We are back in Amman and thought that we would go to a different church than last week. Redeemer Church a.k.a. International Anglican Church of Amman speaks English and ministers to expatriots. Again, churches in Amman meet on Saturday evenings.
Mission: They are a family of people from different nations and church traditions who are called to trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. They encourage visitors to participate fully as they worship together, learn from God’s Holy Word, and share Christian fellowship.
There were about 50 people in attendance and the pastor was from Australia. We met a man who said he works for us…at the American Embassy.
The worship leader asked us to take our our smart phones and look up the lyrics. Cool. He played his guitar and we sang in harmony.
O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing
Prayers were given for the children and teachers as they left for childrens church.
Confession and Absolution
First Reading Mark 14:32-52
Psalm Reading: Psalm 34:11-22
John 15: 13
This verse is written in Arabic in the front of the sanctuary.
Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.
Scripture and Sermon: Daniel 7:1-28
Very few pastors tackle this chapter in a Sunday service. I congratulated the pastor, and he said that Chapter 8 next week will be even more challenging. We told him that we would pray for him.
Daniel is the only book in the Bible that is written in two languages – Hebrew for the people of God and Aramaic for the empire spoken by kings and rulers throughout the land.
Chapters 1, 8-12 are written in Hebrew
Chapters 2-7 are written in Aramaic
Chapters 1-6 are a historical narrative and 7-12 are apocalyptic. (Please note that chapter and verses are not inspired.)
This means that Chapter 7 is for all people to read and know.
Review: Chapters are chronological but overlap.
Chapters 4 and 5 – Humbling the pride of two kings
Chapters 3 and 6 – The rescue of God’s servants
Chapters 2 and 7 – discusses the four kingdoms and the kingdom of God.
Let’s learn and challenge our understanding of this passage. Our current understanding may not be wrong, but prophecy can have multiple fulfillments throughout the ages.
Daniel attempts to describe his nightmare. Four winds churn the sea. The sea always represents chaos. Out of this chaos comes four gruesome and violent hard-to-describe subhuman beasts.
Many have claimed that the four beasts are:
Babylon – wings torn off
Persia – human ribs in mouth
Greece – four wings and four heads
Rome – crushed and devoured, then trampled. Horns grew out of the head and they had human eyes on the end. (That is such a weird visual.)
These represent all earthly kingdoms and are under the authority of God.
However, God may be saying more. There are many rulers who have oppressed God’s people. It doesn’t just happen once and is not limited. Prophecy is likely fluid and flexible. Victory comes by the grace of God. It isn’t earned.
In verse 21, they are losing and defeated until the Ancient of Days steps in.
Beasts are finite and limited. God’s kingdom is infinite as stated in verse 18.
Ancient of Days has white hair and is wearing a white robe; a picture of purity. He is seated and the books are open for the Final Judgment.
God gives His people the kingdom and authority. He respects humanity by bringing His people to His kingdom. Jesus is the head and we are the body.
The Son of Man comes to the Ancient of Days (God). Jesus called Himself the Son of Man. The Ancient of Days gives Him the Kingdom.
Some earthly kingdoms are violent beasts. They are subject to authority and judgement. The Son of Man brings us to an eternal kingdom. Even though there is pain and persecution due to chaos and evil, God continues to be in control. God’s kingdom is the only one that is everlasting.
It was fun to recite this Creed with fellow believers as we were recently in Nicea in Turkey. Leaders came together to get a concensus on just what Christians believed based on scripture. For example, they discussed when to celebrate Easter as everyone was celebrating it on a different day.
For the church, its witness to the world, proclaiming truth and glory
For all people throughout the world, wisdom to authorities, justice and work together
For the community to live in harmony with family, neighbors and friends
For those in need of comfort and healing
Thankfulness for those faithful servants from every age who are now in heaven and have spread the gospel to us and the world.
It was weird to have the Muslim call to prayer take place during our prayers. I look at it as a call for us to pray as well. However, Christians are to pray without ceasing, meaning pray for and about everything. What if Christians made an effort to pray regularly at least five times a day? God would love to hear from us often!
Celebrate communion with us in your tradition whether it be by drinking wine from a community chalice, dipping bread into the wine which is called intinction, or grape juice in a small individual cup. Let all believers take part in celebrating our eternal kingdom.
We all gathered outside to get to know each other on this beautiful autumn evening.