Pastor’s Desk 2019-11-12

Chuck Sheridan Avatar

Good Morning to You, What a great Sunday it was. We had about 148 people at church. Besides a few guests, we have so many people returning. Now the challenge is everyone has a name and trying to remember and put names and faces together. It is more fun than a TV quiz game. And then some of you enjoy leading me on with false identities!
Then after church we met on the front veranda for the Woman’s Prison Ministry Bake Sale. I think they sold most of everything. It was a good way to taste some baked goods and visit.
Next Sunday is Cookie Sunday. Oh, you have to like that! More cookies and visiting! It is a feast of cookies and interesting people.
Pastor Glenn will be speaking this Sunday, and I had a sneak peek at his message. It is as if he was planning to pick up from where my sermon finished. This will be good as always. Come prepared for a lesson from the Bible.
Have you been following the pictures from the SCCC Facebook page of the tour in Israel? (I am still struggling with jealousy.) Prayers are needed! By the time you are reading this, I think they will be on their way home. It looks like it was a great trip. I bet all the travellers come home tired yet still excited. We have to be ready for all the stories of what they saw.

Coming Up at SCCC

It was so good last year and Marilyn has offered to start an early winter session of “Dinner or Lunch for 6”. Some of you signed up last Sunday. Email her at if you’d still like to get in on this unique way to getting to know some of the church folks. We had such good feedback last year. She will announce the initial groups soon. If you’ve got some questions, please don’t hesitate to email or speak to Marilyn. Don’t miss out on this opportunity. I am really looking forward to this.

Leadership Retreat for all our deacons, elders, pastoral staff and their spouses (Dec 5-6) This will be our third year together as the larger leadership team for a time of dreaming, learning and growing as the team that God has brought together to bring guidance to our church here in SC. More details to come.

Ladies Mountain Movers: A time when the ladies gather and pray. And wow, can they pray! Come Wednesday mornings at 9 a.m. Look out San Carlos, the ladies are praying.

Men’s Breakfast and Study: This week and will be a study on “Study the Bible” lead by Stephen. I think we are going to learn something! Come on over to Tequila’s on Thursday (8:30am) and add to the discussion. New to the group, first time visitor? Then the breakfast is free.

Our Prayer Wall – The Prayer Wall on our church website is a great way to keep informed of the needs of our church family and/or to request prayer for a need you have.

Sermon Series: “Enter In; Holy of Holies. Hebrews 9:3”
The ancient Temple in Jerusalem was made with two large rooms. One was busy, with people, priests and sacrifices. It was the largest room. The second room was smaller, and you had to pass through a curtain to get in. But that was forbidden. Only on the most special occasions could a priest go through the curtain. And he didn’t do that without offering sacrifices for his sin and many prayers. When he did enter it was with fear. You see it was the most holy place and man recognized himself as sin stained. Almost a defective image of God, because of the effect of sin. How could one who is sin stained stand in the most holy place?
The curtain was about 20 feet square. It was heavy. No breeze moved that curtain. And when the priest entered through the curtain, he did not draw it back but slipped through the part like a fearful guest into the presence of God.
And this is the problem. Access to the worshiper was denied. There was a separation between man and God. It was a worship of God with a barrier of separation.
Year after year the routine was the same. Sacrifices and divisions, separation from God and fear of man getting too close. It begged me to question, did the priests or worshipers ever ask why they did all this? What was the meaning of all this? Or perhaps it was a question no one dared to ask?
The writer of Hebrews 8:5 (NIV) “They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven.” So that is why they had to do all this so correctly! It was copy, a shadow, a mirror of the better image. Now drop me into the scene and I would have asked, “Can’t we see the real image? Why just look at pictures of sweet dark chocolate double fudge cake with white chocolate dressing, when I can have the real cake. I want the real thing here!” Who would be satisfied with just the picture of chocolate, when you could have the real item? Why just work with the copy?
I suspect that the copy became the item that was real and perhaps they forgot it was only a copy? Perhaps they stopped questioning about where is the real? Then Jesus came. Hebrews 8:28 says that the priests appointed were imperfect, yet the Son of God, who was the perfect high priest came and so the order changes.
Hebrews 8:1-2 (NIV) “Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by a mere human being.”
Jesus Christ was the real, not the copy. The priests, the Temple, the sacrifices, the ceremony was all a dress rehearsal for what was to come. What was to happen then?
One Passover Season while the priests were preparing for their routine sacrifices of the season, some criminals were being crucified just outside the city walls. But one of those was different. The priests had even done their best to be sure that one would be crucified. His name was Jesus.
What the writer of Hebrews and now myself is trying to say, is that as the sacrifices were taking place inside the Temple, not very far away the Lamb of God was being sacrificed. Matthew records in his gospel account of the story (27:50-51) that when Jesus died, the curtain of the Temple was tore in two. It split from the top to the bottom. Luke says the same in chapter 23. The curtain that closed the Holy of Holies to man, was opened by God. The supreme sacrifice was made by God himself and access to his presence was granted! Sin had lost the power to separate God from the worshipers!
So, my encouragement is this, when we give our sin in confession to God, we are granted access to the presence of a holy God! If you at any time sense you are separated from God, step away from your own self and shortcoming, sins, iniquities (or whatever you choose to call it) and step into the presence of God. It is the best place.
If I could leave you one final thought let the Bible say it; Heb 10:19-22 “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”

God bless your week, Pastor Chuck.

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