Returning to the Ancient Paths – Part 3 | Jeremiah 6:16

Returning to the Ancient Paths – Part 3 | Jeremiah 6:16

Introduction

Before we begin today’s sermon would you join me in praying the words our Lord taught us to pray?

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done
in earth, as it is in heaven. 
Give us this day our daily bread. 
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: Amen

Please Stand for the Reading of God’s Word

Jeremiah 6:16 ESV  Thus says the LORD: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’

Deuteronomy 32:7 ESV  Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he will show you, your elders, and they will tell you.

You May Be Seated

Play “Christmas Truce for CLC.mp4” Make sure to test this video well before service starts.

What you just watched was a representation of an actual even that took place in 1914. World War 1, or the Great War as it was then called, had just started 3 months earlier, but the bodies where already piling up. At one point on the western front, on Christmas eve, soldiers on both sides began singing Christmas carols, shocked to find out that they were singing the same songs, they began singing together.

The next morning, it was Christmas. The allies watched in what at first was described as confusion and horror as their enemies emptied out of their trenches unarmed… at first the allies thought it was a trap… but then they heard, in their native tongue, the words “Merry Christmas” being joyfully shouted by their enemies.

At that, the allies joined them, exchanged hugs, gifts, and stories. They even played soccer together, and lit Christmas trees.

In the following days the opposing soldiers refused to shoot each other, and when one side was about to bomb the other with artillery shells, they would first tell their enemies to come take cover in their won trenches. This went on for a week or two before military officials found out that no one was killing each other… so they replaced all the troops on the front with fresh, angry, troops, who were willing to fight.

  • I share this story this morning to make a point… liturgy is beautiful, and moreover, liturgy protects the church.
    • Christmas, believe it or not, is a liturgical feast. It is something we Christians do all over the world, regardless of tradition, culture, denomination, or background.
    • We sing the same songs.
    • We have the same traditions.
    • And we teach the same Bible story, that some 2000 years ago a virgin gave birth to a child who would one day die for the sins of the world.
  • On this day in 1914, where men failed, where governments warred, when politics led to bloodshed… the Church prevailed… Christ prevailed.
  • And on that western front, the Holy Spirit used Liturgy to show both sides that they were Christians first, and citizens of worldly nations second.

Show Title Slide

  • Liturgy Protects the Church…
    • For the past two weeks we have talked about how returning to the ancient paths can give us a deeper understanding of who we are and where we are in Christ.
      • We talked about how we are Jewish, because we are grafted into the vine by a Jewish savior…
        • And I want to clarify something, when I say “We are Jewish” I do not mean that we are the same as those who practice religion in synagogue and call themselves Jews today, but without a savior…
        • What I mean is that we are Israelites… we are Hebrews…
        • That the God we serve is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and that has never changed.
        • That when Christ came, He came as the anticipated messiah that was prophesied even by Moses.
        • I mean that those who call themselves “Jewish” today use the term in a way that I don’t think is biblical, because they reject the Messiah, but that we who are grafted into the vine, and those Jews by heritage who accept Christ, that we are the true church, call it Jewish, call it Hebrew, call it Israelite… the point is, we are of the same faith as Abraham, of Moses, of King David, of Solomon, of Elijah and Elisha, or Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, and Nehemiah, and Ezra, and Malachi… y’all get what I am laying down?
      • So we talked about how learning ancient liturgy and practices can actually deepen our appreciation for the beauty of the gospel…
      • how the ancient paths all lead to and point to Christ.
      • The ancient feasts all lead to and point to Christ.
      • The ancient prayers all lead to and point to Christ.
      • The ancient Biblical texts all lead to and point to Christ.
      • And we learned that Christ walked in these ancient paths…
    • So today what we are going to talk about is why not just learning about these ancient paths is important, though it is very important…
    • But not just learning, but practicing some of these ancient liturgies can be very important.
      • Why? Because Liturgy Protects the church.

Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray

Point One Liturgy Protects the Church

  • This is our first and only point, the only take away that I have for you today, liturgy protects the church.
    • That’s what we saw in 1914, it was the liturgical practice of the Christmas that made the church rise across battle-lines!
  • You see we Christians have two liturgical feasts that we celebrate, Christmas and Easter.
    • And these feasts, these celebrations were meant to teach us and our children the history of Christs birth, death and resurrection.
      • At least that’s what they are supposed to do… and they did for a long time…
      • Christmas only had songs about Christs birth.
      • Easter was a holy and somber celebration
      • Teachings and devotions would take place.
      • Joy came from Christ alone, not from a bunny or from a since of materialism.
    • And as a pastor I URGE YOU to strip everything away from your Easter and Christmas celebrations that don’t glorify Christ.
      • At the Shields house our Christmas music is about Jesus.
      • Our Christmas tree is covered in Scripture.
      • Our advent calendars are paired with family devotions
      • We don’t have an elf on the shelf, instead we have a shepherd on the search… a stuffed shepherd we hide for the kids to find that helps tell the story of the Shepherds who first heard of Christ through angelic beings.
      • Because when my kids grow up when they think Christmas they are going to think Christ!
      • At the shields house we don’t do Easter bunnies and Easter eggs.
      • But we do observe a somber good Friday and take communion as a family remembering what Christ does.
      • We do wake up on Easter excited to worship the Risen king.
      • We do go to church to celebrate with our family in Christ that HE IS RISEN.
        • In fact you guys know that liturgy right?
        • HE IS RISEN… HE IS RISEN INDEED.
        • That’s a liturgy that crosses denominational, cultural, and even language barriers.
        • It started in the Russian Orthodox church as “Cristos Vascreus, Viesimu Vascreus”
  • So we have these two liturgical feasts that celebrate and teach the two most important events in history.
    • BUT AREN’T THERE OTHER EXTREAMLY IMPORTANT BIBLICAL EVENTS WORTH LEARNING ABOUT AND CELEBRATING?
    • Of course there are, and the Bible tells us to celebrate them! Turn to Leviticus 23 with me will you, and we will learn of the 7 high Holy Feasts.

Leviticus 23:4-6  “These are the appointed feasts of the LORD, the holy convocations, which you shall proclaim at the time appointed for them.  (5)  In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight, is the LORD’s Passover.  (6)  And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.

These are the feasts of Passover and the feast of Unleavened Bread where we celebrate freedom from Egypt and freedom from sin. Doesn’t that sound like something we should celebrate?

Leviticus 23:10-12  “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land that I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest,  (11)  and he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, so that you may be accepted. On the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.  (12)  And on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb a year old without blemish as a burnt offering to the LORD.

This is the feast of first fruits, it is celebrated the Sunday after the feast of Unleavened bread. This feast is to thank God for all He has given us. This is what we call Easter, so you don’t even have to add another feast to the calendar! In fact, it was no acciedent that Jesus rose from the dead at this feast, because Jesus is called “The firstfruits” in 1 Corinthians.

1 Corinthians 15:20  But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

Next is the feast of Weeks, also known as the feast of Pentecost.

Leviticus 23:15-16  “You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering.  (16)  You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath. Then you shall present a grain offering of new grain to the LORD.

The feast of Pentecost, which means “50th day”. This feast was used to express gratitude for a full harvest. To teach principles of evangelism, and to teach and uphold charity to the poor. There is also a special part of this feast where two loaves, made exactly alike, are offered to the Lord, one representing Jews and one Representing the gentiles… predicting that the gentiles would be the Lord’s just like the Jews were. It is fitting that it was on the day of this feast that the Holy spirit came to impart the church with power, just as Jesus had promised 10 days earlier.

Leviticus 23:24  “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of solemn rest, a memorial proclaimed with blast of trumpets, a holy convocation.

Here we have the feasts of trumpets… celebrated as a type of new year celebration, not necessarily a new calendar year, but a new harvest year. It represents victories at Jericho and entry into the promised land, and it foretells of the coming of the Messiah to take His bride, the church. We know this as the second coming, and it is certainly something to look forward to and celebrate.

Leviticus 23:27  “Now on the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be for you a time of holy convocation, and you shall afflict yourselves and present a food offering to the LORD.

Now we have the Day of Atonement. This feast reminds us that we have sins as individuals and as a nation. It is a time to pray for our nation, to seek repentance, and for Christians, a time to remember that Christ did not simply die to give us a good life, but that He died to atone for our sins.

Leviticus 23:34  “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, On the fifteenth day of this seventh month and for seven days is the Feast of Booths to the LORD.

Finally we have the feast of booths, sometimes called the feast of tabernacles. A feast that reminds us that God provides for us and gives us dwellings, and that God dwelt among us in the tabernacle of Moses’ time. Today as Christians we ought still to remember and celebrate that God provides for us, and we know that God has made us living tabernacles, living temples, for Him to dwell in and amongst us.

  • So there we have it, 7 feasts that remind us of all sorts of Holy and biblical things. Biblical history, theology, and praise to God. Times of prayer, repentance, and personal sacrifice. Times of Joy and celebration. Why would we not celebrate these?
    • Because we don’t have time?
    • We have time for sports parties, and birthdays, and tv shows, and movies… but we cant carve out 7 extra days a year to learn, worship, pray and celebrate?
  • No, we don’t celebrate them anymore because Constantine, amongst others, hated Jews so much that he made sure no one celebrated them… then we got comfortable not doing them and so we make up weak theologies and excuses to not celebrate them.
    • Now hear me, I am not saying that we MUST celebrate these feasts… or pray these prayers, or say these blessings…
    • But I am saying that we SHOULD do it… why?
  • Because liturgy protects the church.
  • There are hundreds of times where the Jews of the world where captured, enslaved, displaced, or genocidally murdered.
    • In Egypt, in Babylon, in Assyria, or even in Nazi Germany.
      • Go to wikipidia and lookup the article history of anti-Semitism and let your jaw drop as you read as time after time people tried to kill the people of God. The people of Abraham Isaac and Jacob.
      • But the people survived… why? Because they were so sincere and so strict on following the feasts and liturgical prayers.
      • Because the feast and prayers are designed to teach their children biblical history and solid theology.
      • Because even without access to physical bibles, pastors or rabbis, without seminaries or bible studies… they still, in those prisons and concentration camps… could recite scripture, pray prayers, and teach their children through liturgy.
  • Listen, if you memorize the Lords prayer you are memorizing Scripture.
    • If you here the Aaronic blessing so many times that it is ingrained in your heart, then you are ingraining scripture in your heart.
    • If you celebrate the feasts so often that you don’t need a pastor to tell you how to do it anymore, you have become a master of biblical history and solid theology.
    • All why teaching your children, praying and praising God.
    • This is what liturgy does for us, it makes us all experts… as long as we never do it in vain and always do it with a sincere heart and good understanding.
    • IT PROTECTS THE CHURCH! IT STRENGTHENS THE CHURCH! IT DEEPENS THE CHURCH.
    • If we want to be a well protected, strong, and theologically deep church, then one of the things we must do is RETURN TO THE ANCIENT PATHS.

Conclusion

  • I want to conclude with this final passage from scripture…

Deuteronomy 11:18-25  “You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  (19)  You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.  (20)  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates,  (21)  that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth.  (22)  For if you will be careful to do all this commandment that I command you to do, loving the LORD your God, walking in all his ways, and holding fast to him,  (23)  then the LORD will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations greater and mightier than you.  (24)  Every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours. Your territory shall be from the wilderness to the Lebanon and from the River, the river Euphrates, to the western sea.  (25)  No one shall be able to stand against you. The LORD your God will lay the fear of you and the dread of you on all the land that you shall tread, as he promised you.

  • The feasts and liturgical prayers help us teach our children… all of us… help us teach the generations… and if we would do it God promises to protect us!
  • So what does this all mean for CLC, well we now as you know, pray the lords prayer and aaronic blessing every Sunday.
    • We also already celebrate Christmas, Easter, Good Friday, and Passover.
    • But we are going to slowly start adding some of these feasts over the years, these celebrations… and I think in doing so we will have a joyful and joyfilled church like never before… because 7 times a year plus Christmas we will be celebrating the Lord, what He has done, and what He promises together! That’s going to be awesome!

Gospel Call


ישא יהוה פניו אליך וישם לך שׁלום

“May the LORD bless you and keep you;
May the LORD shine his face upon you and be gracious to you;
May the LORD lift up his face upon you and give you his peace.”

You are dismissed from this place but not from His Presence

ye·va·re’·khe·kha’ · Adonai · ve·yeesh’·me·re’·kha

ya·eir · Adonai · pa·nav · e·ley’·kha · vee·khoon·ne’·kah

ees·sa · Adonai · pa·nav · e·ley’·kha · ve·ya·seim · le·kha · sha·lom


“May the LORD bless you and keep you;
May the LORD shine his face upon you and be gracious to you;
May the LORD lift up his face upon you and give you his peace.”

You are dismissed from this place but not from His Presence

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