Edgewater Lutheran Church
You Don't Define Your Own Reality - 6.19
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        Fall Church Retreat

        August 6, 2022 - 12:00 AM - August 7, 2022 - 9:00 AM
        This weekend will be at Rancho Jurupa park. We will drive up together on Friday afternoon (if you need to come later because of work, there is flexibility) and return on Sunday. Bring your RV or tent camp, enjoy a Worship Under the Stars type experience on Saturday night, and spend a weekend with your church family! The weekend will be filled with plenty of time to relax, play games, and hang out. The only mandatory parts of the weekend are the times of devotion, Bible study, and prayer. Registration covers the whole family and includes the campsite and food for the weekend. If you have questions, would like more information, or need financial assistance - please reach out to Pastor Josh.
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        Fall Men's Retreat

        August 13, 2022 - 12:00 AM - August 14, 2022 - 9:00 AM
        This weekend will be in the Lake Arrowhead area. We will drive up together on Friday afternoon (if you need to come later because of work, there is flexibility) and return on Sunday. The weekend will be filled with plenty of time to relax, play games, and hang out. The only mandatory parts of the weekend are the times of devotion, Bible study, and prayer. Register using this link. The cost of registration covers food and housing for the weekend. If you have questions, would like more information, or need financial assistance - please reach out to Pastor Josh.
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        Fall Women's Retreat

        August 20, 2022 - 12:00 AM - August 21, 2022 - 9:00 AM
        This weekend will be in the Lake Arrowhead area. We will drive up together on Friday afternoon (if you need to come later because of work, there is flexibility) and return on Sunday. The weekend will be filled with plenty of time to relax, play games, and hang out. The only mandatory parts of the weekend are the times of devotion, Bible study, and prayer. Register using this link. If you have questions, would like more information, or need financial assistance - please reach out to Pastor Josh.
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        Blood Drive Rescheduled!

        September 4, 2022 - 3:30 PM - 3:30 PM
        Edgewater Lutheran Church and the American Red Cross are hosting an upcoming blood drive. Please join our lifesaving mission and schedule an appointment today! Click here to make an appointment The need for blood is constant and only volunteer donors can fulfill that need for patients in our community. Nationwide, someone needs a unit of blood every 2 to 3 seconds and most of us will need blood in our lifetime.
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  • Battle Belongs
  • King Of Glory
  • Promises
      • Mark 5:21–43ESV

  • Struck Dead

    The account we just read revolves around something called the ark of the covenant, this is different from the ark with all the animals on it - it’s actually closer to the ark from Raiders of the Lost Ark. This was the representation of God being among His people and contained the stone tablets with the commandments and other artifacts of Israel’s walk with God. This was a big deal, only certain people were supposed to carry it and even then they were only supposed to carry it a certain way. I don’t think it would be an understatement to say that the ark is the single most important thing that Israel as a nation possesses - a national treasure as it were. Do I get bonus points for referencing Indiana Jones and National Treasure in the same message? No?
    Well anyway, David and the people following Him are riding high. They’ve just won several battles and they go to bring the ark to Jerusalem. It had been sitting in Abinadab’s house and his sons take it out in a cart. Seems like a safer way to carry it than by hand. So they’re just moving along, celebrating and having a good time, until the oxen pulling the ark stumble. The cart tips and shakes and Uzzah reaches out to steady the ark, trying to keep it from falling on the ground. You’d think he’d be commended for his reflexes right, the guys around him saying “nice save” or ישׁע טב and patting him on the back?
    Nope, God strikes Him dead.
    They carried the ark the wrong way. The wrong people were doing it. And Uzzah touched it - which was by itself forbidden. So God struck him dead.
    And David gets angry. He’s standing there probably thinking “that’s a little extreme, don’t you think?” I mean, the guy was just trying to keep the ark from falling on the ground wasn’t he? He wasn’t hurting anybody; in fact, he was actually being pretty helpful. It doesn’t seem fair or right to punish him, much less strike him dead. But David didn’t get to define reality, God had. And the reality God defined was that if you touch the ark of the covenant, you die.

    Because God Said So

    Now, I’ve never seen anyone struck dead before my eyes. I’ve never seen lightning fall from heaven and erase anybody’s existence. And I think it’s probably safe to assume that most of you, maybe all of you, are in that same boat. But there are definitely times where we read or hear or think about God’s laws and we think “that’s a little harsh” or “it’s not hurting anybody.” But the hard truth is this, we don’t define our reality either. We don’t get to decide what’s right and wrong, what’s okay and what’s not. It’s not a personal choice, it’s not an opinion. God has defined reality for us and that’s reality - whether we like to accept it or not. So even if we don’t see any harm in something, if He says it’s wrong - it’s wrong.
    I want to use the analogy of a game that hopefully most of us know the rules of, Scrabble. How many of you have played the game Scrabble before? Alright, now is this *Luke* a word that I could use if I was playing Scrabble? No, because it’s a proper noun. But why can’t I use it? It doesn’t hurt anyone else, they can still play their tiles however they want. And it wouldn’t be any different than if I played the word “fluke.” I’m even helping them, I’m taking less points by playing Luke instead of fluke. So can I do it? No, because the person who designed the game decided it was against the rules.
    And God, who designed the world, has decided what works and what doesn’t. He has decided what is alright and what is against the rules. So we come across some of His laws and rules and they don’t make sense - but we should follow them anyway. And there are a ton of examples for this.
    I mean, what immediately comes to mind are the thoughts that never leave our head. Thoughts of doing bad things, or thoughts about how much we dislike someone, or lustful thoughts don’t really hurt anyone, but God has defined reality and said those kinds of thoughts are wrong - so they’re wrong.
    Homosexuality doesn’t really hurt anyone, but God has defined reality and said it is wrong - so it’s wrong.
    Sleeping with someone before you’re married doesn’t really hurt anyone, but God has defined reality and said that sex should only take place within a marriage - so it’s wrong.
    Getting drunk in the confines of your own home doesn’t really hurt anyone, but God has defined reality and said that it’s wrong - so it’s wrong.
    There are a lot of instances where we hold to certain ethics, and the question comes up as to why. Why do we say things are wrong when they don’t affect us or when they don’t hurt anybody? And the baseline of all of it is this - because God said so and He defines our reality. And when it comes to rules, when it comes to God’s Law, we don’t want to hear “because I said so.” I mean, what kid was ever really satisfied with that answer? But here’s the truth - YOU DON’T DEFINE YOUR OWN REALITY - so sometimes, we know things are right and wrong and the only reason we can give is “because God said so.”

    Dancing By Myself

    And that’s a tough message, because I think most of us - maybe all of us, want to define our own reality. We want to decide what is right and wrong, we want to use our own judgement. It was a tough message for David to hear too, he was angry at God about it and afraid of what God was doing so he left the ark outside of Jerusalem. Then the place where he left the ark was blessed. And David brings the ark to Jerusalem and he’s dancing like a fool the whole time. I mean, just picture that, the king of Israel, a victorious and fearsome warrior, one of the most powerful rules Israel will ever see - dancing in the streets. Now maybe he was a great dancer like the people over at To The Pointe - but I think it’s just as likely that he was terrible and he’s just flailing all over the place.
    He was celebrating because he didn’t define his own reality, God did - and it was better that way. God defined the reality for the house of Obed-edom the Gittite and everything he had was blessed. David was dancing because he couldn’t contain his excitement that he didn’t define his own reality, because God defined his reality and it was more that he could possibly hope for or imagine.

    Promises

    And sometimes we struggle with the fact that we don’t define our own reality, but when we stop and think about it - the reality God defines for us is more incredible than we could hope for or imagine. The reality He defines for us is one where when we fall short of His expectations for us, He forgives us. Jesus went to the cross, and when He walked out of the tomb He radically redefined our reality forever. We went from dead and condemned to alive with a promise of eternity with God. And we don’t necessarily dance in the streets about it, but it’s why we come together in song every weekend. So I’ve invited Joel to come back up and lead us again through the chorus of our last song from earlier, and I want you to stand and sing it out, but I want you to really pay attention to the words you’re singing about the faithfulness, the promises, and the certainty of what God has done for us.
    open.spotify.com/track/4uEgHHcmkiHaEq4oXm1r8g?si=45d862c2215146cd

    You Do Not Define Your Own Reality

    As we close today, we take that message with us - that message of faithfulness and promise and certainty. And to help you, if you want a reminder, at noon today you can go to Edgewater’s Facebook page. There will be a series of graphics that you can use as backgrounds on your phone or lockscreen or as a wallpaper on your computer. And these graphics come in two different varieties. One has two tablets and one has a cross, but both of them carry the message “you do not define your own reality.” My challenge to you is this, I want you to seriously reflect for a minute on which reminder you need most.
    On one hand, maybe you need the reminder that God has defined His Law and we are in no position to question what He tells us. You need the reminder that God defines the reality of what is right and wrong, we don’t. If that’s the case, I would encourage you to download the one with two tablets to remind you of the Law as a reality you do not define.
    One the other hand, maybe you need the reminder that God has defined our reality with His grace. You need the reminder that God defines the reality that you are good enough to spend eternity with Him. If that’s the case, I would encourage you to download the one with the cross to remind you of the Gospel as a reality that God defines for us.
    In any case, we do not define our own reality, and that is a blessing beyond anything we could hope for or imagine. Amen.
      • 2 Samuel 6:5–15ESV

  • Promises
  • Good Good Father
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