What a great night together Sunday evening with God’s children at Legacy! I’ve received several emails and phone calls from a lot of you, telling me how much you appreciated the time of focused worship to our God and reflection on his Word and his will. A young mother of two small boys wrote me yesterday (I’m trying to talk her into letting me use her letter publicly) to say how much she enjoyed worshipping together, everybody at the same time. Her comment, specifically, was that we always see the kids and we always see the parents, but we rarely see them together. Singing the contemporary songs, she says, takes her back to her time at Harding. And singing the classics takes her back to her time growing up in the church. Thank you all for your kind words and encouragment.
The singing was really good, wasn’t it?
We spent our time Sunday night exploring in Scripture and song and prayer the concept of the Lamb of God. You know, the term actually ties the entire Bible—all the people, places, history, promises, stories—into one beautiful picture. Young Isaac asks his father Abraham in Genesis 22, “Where is the lamb?” The prophets all proclaim, “The Lamb is coming.” The Gospels declare, “The Lamb is here!” And then Revelation just explodes with the eternal praise of everyone who seeks and finds and trusts in the Lamb, singing “praise and honor and glory and power for ever and ever!”
The sermon—a lot of you are asking—was inspired by a sermon I heard preached a little over two years ago by Ray Vander Lann. I was further encouraged by Mark Shipp, my OT professor at Austin Grad, to explore the history and the richness of the lamb imagery. Looking at sacrifice rituals and covenant ceremonies of the ancient Near East, including those of the Israelites and Hittites and the Assyrian and Babylonian Empires, and seeing how the culture of that time opens up the Genesis 15 and Jeremiah 34 passages led to my exegetical paper on Genesis 15. And finally to Sunday night’s sermon.
Understanding that God walked the path in our place, that God promised to pay for our sins, and that his people for centuries sacrificed a lamb twice every day—at 9am & 3pm every day—to remind each other and the Lord that the promise had been made, and then realizing that the Gospels tell us that Jesus was nailed to the cross at 9am and he died at 3pm……that speaks to me. And it apparantly spoke to many of you Sunday evening. Praise God for the way he works his Word and his will into our lives. And give him honor and glory for his faithfulness to his promise of salvation in Christ!
There are 79 days until football season. And today’s #79 is Forrest Gregg.
He was born in Birthright, Texas; played his college ball as an offensive lineman at SMU; and was the #2 pick of the Green Bay Packers in 1956. Vince Lombardi called him “the greatest player I ever coached.” He played on ten NFL championship teams: seven of them before the Super Bowl era, the first two Super Bowls with the Packers, and the Cowboys first Super Bowl championship team of 1971. It was with the Cowboys that year he wore the #79. He was, admittedly, #75 with the Packers. Gregg went on to coach SMU and to serve as that school’s Athletics Director. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977. And while the “Beautiful” Harvey Martin of Doomsday II fame deserves runner-up status, Forrest Gregg is the all time best ever to wear #79.