his mined wisdom and perspective on the women in the genealogy of Christ found in Mathew 1. This week we focused on Rahab: the foreign (Canaanite) prostitute and emphasized ancestor of Jesus. Our primary text was Joshua 2, where Rahab hid the Israelite spies and acknowledged to them that “the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below”.
We have a strong tendency to hyper-classify people as good (white hats) or bad (black hats). But in reality we’re all a mixture of sin and righteousness. God seeks us out in our sin and tells us to stop sinning. Jesus is the Great Physician who knows perfectly what is destructive and cancerous in our lives. It is our faith in him, and our doing all that He says to do (excising our sin) that allows us to be strong and courageous and avoid the spirit of fear.
Rahab was a messed-up sinner who chose to be on God’s side…even in her imperfect way. But God, in his multi-layered style, puts in symbolism with Rahab’s scarlet cord in the window. It is symbolic of the Passover and the blood of the lamb on the door posts protecting the family in the house….that is symbolic of Christ’s blood shed to save us. The blood of the Lamb of God marks us, and in our yielding to him in faith, He saves us from the consequences we truly deserve.
Contrast was drawn between counterparts:
- Rahab the prostitute who chose to honor God
- Achan who secretly chose to plunder glory that belonged to God.
Rahab elevated her faith; whereas Achan’s desirous greed surpassed his faith. Sin taints and destroys what it touches. God’s righteousness saves and cleanses what it touches.
We must strive to be holy and be wary of being like Achan and hiding our sin in order to look holy. We’re warned against being whitewashed tombs. There is no such thing as settling to be ‘mostly pure’. Christ came to save the sick, not the healthy and we must confess, repent, and obey. May we live by faith and be actively pursuing to expose and eliminate all sins in ourselves.
Final note: Smiles were abundant after the service as it was shared that one of our youngest FCCers had innocently referred to our mid-week Christmas Caroling as “Cliff & Caroling”