Sunday Program - September 20, 2020
Welcome to McKernan Baptist Church! We are glad you have joined us, whether in person or online. Last week we launched our new theme “Beyond” and began a journey through the book of Isaiah in which we will explore a number of ways this prophet called God’s people beyond settling for far less than God intends. Today, we’ll see how Isaiah confronted his listeners to move beyond their empty religious practices to a true, authentic, life-changing relationship with God. Though his challenge took place many centuries ago, its message is timeless as it continues to speak to our own human tendency to settle for less than a real walk with God.
Anyone who sets himself up as “religious” by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.
- James 1:26-27 (The Message)
Isaiah saw this all round him. People were congratulating themselves on religious habits; they never failed to bring the sacrifices the Lord commanded, the right animal for the right occasion. They were never missing from the Lord’s courts. Why, they never once failed to pray. But slowly and surely they forgot what the sacrifices were actually for, and what manner of people they should be if they desired to lift up hands and voices to God. The habit had become all-important. They loved religion but they did not shun sin; they prayed but they did not bother about sin and holiness.
- Alec Motyer, Isaiah by the Day
…before passing judgment on worshipers in a bygone era, perhaps we should confess the sins of the “worshiping church” today. According to researcher George Barna, 93 percent of the households in the United States contain a Bible and more than 60 percent of the people surveyed claim to be religious; but we would never know this from the way people act. One Protestant church exists for every 550 adults in America, but does all this “religion” make much of a difference in our…society? … At least 62 percent of the people Barna surveyed said that the church was not relevant to today’s world and is losing its influence on society. It may be that, like the worshipers in the ancient Jewish temple, we are only going through the motions.
- Warren Wiersbe, Be Comforted
How easy it is to think that when we go to church regularly, read the Bible, pray, tithe, and don’t engage in substance abuse, God somehow owes us something. Moreover, how easy it is to think that when we have done all these things, God could hardly expect more from us…In fact, it is easy for these behaviors to become substitutes for real biblical faith. Real biblical faith, as both the Old and New Testaments show, lies in surrender and obedience as manifested in how we treat one another. As with the Israelites, our worship practices and religious activities are intended to be symbolic of deeper realities.
- John Oswalt. NIV Application Commentary
Upcoming Events or Updates
Are you new here?
Welcome! If you are joining us online today, we still want to connect with you. Please CLICK HERE so we can touch base with you.
In-Person services have resumed!
We are so excited to welcome you back to in-person church services! Each week, we will require you to register online or call the office between Monday at 10am and Thursday at noon (unless it fills up sooner). Visit the main page of the website or call the church office (780-436-0611) for full details and information.
Betrayal & Beyond Class for Women
Through this study, Betrayal and Beyond, by Pure Desire ministries, you will receive valuable understanding, tools and support to help you make wise biblical decisions. If you commit to the process, God will fashion in you a courageous heart, rather than a victim spirit from the betrayal of sexual addiction. Join us on this healing journey of love, grace and restoration. Classes begin Sept. 14 for 37 weeks. Visit our website for more details and sign up.
C&C Bible Study - "The Thinking Series"
Save the date(s): Thursday nights starting September 17 for a four week apologetics based Bible study called “the Thinking series,” this will be hosted by our young adults ministry but open to anyone from the church. You can join online or in person. Registration is now open. CLICK HERE
Our next Congregational Meeting will be on Sunday, October 4 at 6pm online. Join us as we review our financial statements from the first six months of 2020. We will also have updates from staff and election of new board members.
Worship Team Members Needed
We are looking to add a few new musicians to our Sunday morning worship teams. If you have experience with an instrument, vocals, or worship leadership please email Julia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Route 56 (Grades 5&6) NERF Night
We will have a NERF night at the Church on Friday, September 25th, from 7-9pm. Please bring a NERF “gun” and eye protection. You will need to pre-register by texting Jerilyn at 587-594-4124. Please wear a mask, and, use the South door.
Women's Park Gathering
Join us on Wed., Sept. 23 at McKernan Park at 7:00 (we may end up in the church parking lot if it gets dark out). Bring your own chair and drink. All women welcome!
Women's Fall Bible Study - Ruth
Join us on Monday evenings from 7:00 - 9:00pm in the Hospitality area starting on Oct 19 until Nov 30. Registration is now open online at mckernanbaptist.ca/ruth. Sign up by Oct 4- registration is limited to 25 women. This course is a free. This study requires 30-60 min of preparation each week with a participant guide that you will receive after registering.
Thank you for your generosity and continued support of the mission and ministry at McKernan Baptist Church. If you are not attending in person on Sunday mornings, we still want to give you the opportunity to give as God would lead you.
- Online Giving via the church website
- Pre-authorized debit from your bank
- You can mail your cheque to the church: McKernan Baptist Church, Attn: Finance Team, 11103 76 Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB T6G 0J9.
Missionary of the Week
Over the past few years, God has been revealing a new and exciting vision for the future of theological education in the North American Baptist Conference. God is weaving together Taylor Seminary and Sioux Falls Seminary. Through this process, we are better stewards of the resources God has provided to us, are more attentive to the vocations of all the people of God, and are making our resources more accessible to those who call Jesus Christ their Saviour and Lord.
As institutions of the NAB, we are dedicated to supporting the church in fulfilling her task of developing disciples who observe all that the Lord commanded them. Although we have taken our own unique paths to get where we are today, our journeys have shared a common trajectory. Together, we are finding new ways to create a journey of theological education centred around the person and work of Jesus and tailored to the needs and context of each student.
The Kairos Project, a journey of theological education that is integrated into the various aspects of a student’s life (home, work, church, etc.) is now offered at both Taylor and Sioux Falls. Kairos is designed for individuals who are actively engaged in ministry and/or desire to integrate their faith and work. In addition to being accessible and relevant, the Kairos Project is also affordable. Students pay a low monthly fee for tuition, which ends up costing only a third of the average cost for a Master of Divinity in North America. Kairos Project tracks are available within the following programs: Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Christian Leadership, Master of Arts (Bible and Theology), Master of Arts in Counseling, and Doctor of Ministry.
Pray for our small groups and other ministry programs starting up, especially in this time of pandemic limitations.
- Pray for Taylor Seminary, our Missionary of the Week, as it prepares people for ministry.
- Pray for those who are in the hospital or recovering from recent illnesses.
- Pray for wisdom for our government and other leaders as they make decisions in response to the pandemic.
- Rob and Seren Kaiser on the birth of their daughter, Elisabeth Rose, on September 10!
- Robyn Crown and Jason Honecker who were married yesterday, September 19!
- Nic Cheung and Andrea Marshall who were married yesterday, September 19!
BEYOND SHORT-LIVED FREEDOM
- As we continue in our theme “Beyond,” we come today to a passage in which Isaiah confronts God’s people to move beyond their empty religious practices toward giving themselves in true surrender to a real relationship with God.
- While we are far removed from Isaiah’s time and place, his challenge rings true today as God continues to call us beyond empty religion.
Empty religion moves toward real relationship through authenticity (v. 13)
- The religious practices of Judah were challenged because they came from a meaningless (false) place. They were mere activities that did not come from an honest or surrendered heart.
- Our religious activities are meaningless if they are simply routines that don’t come from a heart surrendered to God.
Empty religion moves toward real relationship through integration (vv. 13-17)
- Isaiah’s words exposed the gap between how the people were living and what they were expressing when they assembled.
- True worship impacts our day-to-day lives in very practical ways. (Rom. 12:1-2)
Empty religion moves toward real relationship through humility (v. 18)
- In verse 18, God called His people to humbly face the facts of their condition and turn to Him for forgiveness and transformation. (Rom. 8:1-4)
- We are invited to a relationship with God in which we are to be restored and increasingly transformed. (Is. 55:1-3)
- In what ways is it possible to go through all the right activity of religion and still be far from God?
- Why is authenticity so important in a true relationship with God? How can we be inauthentic in our worship and our walk with God?
- How should our walk with God impact such practical realities as our relationships, our careers, our finances, and our ethics?
- As people who have received God’s compassion, what are some ways we are called to extend this compassion?
- What does it mean to you to walk humbly with God? What area of your life might God be calling you right now to surrender to the work of His Spirit?