Genealolgy

Christmas Eve: A Really Long Story

A really L-O-N-G Story leads to the Eve Of Christmas, the birth of Jesus. When did you last read the book of the Genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham (Mt. 1: 1 – 17)? I always feel tempted to skip over those verses too. Listening yesterday to Pray-As-You-Go I was given some language for my feelings: I am never sure what to make of the list. I even can feel a bit alienated by it. The names of old guys don’t sound like the names in my family or among my friends. What do the fourteen generations from Abraham to David and the fourteen more from the deportation of Israel to Babylon up to the birth of Jesus have to do with us who live many generations later?

But Matthew is not senseless. As an author of a tract written to convince people to trust and follow Jesus, he began the way he did for a reason. As Pray-As-You-Go suggests:

Perhaps Matthew was giving us a sense of heritage, of history unfolding through the generations, of the coming true of Israel’s hope that a Savior would come from the house of David, of the promise being fulfilled?

For the people of that time, family background was very important, it meant, “this is where you come from”, “this is who you are.” That wouldn’t necessarily be the case in every part of the world today, but where do you get your sense of identity from, your sense of who you are?

Amongst the forty-two male names – this long line of fathers – four women and three mothers are mentioned: Rahab, Tamar, Ruth and Mary. [As you think of Matthew’s genealogy], what do you think it is telling you about who Jesus is, and even who you are?

This Christmas Eve, at the hinge point between Advent and Christmastide, maybe you could sit for a moment with the story told by Matthew’s genealogy and let it refine your sense of person, of history, and of a future that never ends as one of the people of God.

– Todd Hunter

Lord, teach us to pray

Lord, Teach Us To Pray… Part 1 (Luke 11:1)

The Lord’s Prayer, which we say together in church each Sunday, was the form of prayer Jesus gave to his first friends when they asked him how to pray. From my earliest recollection as a young child The Lord’s Prayer has been my primer. I cut my teeth on it as I kneeled with my mom and sister at our bedsides to say our night-time prayers. Candidly, I first experienced the concept of child-like faith and holy reverence through these ancient words, not through theological training.  As I grow spiritually and fill out the skeletal structure of the prayer through study and meditation, my heart and imagination widens from the experience of God’s parental care described in it. I return often to the desire of incarnational kingdom living as I work and live in the hustle bustle of Orange and L.A. counties. I wrestle with my own self-sufficiency under the canopy of simply asking for provisional needs to be met by Another.  My faith develops as I daily taste God’s goodness to answer those requests. Even the most difficult relational and spiritual challenges in my life are transformed by the uncanny force of forgiveness and perseverance as I lean more resolutely into God during troubled moments.

 

Dallas Willard called The Lord’s Prayer the greatest prayer of all, wherein we learn how and what to pray from the One who, while on earth, prayed to his Father in heaven.[i] It is considered to be a holistic way of praying, as Richard Foster says, a total prayer.[ii] In it, Foster asserts that we pray large things and small things, spiritual things and material things, inward things and outward things – nothing is beyond the purview of this prayer.[iii]

 

Take a few moments today to engage with God through the words Jesus taught his disciples to pray. (Matt. 6:9-13)

This, then, is how you should pray:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name, your kingdom come,
your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

 

Watch for part 2 of Lord, Teach Us to Pray…in it I’ll offer some helpful ways to fruitfully engage with this prayer in order to widen your heart’s experience with God.

– Elizabeth Khorey



[i] Willard, Dallas, The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God, Harper Publishing, San Francisco, CA. 1997, 253-255.

[ii] Foster, Richard, Prayer: Finding the Heart’s Home, Harper One Publishing, 1992, 184.

[iii] Ibid.

A Night of Thanksgiving

Sunday, November 17 – To give thanks to God is almost as reflexive as breath or the beating of a heart. This is even truer when “the holidays” make their annual appearance, beginning with Thanksgiving Day—the day our nation sets aside to honor and thank our Maker and Sustainer. In keeping with this spirit Holy Trinity’s monthly gathering at Todd & Debbie Hunter’s home will be a Night of Worship focused on songs and prayers of thanksgiving.

When: Sun, November 17, 6pm – 9pm
Where: For Address and to RSVP – email: michelle.n@myholytrinitychurch.com or call 949.631.2820

Celebrating Four Years

Holy Trinity Church

Fourth Anniversary

September 2013

My Presence will go with you…

There is a memorable occasion in the forming of Israel into God’s people that God promised Moses: My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. (Ex. 33:14)

Holy Trinity is also being shaped by God’s presence. He is the power that launched us. He sustained our lives together these first four years. He enabled us to carry each other in the challenges of church planting: risk, learning curves, hard work and financial challenges; as well as sickness, hardship, heartache and loss. But his presence also enabled new friendships, forgiveness of one another, serving one another, learning to worship together as followers of Jesus in the Anglican way and discerning our mission.

I am thankful that Holy Trinity has made really good progress and helped many other churches get started across America. As we celebrate four years of God’s presence, we also seek the stability that comes with a healthy and growing church. I am optimistic about a few places of development as we cooperate with God’s presence:

  • It takes about five years to be shaped by Anglican worship such that it feels honest, true and heartfelt. I have a feeling that this fourth year Holy Trinity will travel much further down this path where God is always the first audience, but outsiders know they can find his presence among us.
  • God settling us in a stable, if not permanent home. This coming year may God find a way for us to not just have a home, but a kingdom lifeboat from which we can rescue the least, the last, the lost, the left out, and the broken.
  • From Moses to Holy Trinity, God has been focused on the creation of a people for himself. Everything Holy Trinity does is meant to cooperate with this Divine Design. We do this in two ways: a journey inward of spiritual transformation into Christlikeness and a journey outward so that others experience our formation as for their good. This is foundational and fundamental to our whole future.

A song says: Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place… Not just place in the practical sense of wood, bricks and steel, but place in terms of named human beings at worship and pursing discipleship to Jesus for the sake of others. The focus of my prayer and work is that such a reality is increasingly true for Holy Trinity.

If your soul cries out, if your heart is thirsty, let’s learn to life together in the goodness of God. Let’s learn to walk in the gentle peace and gracious pace of Jesus.

Happy Anniversary!

Todd Hunter