An Unchanging God in a Changing World
|New Life Bulletin ~ 3/18/21 |
From the time I began to pay attention to preachers, teachers, and the Bible, I have struggled with the difference between the concept of God in the Old Testament compared to the teaching of Jesus in the New. The God of the Old Testament had no qualms about destroying men, women, children, and herds of animals.
I also found it easy for some folks to approach this difference by simply saying that God can do whatever God wants, whenever and to whomever and use whatever means available. There are places in the Old Testament that would seem to support that. But let’s leave God for a moment and approach this from another angle, i.e., the human body.
At some point in time (“In the beginning”) a flesh and blood thing was called “human.” Well, that wasn’t the word, but a distinction was made between this creature and the others. What did the first humans know about what made existence (life) possible? My journey down this road may be a little rocky, but bear with me. They knew without breath there was no life, so it was called “the breath of life.” At some point they realized if the blood ran out due to injury, life was gone. So, blood was now added to life. Then, that strange sound in the chest told them when it was silent, life was gone. So now what we call the heart was part of life. How long did this understanding take? We don’t know. What we do know is that the human body did not change in what produced life. It was the same body, but it was being understood better. Each step in understanding produced the next step on which a continuing knowledge was built.
Think about those throughout history who would fall into the “doctor” category. Step by step they learned by observation and trial and error what treatments for pain and sickness would work. Imagine the moment when the actual process of human reproduction was discovered. Centuries of believing the “seed” was all that was needed gave way to a better understanding of reproduction. And, not without those who refused to believe it at the time. Same body, different understanding. At some point the brain was discovered as an important part of life. In recent years, the term “brain dead” has become the final determination of life’s end. You may have been taught in school about the great controversy when a doctor said there were germs and the hands needed to be washed before treating the person.
The basic human body did not change, but the understanding of how it functioned did. Where would we be if we still understood the body as it was in ancient times? The history of medicine tells us that those who dared to discard the accepted ways were nearly always seen as wicked and dangerous. Imagine the first time someone cut into a body to perform surgery? Now we have genes, DNA, and the genome. As long as human beings exist, the body will not fundamentally change. What changes is our understanding of it.
Is that not also true with God? The book of Job challenges the centuries old belief that bad things do not happen to good people. That was how God was understood. It can be seen in the Old Testament writings as well as in the New. (See Luke 13:1-5) All acts of nature were seen as God.
God’s “voice” was also heard through the ears of how God was understood at the time. Just as the early doctors understood the human body one development at a time, so also those who “heard” the voice God continued to grow in their knowledge of God.
So, does that mean the Bible is outdated? No. The foundation of the Bible from the beginning to the end is based on the great and eternal principle of loving God and one’s neighbor as oneself. In Jesus we have the highest standard of moral and ethical teaching and behavior. And, just as the original principle has not changed, the understanding of it has. Therefore, Jesus could say, “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, (by teachers of God) but I say to you.” Maybe that’s why Jesus is called “The Great Physician.”
THOSE TO SERVE IN MARCH
Announcements: Connie Crites
Ushers: Leena Bolin / Mike Branch
Singing: Del Bolin 21st, 28th
Scripture: Susan Jordan
Communion: Keith Wagner
29- James Downing
31- Erma Williams
Maggie Foy has been accepted to UVA. She will start in the fall. Way to go! Congrats Maggie!!!
Melanie Beaver Thompson was sworn in on 3/17/21 as a practicing lawyer in the state of West Virginia. Congrats Melanie!!!!
CONCERNS: Nick Hodges, one of Holly’s CF friends, had COVID. He is now worried about more damage to his lungs. A friend of Mark McRoy, Mr. Calesta Saunders, is paralyzed from the waist down from a spinal stroke. Susan Jordan’s father, Kerry Hay, is back in the hospital due to low BP. Angela Cavalier is recovering from knee surgery. Please continue to pray for Judy McWhorter’s brother-in-law, Gary Overstreet, who is now home. Megan Downing’s aunt, Stacey Smith, is having ongoing cancer treatments. Also pray for Megan’s grandmother, Bonnie Beaver, who has stage 4 ovarian cancer. Megan’s grandfather, Judd Beaver, is currently in the hospital for testing. Alan Beach is doing well and is working full-time, while continuing immunotherapy treatments at UVA through April. Please keep him and Joni in your prayers. Del Bolin’s mom, Carrie, continues to have health issues. Alisa Flora’s sister, Melanie Gentry, has stage three cancer. Please keep the whole family in prayer.
Please pray for friends of Keith Wagner, Jo-Ellen and son, Joe Griffith. Both are having health issues. Teryn’s mother, Brenda Windham, has cancer. Continue to pray for Martha Albert who is back in Alabama for a while. Joni Beach’s niece, Jamie Cole. Pray for Wayne & Susan Phlegar to continue to stay safe and healthy. Pray for Debbie McRoy’s cousins, Linda Alsup and Erica Halford. Deanna McRoy has a kind of cancer that can return at any time. ALSO REMEMBER: Martha Albert, Ruby Crosin, Mark & Ellen Tidwell, Donte McCadden, Joni and Alan Beach’s fathers, Jim Hunter, Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver, and Tim Elder.
GIDEONS The Gideons will be presenting their ministry this Sunday 3/21. They partner with local churches to help distribute bibles in over 200 countries.
GIDEONS’ CHICK-FIL-A OUTREACH
We are partnering with the Gideons and Chick-fil-A to give out chicken sandwiches and bibles to our neighbors on Saturday, April 10th. We are looking for church volunteers to help with this event. Please let Brian know or call the office if you can help.
SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS
Del Bolin is leading the class on the study of “The Acts of God in the Book of Acts”. Please join us Sunday mornings at 9:30am in person or on YouTube Live.
We are planning a Saturday outside workday soon now that spring is upon us.
ONLINE YOUTUBE SERMONS
We continue to provide services online. The Roanoke Church of Christ YouTube channel link is below:
RESCUE MISSION TRAINING
Please prayerfully consider serving with the Roanoke Rescue Mission in their Agape After Care Program as outlined by Mrs. Natalie Kline. Susan Jordan will send an email with more information regarding this program. Contact the office if you are interested in attending a training session (a half day). We need a few more church members to qualify for the training. Please notify Brian or Joanne as soon as possible, so we can set up this training.
Brian Mileti’s office hours are Tuesday through Friday from 9:00am to 3:00pm. Cell phone #(540) 521-2112. Please call before coming to the office.
We are studying the gospel of Matthew via Zoom conferencing at 7:00pm. This is an interactive session that can be joined by computer or phone call. Join the Zoom Meeting by going to this link:
Meeting ID:873 6718 6931
One tap Mobile. No Passcode.
We received a thank you card from Joni & Alan Beach thanking the congregation for encouragement and prayers for this past year. The card is on the foyer table.
We will be sending out a separate email with a copy of the 2021 budget for you to review. We will be having a budget discussion on Sunday April 11th after church.
EASTER SERVICE POSTCARDS
Easter Service invitation cards will be in the foyer. Please pick up a few to pass out to friends and family.
Cash and checks made payable to Roanoke Church of Christ can be dropped off at the office, dropped in the basket at the entry door, or checks mailed to 2606 Brandon Avenue, SW; Roanoke, VA 24015.
NEW FACEBOOK PAGE
Have you checked out our new Facebook page, Church of Christ-Roanoke? It was published recently. ‘Like’ the page and start sharing content to your page. Events and content will now be easier to share. The “old” Facebook group will continue to be used for private announcements, concerns, prayer requests.