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Sunday Recap for November 27, 2016:
An Already, Not Yet Church

Mission Highlight: Thank you Jamin for sharing about the way God has been walking with you and your family, as you guys get ready for your next step in Kansas City. From their move from Greenville from an unexpected firing to the yet another surprising call to move to Kansas City, the Jantzs exhort, or strongly encourage, all of us to live intentionally in the city we are living in. We are not where we are just because of a job, or school, or such things, but because God is sending us to serve and love those around us, and to grow in faith. Jamin encouraged us to make use of the church community God places us in, to open up and share our lives with one another as God has worked in amazing ways through church community through every big step in Greenville, San Francisco, and looking forward in Kansas City.

We will miss the Jantzs and the huge blessing and example they have been to our church, but hope they will return, God willing. Let's all pray for the Jantz family, their Kansas City community, and their next step, that God continue be with them and bless them and those around them, for his glory and praise.
Question #47: Does the Lord's Supper add anything to Christ's atoning work?
Answer: No, Christ died once for all. The Lord's Supper is a covenant meal celebrating Christ's atoning work; as it is also a means of strengthening our faith as we look to him, and a foretaste of the future feast. But those who take part with unrepentant hearts eat and drink judgment on themselves.
This week's Sermon: "An Already, Not Yet Church" (Hebrews)

“Christ’s kingdom is present now, but not yet consummated. It is a ‘semirealized’ kingdom. Even now, the blessings that Christ has won for us are being distributed by him through his Spirit…We are already chosen, redeemed, called, justified, and renewed; we are being sanctified, and we will one day be glorified. For now, though, we live in the tension between the kingdom’s inauguration and its consummation…We never live in either the already or the not yet by itself but always in that in-between world, moving back and forth between these two realities that mark our present travels.” (Michael Horton)
Main: There is grace and power in the long view.

Sermon Application Questions / Sermon Slides
This sermon series: A Year of Biblical Literacy

Want a Christmas Tree? Delancy Street is a wonderful organization in San Francisco that is selling Christmas trees at Roosevelt Middle School where we meet on Sundays! Please come check out the North end of the parking lot before or after service! They will be there every day, including every Sunday, until December 23rd. 
In case you missed it, check out the last Year of Biblical Literacy lecture here!
For the next four weeks, we'll be including N.T. Wright's advent devotional in our newsletter. Subscribe to it directly using the link at the bottom. 

Entering the Advent Season Celebrating the Arrival of the King

As we prepare for Advent and Christmas, one obvious theme is the kingship of Jesus. We use royal language about Jesus a lot but we seldom pause to think what exactly that ought to mean both when we talk about Jesus himself and when we think about leadership and government in the world. On both sides of the Atlantic just now we are living with the surprising results of democracy, and this is a great moment to reflect on God’s vision for human government, and indeed God’s vision for a healthy human society. I find myself returning again and again to Psalm 72. Some theologians in our day have protested against royal psalms like this one, seeing them as exercises in spurious divine legitimation for oppressive regimes. But this Psalm stoutly resists all such deconstruction, for two obvious reasons to start with and then more as we go deeper into its message.

Psalm 72 holds out for us a vision of a world aflame with glory; a world in which justice is done, especially for the poor and for those who have nobody to speak for them. This is a vision of a king to whom the kings of the earth come bearing gifts because he is doing what they know they ought to be doing, namely delivering the needy when they call out, having pity on the weak and poor, rescuing the helpless from the greedy, the oppressive and the violent. How many times in recent years, recent days, have we longed for a society like that? In my country, and I think also in yours, the political elites and the pollsters grossly underestimated the fact that while in London and New York and elsewhere the rich were getting richer and organising the system to their advantage, in many parts of my country, including Durham where I used to work, and in many parts of your lovely country too, there were people whose cries for help seemed to be going unheeded. 

The real poverty and hardship faced by many in the waste places of the former industrial heartlands have not been addressed. The job descriptions have not come true. Politicians come and go but they always have as part of their stated aim the radical improvement of the country, of the world, of the lives of ordinary people. Most public servants start out believing in that aim and object, but even if they are not befuddled by the many compromises they have to make on the way up they will be dazzled by the glittering temptations of power and prestige; or they will suppose that the way to put the world right will be a heavy-handed solution imposed from above, whether through a new social structure which might just trickle down to where it’s really needed or through bombs and missiles raining down on our perceived enemies. My friends, we’ve tried all these again and again and the world is in more of a mess, not less, as a result. It is time to glimpse the biblical vision of God’s kingdom which we find in this Psalm, as we read it through the lens of the gospel of Jesus in which its theme is intensified, not relativized as so many have imagined….

The obvious Christian reason is that this Psalm is picked up by both Matthew and Luke in announcing the birth of Jesus. Matthew’s Magi bringing gifts to the baby Jesus are obviously fulfilling the prophecies of this Psalm about the gifts brought by the kings of Sheba and Seba, and indeed it may be the implicit reference to this Psalm which, in popular imagination, has turned the Magi into actual kings. Luke’s Benedictus, celebrating John the Baptist as the royal herald, echoes the final praise of the Psalm: Blessed by the Lord, the God of Israel who alone does wondrous things! So the first followers of Jesus were encouraged to go back to this Psalm and make it their own, which they duly did in reporting the claim of the risen Jesus to possess already ‘all authority in heaven and on earth’. The foundation of all biblical visions of God’s purposes for the world, and how they are to be implemented is that the Creator God wants his world to be full of his glory, which means among other things full of true justice and generous mercy. This is not just a vision for a far-off distant time. We are not expected to sit on our hands and wait for it to happen beyond the sky by and by. Even in Old Testament times it was perfectly possible for kings to do justice and love mercy; they often failed, but the best of them didn’t do too badly. And part of the point of the resurrection narratives in the gospels is that in the risen Jesus God has already launched his new creation. 

Jesus himself is both the start of that new creation and the Lord who gives his own Spirit so that his people can continue the project. You see, from Genesis 1 onwards it’s clear that the Creator God wants to rule his world through wise, image-bearing human beings. There is a Trinitarian base for all biblical political theology: the Creator wants to work in the world by his image of justice and mercy being reflected through obedient, humble, wise humans. The Davidic king is seen in some texts as the true Adam, and in others (as in Psalm72) as the fulfilment of the Abrahamic promises. The King is therefore the archetypal image-reflecting human. The grandiose language and glorious hope of the Psalm depend on this vision, that the coming king will reflect into the world God’s priority and care for the poor, the oppressed, those who suffer violence and wrong.

N.T. Wright 
From Sunday Sermon, 20 November 2016


Also, for a downloadable Advent guide from The Village Church with family devotionals included, please click on the image above!
Don't Forget!
  • Please join us in A Year of Biblical Literacy. This year, we are reading through the Bible together as a congregation. We have a Scripture reading schedule (never too late to hop on!), videos, and other resources to help us along. 
  • Sign up for the online newsletter! You can go to christchurchsf.org/#newsletter!
  • Youth Group Discussions every Sunday after service, 12:00 - 12:30pm Older youth welcome and encouraged to join us in the "Chill out" section of the Cafeteria!
Have any questions, comments, thoughts to share? Please email us!
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