Making God’s Word Known

December 15, 2017
Peter Nelson
[The image above includes Luke 2:1-5a from a 1410 hand-written copy of John Wycliffe’s translation of the New Testament into Middle English in the 1380s.  You can access high-resolution images from this source through the website of Lichfield Cathedral in England.] About 150 years prior to the 16th century Protestant Reformation, and also well before Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press, God was sowing seeds of reform through his servant John Wycliffe (c. 1330-1384).  Wycliffe was a leading professor at Oxford, as well as a pioneer Christian ...

Polarization in the Church

December 08, 2017
Peter Nelson
Polarization runs rampant in our 21st century world.  Everywhere we turn there’s one kind of partisan division or another.  In contrast with that, think how counter-cultural Jesus’ church should be.  In an age of raging tribalism, we’re called to live out a joyful, humble unity regardless of the many real differences between us. 1 Corinthians 12 portrays the church as one body with wildly differ­ing parts:  we’re supposed to be a unity of diversity.  How ridiculous would it be to have just a single body part (imagine that lone eyeball, see ...

December at Goshen

December 07, 2017
Here's the schedule of events for the Advent and Christmas season 2017: December 3, First Sunday of Advent, Worship at 8:30 & 11:00 a.m., with guest missions preacher, Dr. Dominick Hernandez (and combined adult Sunday School session with Dr. Hernandez at 10:00 a.m.) December 5, Young Adult Christmas Party, James home, 7:00 p.m. December 9, Women’s Christmas Brunch, 10:00 a.m., with guest speaker Gina Gallagher December 9, Salvation Army Bell Ringing, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., outside of Hobby Lobby in Exton December 10, Second Sunday ...

Embracing Advent

December 01, 2017
Peter Nelson
This Sunday we step over the threshold and onto the pathway of Advent! Let me encourage you to make this season leading up to Christmas a time for you and your family to put Christmas in context. You see, those special events in the village of Bethlehem that took place some 2,000 years ago didn’t just come out of nowhere: there is a backstory. And we need to know the backstory—and feel it, and get drawn into its hope and wonder and anticipation. Advent is a time to get your heart and mind on track with God’s great unfolding plan to ...

Accusations and Abuse

December 01, 2017
Peter Nelson
Every day the headlines bring more news of high-profile men who’ve been accused of sexual harassment and/or abuse.  This week the big story was about NBC’s Matt Lauer.  On October 5, when accusations against Harvey Weinstein came out, the floodgates burst open.  Since then, numerous women have been emboldened to open up about the mistreatment they’ve endured and felt pressured to conceal. We should be deeply thankful for the shift of social momentum such that victims of harassment and abuse are feeling more free to speak up; we should be ...

Children's Sunday School Summary November 26, 2017

November 29, 2017
Lori Herson
Picture the reality of your salvation: Imagine standing as a defendant in a courtroom.You’ve been justly found guilty of a crime and the penalty is death. But rather thanordering law enforcement to lead you away to be executed, the judge gets up and takesyour place. He takes your punishment upon himself, declaring your innocence andallowing you to walk free. How would you respond? This is essentially what Jesus does for sinners who trust in Him. God is the Judge, andrather than sentencing us to death like we deserve, the Father sent His Son ...

The Ideal Church?

November 22, 2017
Peter Nelson
I’m in the midst of reading Brett McCracken’s book, Uncomfortable:  The Awkward and Essential Challenge of Christian Community. McCracken is a 30-something Christ-follower who brings a bold challenge against the consumer mindset that’s killing so many Christians and churches.  Here are a few quotations to ponder: “This book is about the comforting gospel of Jesus Christ that leads us to live uncomfortable lives for him” (p. 25).  “Are you willing to lay aside your ‘dream church’ consumer fantasies and accept the hard-to-stomach truths and ...

Children's Sunday School Summary November 19, 2017

November 21, 2017
Lori Herson
After Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus showed His followers that He is alive. He taught them about Himself and about God’s kingdom. (Luke 24:25-27,44-48) Jesus told them that He would soon return to the Father. (John 20:17) Jesus directed the Eleven to go a mountain. When they arrived, Jesus appeared. Some of them wondered if Jesus was finally going to overthrow the Roman government and set up His kingdom on earth. Jesus said, “It is not for you to know times or periods that the Father has set by His own authority. But you will ...

Sola Scriptura

November 17, 2017
Peter Nelson
Today the sermon series on our Reformation Roots, “Jesus, Friend of Sinners,” wraps up.  Since September 17 we’ve explored key New Testa­ment texts about:  • the Gospel, • the gift of God’s right­eous­ness, • justification by faith (not faith plus works), • salvation in Christ alone (not in Christ plus church), • assurance of our Savior’s love (God will finish the good work he’s begun in us), • the priest­hood of all believers (not just a select few who’ve taken ‘holy orders’; we need no human mediator in order to relate to God), • the church ...

Senseless Tragedy

November 10, 2017
Peter Nelson
Mass shootings and violent attacks by all kinds of ruthless means (e.g., vehicles, knives, bombs) against innocent people have become so common that it’s hard to keep up on the stories:  Texas church shooting, Las Vegas music festival shooting, NYC truck ramming, plus Barcelona, London, Manchester, Orlando, Berlin, Nice, Paris… This week the media has given extensive coverage to the Nov. 5 attack at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, that left 26 dead.  I especially appreciated an article from Christian psych­iatrist, ...

Children's Sunday School Summary October 5, 2017

November 08, 2017
Lori Herson
After Jesus’ resurrection and His appearance to the disciples, seven of the disciples returned to Galilee, near the Sea of Galilee where Jesus had called four of His disciples to be fishers of men. (See Luke 5:1-11.) The disciples went fishing. Perhaps they felt it reasonable to return to the fishing business since their stint as disciples was apparently over—or so they thought! In Bible times, nighttime was the preferred time for fishing. Fish caught at night could be sold fresh in the morning at market. But by daybreak, the disciples had ...

Beyond the Here and Now

November 03, 2017
Peter Nelson
It is so easy to get engrossed in the pursuits and pressures of this life here and now—here in the flesh, this side of heaven!  Even as a pastor whose job is all about helping people look up to the Lord and look ahead to our future glorification in his presence, it’s so easy to get embroiled in nitty-gritty, temporal stuff.  Like lawn care and prescriptions and insurance rates and traffic and the Eagles and… If you can relate, then ask the Father to help you look up from your phone, be still in his presence, and consider the wonders ahead!  ...

Children's Sunday School Summary October 29, 2017

November 01, 2017
Lori Herson
Jesus’ followers had seen Jesus alive! Two disciples met Jesus as they were walking to Emmaus, and then Jesus appeared to a group of His disciples as they met together in a locked room. But one of the disciples, Thomas, had missed out. He wasn’t there when Jesus appeared. He hadn’t seen Jesus for himself. So despite his friends’ claims that the Lord was risen, Thomas doubted. In fact, he refused to believe. (John 20:25) Witnesses testified that they had seen Jesus, but Thomas wanted physical evidence. He lacked faith and was stubborn in his ...

The Demise of Reading

October 27, 2017
Peter Nelson
Christian writer Philip Yancey wrote a piece for the Washing­ton Post entitled, “The death of reading is threatening the soul” (July 21, 2017).  He’s the author of many works, including The Jesus I Never Knew, The Bible Jesus Read, and What’s So Amazing About Grace? Yancey begins by saying, “I am going through a personal crisis.  I used to love reading.”  And he’s been a very avid reader:  “I am writing this blog in my office, surrounded by 27 tall bookcases laden with 5,000 books.  Over the years I have read them, marked them up, and ...

Together in God’s Word

October 20, 2017
Peter Nelson
One of the things I love about Goshen is our Sunday School minis­try.  Are you involved?  Every week we gather at 10:00 a.m. in an array of groups to connect with one another and explore the Word of God. Certain kinds of vital spiritual experiences take place in the larger worship gatherings—for sure.  And other kinds of vital heart work happen as you, personally and regularly, open the Bible and spend time with God in prayer—indeed.  But a mid-size to smaller setting is also vital for the spiritual health of every follower of Jesus. How ...

Children's Sunday School Summary October 15, 2017

October 18, 2017
Lori Herson
Jesus’ death and resurrection should not have surprised the disciples. Sometimes Jesus spoke metaphorically about His death and resurrection. (See Matt. 12:39; Mark 14:58; John 2:19; 3:14-15.) Other times, Jesus plainly told the disciples that He would be betrayed, crucified, buried, and resurrected on the third day. (Matt. 17:12; Mark 8:31; Luke 9:22) In fact, Jesus had spoken so frequently of His death and resurrection, the chief priests and Pharisees asked Pilate to place guards at the tomb in case the disciples stole Jesus’ body. (See ...

Praying for India

October 13, 2017
Peter Nelson
I’m delighted that Vivek Jones will be with us Sunday to share from God’s Word!  He’s a pastor from India who’s currently in the States for grad studies at Westminster Seminary.  Vivek is married to Anne and they have three children, Kathy (8), John Mark (7), and Amy (5). Over and over the Apostle Paul tells churches he’s praying for them: giving thanks, calling on God for power, etc.  I thank my God in all my remembrance of you… (Philippians 1:3).  I mention you without ceasing in my prayers (Romans 1:9-10). I pray that according to the ...

Children's Sunday School Summary October 8, 2017

October 10, 2017
Lori Herson
The time between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning must have been dark hours for Jesus’ disciples. Fear, doubt, and confusion certainly overwhelmed their thoughts. Jesus, their Lord, was dead. He had been unjustly arrested, falsely accused, and severely beaten. Even worse, He had been killed in a horrible manner: by crucifixion. The story doesn’t end there. Jesus’ body was laid in a tomb. The tomb was sealed and guards watched over it. The Jews remembered Jesus’ claim that He would rise from the dead (John 2:19-21), and they made sure no ...

A Wonderful World?

October 06, 2017
Peter Nelson
Last Monday I visited Longwood Gardens and watched the newly revitalized fountains put on a spectacular show to music—including Louis Armstrong’s song, “What a Wonderful World.”  And it was wonderful:  that voice, those fountains, the warm sun and blue sky. I see trees of green, red roses too.  I see them bloom, for me and you. And I think to myself, what a wonderful world. And yet, I couldn’t help thinking about the day’s breaking news—the horrendous shooting in Las Vegas:  58 dead, nearly 500 wounded, and all because of one man’s ...

Children's Sunday School Summary October 1, 2017

October 03, 2017
Lori Herson
Jesus’ crucifixion, burial, and resurrection are the center of the gospel. Jesus accomplished the plan God had been working out throughout the Old Testament to bring salvation to sinners, and it happened in such an unlikely way.  In the Book of Acts, Peter testified to the Israelites about Jesus’ death: “Though He was delivered up according to God’s determined plan and foreknowledge, you used lawless people to nail Him to a cross and kill Him” (Acts 2:23). Crucifixion was a horrific way to die. As you share with your kids, rather than focus ...

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