A Prayer inspired by Hebrews 11:4-40

image 3 - Hebrews

Throughout our new series “The Final Word: Knowing Christ through Hebrews,” I am writing prayers related to the text on which we are preaching each week. This prayer is drawn from Hebrews 11:4-40. The complete list of prayers inspired by Hebrews is included at the bottom of this post. You can also view the message Pastor Jim Caler preached drawn from this passage “Living Faith,” here.

Father, we see them—
the sisters and brothers who have gone before us—
and we celebrate what You have done in them
that shows us what true faith is all about.

Father, we see them—
and yet we feel so small compared to them—
Noah and Enoch,
Abraham and Sarah,
Moses, Rahab, Joshua, David…

Father, we see them—
fill us with faith like them,
and remind us they were human like us,
as we walk this earthly pilgrimage.

Father, You see us—
You give us faith,
You give us hope,
let us live for You each day.


Prayers from Hebrews:

Eastbrook at Home – August 2, 2020

Eastbrook-At-Home-Series-GFX_16x9-Title

Join us for worship with Eastbrook Church through Eastbrook at Home at 8, 9:30, and 11 AM as we continue our series “The Final Word: Knowing Christ through Hebrews.” This weekend Pastor Jim Caler will preach from Hebrews 11 on the sufficiency of Christ. Follow along with the entire series here. Access the downloadable bulletin, sermon notes, and sermon discussion guide here.

We also continue in-person services at both 9:30 and 11:00 AM this weekend at the Eastbrook Campus, but you do need to RSVP ahead of time this week and in coming weeks. Find out more info here.

Don’t miss the chance to join in with a virtual small group discussing the sermon every Sunday at 11 AM. More info here.

Each Sunday at 8, 9:30, and 11 AM, you can participate with our weekly worship service at home with your small group, family, or friends. This service will then be available during the week until the next Sunday’s service starts. You can also access or download the service directly via Vimeo or the Eastbrook app.

If you are not signed up for our church emailing list, please sign up here. Also, please remember that during this time financial support for the church is critical as we continue minister within our congregation and reach out to our neighborhood, city, and the world at this challenging time. Please give online or send in a donation to support the ministry of Eastbrook Church.

A Prayer inspired by Hebrews 11:1-3

image 3 - Hebrews

Throughout our new series “The Final Word: Knowing Christ through Hebrews,” I am writing prayers related to the text on which we are preaching each week. This prayer is drawn from Hebrews 11:1-3. The complete list of prayers inspired by Hebrews is included at the bottom of this post. You can also view the message Pastor Ruth Carver preached drawn from this passage “Faith,” here.

Dear Lord,
faith is a gift from You
and our response to You
as God.

Faith is
what gives us vision to see
the Holy amidst the ordinary.

Faith is not
ours but shared amongst believers
from days past until the end of all days.

Our God,
give us true faith to sustain us
as we live for You day by day,
O Loving Lord.


Prayers from Hebrews:

Eastbrook at Home – July 26, 2020

Eastbrook-At-Home-Series-GFX_16x9-Title

Join us for worship with Eastbrook Church through Eastbrook at Home at 8, 9:30, and 11 AM as we continue our series “The Final Word: Knowing Christ through Hebrews.” This weekend Pastor Ruth Carver will preach from Hebrews 11 on the sufficiency of Christ. Follow along with the entire series here. Access the downloadable bulletin, sermon notes, and sermon discussion guide here.

We also continue in-person services at both 9:30 and 11:00 AM this weekend at the Eastbrook Campus, but you do need to RSVP ahead of time this week and in coming weeks. Find out more info here.

Don’t miss the chance to join in with a virtual small group discussing the sermon every Sunday at 11 AM. More info here.

Each Sunday at 8, 9:30, and 11 AM, you can participate with our weekly worship service at home with your small group, family, or friends. This service will then be available during the week until the next Sunday’s service starts. You can also access or download the service directly via Vimeo or the Eastbrook app.

If you are not signed up for our church emailing list, please sign up here. Also, please remember that during this time financial support for the church is critical as we continue minister within our congregation and reach out to our neighborhood, city, and the world at this challenging time. Please give online or send in a donation to support the ministry of Eastbrook Church.

The Nature of God’s Kingdom: insights from George Eldon Ladd

Christus Rex

As I mentioned yesterday, I am in the midst of preparing for an upcoming sermon series on the kingdom of God. One of the greatest American scholars on this topic is George Eldon Ladd, who gave significant attention to this theme in his teaching and writing career. In his brief book, The Pattern of New Testament Truth, Ladd summarizes his larger Jesus and the Kingdom. Although both of these books are now out of print, Ladd’s thoughts on the kingdom of God are still available in his A Theology of the New Testament, revised edition.

What follows is my halting attempt to summarize his summary through excerpted quotations from chapter four of The Pattern of New Testament Truth, “The Synoptic Pattern: The Kingdom of God.”

The truth of the Kingdom of God is rooted in the prophetic view of God who comes to his people in history, who reveals his redemptive and judicial purpose in historical events The Old Testament sees God acting in the sequence of events in Israel’s history, and it continually looks forward to a final, decisive act in history to establish his Kingdom. The new redeemed order is described in different ways, but there are four constraints: it results from a visitation of God, a divine inbreaking; this occurs in history, not in personal individual experience; the new order stands in continuity with the old order, in that it is always viewed as earthly existence; yet there is also discontinuity in that the new order involves a transformation of the old and the emergence of something that has never existed before. (51)

Since it is Go who acts—God who is the eternal one—his present acts in history and his final act in consummating redemption can be viewed as though they were one single act; for it is one God who is acting in the present and who will act in the indeterminate future for the one redemptive purpose that fills the prophetic consciousness. The dynamic tension between history and eschatology stands at the heart of the prophetic perspective. (52)

The key to Jesus’ proclamation of the Kingdom of God is found in  the dynamic understanding of that term. God’s Kingdom is first of all his kingly rule, his sovereign redeeming activity, and secondarily the realm of blessing inaugurated by the divine act. The proclamation of the coming of the Kingdom of God is the announcement, as in Judaism, of the inbreaking of God into human history to establish his will. At this point, Jesus’ message is apocalyptic. (53)

There is in Jesus’ proclamation, however, a distinctive, novel, unique element that finds no parallel in Judaism, namely, that before the apocalyptic consummation at the end of history, a fulfillment of the prophetic hope has occurred within history; that before the coming of God’s Kingdom as a cosmic event, his Kingdom has come as an event in history; that before God acts as King to inaugurate the redeemed order, he has acted in Jesus of Nazareth to bring to men in advance of the eschatological consummation of the blessings of actual fulfillment. The Old Testament promise of the coming of the Kingdom, fulfillment of the promise of the Kingdom in history in the person, words, and deeds of Jesus, consummation of the promise at the end of history–this is the basic structure of the theology of the Synoptic Gospels. (54)

When Jesus proclaimed that the Kingdom has come (Matt. 12:28) in his own person and mission, he proclaimed something new and unheard of in Judaism. This is the ‘mystery’ of the Kingdom (Mark 4:11): the revelation of a new redemptive act—that before the eschatological theophany, God has invaded history to bring men the blessings of his redemptive reign. This coming of the Kingdom is a real event in history. Jesus spoke, and his words embodied the power of the Kingdom. He acted, and his deeds were the working of the Kingdom. They are objective historical events: words, deeds, and relationships created by the coming of the Kingdom in Jesus. (55)

The proclamation of the Kingdom means a twofold event, or two acts in a single divine redemption: a visitation in history hidden in the person of Jesus, and a visitation at the end of history in an unveiled cosmic event. How these two are related temporarily is one of the most difficult questions to decide, because of their nature. (56)

Although there is no difference in meaning between the terms ‘Kingdom of God’ and ‘Kingdom of the heavens,’ the latter reminds us that God does not dwell o earth but in heaven. In effect, the coming of the Kingdom means the coming of heaven to earth, so that finally in the consummation earth and its redeemed society share the blessings of heaven—righteousness, peace, immortality. (57)

The theology of the Kingdom of God is a theology of the invasion of history by the God of heaven in the person of Jesus of Nazareth to bring history to its consummation in the age to come beyond history. And the age to come may be spoken of as ‘beyond history’ because heaven has invaded history and raised it to a higher level in a new redeemed order. (57)

[All excerpts from George Eldon Ladd, The Pattern of New Testament Truth (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1968).