This vision was a reminder that God had not forgotten his people or decided to withhold his mercy. It was a promise that one day there would be a life outside of exile. It’s worth noting that in this vision Ezekiel is being shown a life centred around God, life which is watered by the streams that flow through the temple, life that comes from God. This is the hope in which we come to God this morning, hope that regardless of who we are, or what’s going in in our lives, and I know for some of us life’s hard. Covid worries, job worries, family worries. I’ve talked to people who’ve told me they never imagined life would be like this. The hope of Ezekiel is the promise of a new life, a new heaven, a new earth. It is the hope of a new beginning when we come to Christ because we know the mess of the past will be left behind.
Our minister Stuart is off on holiday - he will be back next Sunday - we hope you enjoy the moderators service which was recorded last weekend.
Our minister Stuart Morrow is on holiday this week. Please enjoy the service from Templepatrick Presbyterian or the Moderators service from last Sunday (27th September)
Folks, where do we find meaning? There has been a lot of talk this week about exam results. Young people not getting the results they expected, worrying they won’t have the future they hoped for. Do we place to much meaning in exams? Do we try to find meaning in the freedoms we fight for? Freedom to march; to marry; live as we want. What have these freedoms cost us? Do these freedoms help us to find meaning in life? Jesus said he is the vine. Apart from him we can do nothing. (John 15:5) The only place we can find meaning for life is in Jesus Christ, everything else is ultimately useless, fit for burning.
As we read chapters 12, 13 and 14 it isn’t a new vision we’re presented with but a play for Ezekiel to act out. Ezekiel’s play was for the benefit of those already exiled in Babylon with him. It was a play about the fate of Jerusalem and its people, from the king, to the lowliest servant. The exiles were being told what would happen in Jerusalem so as they would get into their head that God was serious about the punishment he was promising to bring forward.
This Sunday our Minister Stuart is on holiday. We are recommending that you attend either Templepatrick Presbyterian Church which will be live at 11 am or the Moderators service which is available now.
As Ezekiel cried out to God so he heard something wonderful. God promised that even for those in Exile; even in his anger; in his perfect justice and judgement, God would still care for his people. He would be a sanctuary. God promised Ezekiel that he would bring his people back not only to Jerusalem, but to that special covenantal relationship with God. ‘They will be my people, and I will be their God.’ (11:20)
This morning we welcome Rev Richard Gregg from Burnside Presbyterian Church as our guest speaker. Richard will be speaking on Psalm 84.
This morning we welcome Rev John Coulter, minister in Ballysally Presbyterian Church. John and Stuart are taking part in a virtual pulpit swap.
Ezekiel’s vision wasn’t so much against what was happening in the temple, but what was happening in people’s lives. Israel’s idolatry may not have been obvious, it’s more likely to have been hidden. If we were sitting with Ezekiel in that house in Babylon, hoping to hear from God. What would he be saying to us? Certainly, on the face of it everything may look OK. Our temple: our life may be good on the surface, no problems; no issues. What lies beneath?