Sermon Series: Live Again
July 16, 2023 – Live Again: Part 3”
The Temple in Jewish culture and worship was the most sacred institution that existed. It was the true north of their moral and spiritual compass. Likewise, the church today shapes how we live our everyday lives as people who follow Jesus’ teachings and way of life.
God gives Ezekiel a glorious vision of a new Temple filled with God’s presence that becomes a source of life and blessing to the world around it. Ezekiel’s vision is of a river of water that flows out from the Temple making lush vegetation burst forth wherever the river touches. This too is a hopeful vision of what the church can be too!
This Sunday in worship we will invite students and teachers to bring their work bags and backpacks so we can pray over them before they begin a new school year. I hope you will join us for this special time of prayer and blessing.
Let me update you on what my family will be doing this fall so you can know more about us. My wife, Debbie, has joined the staff at Clinton Junior High School. She is excited to be working in our city’s public school system. Caroline will be going into the 8th grade at the junior high school. She is already making new friends and looking forward to begin her first day. Our sons, Ethan and Landon, live in Starkville and share an apartment. Ethan has been a student at MSU and works at a local deli. Landon will be a freshman at East Mississippi Community College this fall. Back to school season is always a new and exciting adventure – one we pray provides many blessings and opportunities to be a blessing to others. See you Sunday!
The River From the Temple
47 The man brought me back to the entrance to the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar. 2 He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing east, and the water was trickling from the south side.
3 As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits[a] and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. 4 He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. 5 He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross. 6 He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this?”
Then he led me back to the bank of the river. 7 When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river. 8 He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah,[b] where it enters the Dead Sea. When it empties into the sea, the salty water there becomes fresh. 9 Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live. 10 Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets. The fish will be of many kinds—like the fish of the Mediterranean Sea. 11 But the swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt. 12 Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”