Bulletin for Sunday 11/07/2010
With Robert Prater
One of Rembrandt’s more famous paintings is entitled The Three Crosses. When one looks at the painting, your attention is drawn first to the cross on which Jesus died. Then as you look at the crowd gathered around the foot of that cross, you are impressed by the various facial expressions and actions of the people involved in the awful crime of crucifying the Son of God. Finally, your eyes drift to the edge of the painting to catch sight of another figure, almost hidden in the shadows. Some art critics say this is a representation of Rembrandt himself, for he recognized that by his sins he helped nail Jesus to the cross.
The old spiritual asks, “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” And we must answer, “Yes, we were there.” Not as spectators only; but as participants, guilty participants. John Stott in his classic book, The Cross of Christ writes, “It is a simple thing to say Christ died for the sins of the world. It is quite another thing to say that Christ died for my sins. It may make us feel better to point the finger at those who put Jesus on the cross, but it is a shocking thought that we can be as indifferent as Pilate, as scheming as Caiaphas, as calloused as the soldiers, as ruthless as the mob, or as cowardly as the disciples. It isn’t just what they did—it was I who nailed Him to the tree. I crucified the Christ of God, I joined the mockery.”
It was each of us who participated in Christ’s death and yet He willingly took the cross upon Himself to reveal to the best of God’s love and bring us salvation. The prophet Isaiah said, “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 54:4-5)
Friends, place yourself in the shadows with Rembrandt. You too are standing there. But then recall what Jesus said as He hung on that cross, “Father, forgive them.” Thank God, that includes you and me. Horatius Bonar (1808-89), who has been called the ‘prince of Scottish hymn-writers’, expressed it well about the sacrifice of Christ:
Twas I that shed that sacred Blood,
I nailed him to the Tree,
I crucified the Christ of God,
I joined the mockery.
Yet not the less that Blood avails
To cleanse me from sin,
And not the less that Cross prevails
To give me peace within
-- Robert -- email@example.com
Deborah Connelly responded to the invitation last Sunday evening and expressed a desire for prayers of strength in her life to be more faithful to God. She seeks to also become a better influence on her family. Deborah has visited Central recently and was formerly a member at the East Main congregation. She lives in the Aldridge Apartments. Please keep her in your prayers as she seeks to sincerely do the Lord’s will in her life.
An attended nursery from birth to 3 years will be available again to those who are in need of this service. If you are interested in helping with this, please give your name to Maggie Prater or Analisa Beal and they will put your name in the rotation.
All ladies are invited to attend the ‘Ladies Day’ at Southwest church of Christ in Ada on Saturday, November 13, beginning at 8:30 a.m. ‘til about 1:00 p.m. The guest speaker will be Bettie Lundy.
Charles Wright remains in Solara, room 220.
November 7, Sunday, AWTG @ North MacArthur Church of Christ, leaving our building at 4 p.m.
November 13, Saturday, Hayride @ the Stephens’ at 5 p.m. Bring lawn chairs. Check with Bob or Janet if there is something you would like to bring.
What If God Was Praised
By Phil Robertson
A friend of mine recently made this comment, “Around here football is a religion!” At first his words sounded like an innocent declaration of the passion and allegiance many of us have for our favorite teams. But after a little reflection, his words seemed to burn a hole in my conscience. Is football our religion? Please consider the following “what if” scenarios:
What if we gave as much money to evangelism and charity as we do to tickets, travel and team merchandise? Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt 6:25).
What if we could name the apostles, judges, and great heroes of faith like we can name our team’s starting lineup, reserves, and even recruits? “Whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Rom 15:4).
What if fathers taught their children about the Lord and His works as much as they do about defensive formations or strategies of an offensive? “Fathers bring your children up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Eph 6:4).
What if we proudly displayed our love for the Lord as we do our team’s logos from our homes and cars? “Praise the Lord all you Gentiles and let all the peoples extol Him” (Rom 15:11).
What if we arrived early and participated in a worship service with the same dedication we have for crowded football stadiums with limited parking, little legroom and no protection from inclement weather? “For I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord” (Psa 122:1).
What if we hated Satan and His schemes to conquer souls as much as we do a rival who is threatening to take a game from us? “Be sober because your adversary the devil walks about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet 5:8).
What if the joy of winning souls and the pain of losing souls matched our passion for winning and losing a football game of which we are not even a participant? “There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents’” (Lk 15:10).
There is nothing inherently sinful about cheering for a favorite team and enjoying a game. However, sports must not take precedence over our duties and responsibilities to the Lord.
The only victory that truly counts has already been won. Jesus conquered death so that we may live in Him (Rom 5:8; 6:3-7). Allow Him to cloth you with His atoning garments (Gal 3:27; Rev 7:14) and join His team in fighting against our true enemy (Eph 6:10-16).
November 7, Standard Time begins; set your clock back one hour before going to bed Saturday night.
November 7, Search: “God Gives Grace to the Humble”
November 13, Annual “Warmth from the Heart” Coat Giveaway, 10 a.m. ‘til 2 p.m.
November 14, Search: “Get More from God’s Word”
November 21, Search: “Thanksgiving”
November 28, Search: “Jesus Arose”
January 2, Shawnee Area-Wide Worship, “Praise Him-2011”, @ Heart of Oklahoma Expo Center, Sunday evening 5 p.m. Alan Martin, guest speaker
Coats – Caps – Scarves – Gloves – Blankets needed for
Warmth from the Heart
LAST WEEKS RECORD
Bible School 154
Worship Service 201
Sunday Evening 149
Wednesday Evening 121
SERVING THE CONGREGATION
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Announcements: Bob Stephens
Opening Prayer: Paul Harris
Song Director: Michael Michener
Scripture: Dresean Whiting
Sermon: Robert Prater
Closing Prayer: Clavin Norwood
SERVING AT THE LORD’S TABLE
Mitch Harmon Burl Vanlandingham
Lynn Harmon Greg Beal
AT THE BACK OF AUDITORIUM
Jim Carpenter Keith Lawrence
Gene Norton Tracy Gettle
Foyer: Gene & Dorothy Norton
Elevator: Tracy & Mary Gettle
ASSISTING OUTSIDE ELEVATOR DOOR
EVENING WORSHIP SERVICE
Opening Prayer: Carl Weeks
Song Director: Michael Michener
Sermon: Robert Prater
Closing Prayer: Jim Cross
AT THE LORD’S TABLE
Richard Albright Craig McKnight
WEDNESDAY NIGHT SERVICE
Classes for all ages
Song Director: Austin Beard
If unable to serve this week, notify
Frank Romberg – 273-1297