Tuesday, April 23 2024 - 11:11 AM

Sharing Scripture — March 16, 2024

Longing for God in Zion

 

For use: March 10 – 16, 2024
Texts: Psalm 46; 84; 87; 122; 125; Revelation 21:3; Galatians 3:28, 29; Matthew 28:18-20

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced it will allow West Bank Palestinians entry to the Temple Mount, Jerusalem, for Friday prayers during Ramadan. Gaza-based Palestinians will not be allowed access to the holy site. Although admittance to visit Al-Aqsa Mosque is limited, this week marks the first time since October 2023 that the site will house Palestinian worshippers younger than the age of 70, reports Anadolu Ajansi.

The Temple Mount, where Al-Aqsa Mosque is located, holds particular significance for all of the Abrahamic faiths, although for different reasons, explains the American Jewish Committee. Islamic tradition holds that from this site the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven, and that it is the first site toward which the Prophet Muhammad and his followers directed their prayers. The Temple Mount’s significance for Jews and Christians is that it was the designated home of the first two Holy Temples.

Ironically, what had once been Mount Zion, the designated home of the Temple where God’s presence dwelled and atonement was made possible, has devolved into what The Times of Israel and the Associated Press have dubbed “a flashpoint of Israeli-Palestinian violence.”

But Zion is much more than an inanimate object of religiopolitical warfare, a religious meeting place, a glorified city, and even an immovable mountain. Revelation 21 tells us that Zion will be home to people of all nations, tribes, and tongues whose names are written in the the Lamb’s book of life, and that God will dwell amongst them.

 

For Reflection

 

Connecting: What does your church (the physical structure) mean to you, and why? If you don’t currently have a church or meeting house, would a physical structure add significance to your faith journey, or take away from it?

Sharing: Review the Scripture texts for this Sharing Scripture. What do you like best about Zion?

  1. It is where God’s presence resides
  2. It is the home of all peoples who live by the faith of Jesus
  3. It is immovable, transcending time and space
  4. It represents peace, hope, and joy
  5. Its rich history
  6. Other:

Applying: How do the principles of ancient Zion tie in with the vision recorded in Revelation 14? Brainstorm, preferably with a peer or small group, possible applications of the principles of Zion within the Adventist mission, and ways they could be applied in your own church or faith walk.

Valuing: Read John 2:13-22Matthew 27:50-51, and Revelation 21, and then revisit Revelation 21:1-3, Revelation 21:1-3, 22-27. Reflect on how you think your faith walk might be like while dwelling in the renewed, templeless (churchless) Zion.

~ Stefani Leeper


New Release:

As One Who Serves

 

Our newest resource, As One Who Serves: Perspectives on Adventist Mission & Ministry to Members, Families, and Communities is now available!

Much has been written about how the ministries of the Seventh-day Adventist Church can be more effective. There is a continued need for new approaches to ministry, guided by new and rigorous research. This volume honors the contributions of Monte Sahlin, who has dedicated his career to ministry and research spanning more than fifty years. The research, tributes, and other information presented in this book were each submitted by those who worked closely with Monte Sahlin during his career or were strongly influenced by his research, his many books, articles, presentations and blog posts and focuses on areas where Monte Sahlin has made significant related contributions:

  • Pastoral Ministry, Evangelism and Church Growth
  • Urban Mission and Ministry
  • Compassion Ministries – Social Action and Community Services
  • Church Administration and Leadership
  • Family Ministry, You and Young Adults

This book is organized around important topics offering new and important insights for those in ministry within the Seventh-day Adventist Church, highlighting recent research and inspiring continued scholarship.

You can obtain this special volume in paperback or for Kindle by visiting Amazon.

PS: While you’re fighting the cold weather and sipping at a tasty hot beverage, Center for Creative Ministry would LOVE to be your indoor companion. Not only will we provide you uplifting resources such as iFollow and Amazing Transformations in Christ, but we also provide spiritual food like Sharing Scripture, and denomination-related reports and statistics.

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