This Week at JMPC 2.2.2020

There was a commercial on TV a while back in which people were singing the song Rocket Man by Elton John. The problem was that they did not really know what the words to the refrain were. The words were hard to understand because of the way Elton John sang them. People just knew what they “sounded” like. So, they just sang the song the way it sounded to them. Here are a couple of examples of what folks thought those Rocket Man lyrics were:
 
• Rocket man, burning out this useless telephone.
• Rocket man, burning all the shoes off everyone.
• Rocket man, burning out and now my hair is gone.
 
And my favorite,
 
• Rocket man, burning up the room with cheap cologne.
 
The real words?
 
• Rocket man, burning out his fuse up here alone.
 
The reason people get it wrong all these years is because they never take the time to actually read the words to the song. This is true of many songs. If you want to know what the musician is singing, you had better take a look at the lyrics. And then try to make some sense of them. Put them in context. It has meaning. The meaning intended by the writer.
 
The Bible is kind of like that. We think we know what it says, but do we really? We have been told what it says, but have we really read the words? Have we put them in context? Do we understand what the writer means? Or do we just repeatedly recite what we just think is says.
 
As Peter Gomes, the late Preacher to Harvard once said:
 
“The Bible says what it means and means what it says.” This is a popular defense of the authority of scripture, and it is as dangerous and wrong as it is simple and memorable. … We can certainly say that the Bible says what it means, but that presupposes that we know what it says, and, as well, that we understand what it means when it says it.
 
This week we at JMPC will start a sermon series called “What does the Bible say about …?” We start off with “What does the Bible say about salvation?” Who gets saved? Do you know what the Bible says about that? Come and hear about it on Sunday February 2 at 8:30 and 11 at John McMillan Presbyterian Church. You might be surprised. We look forward to seeing you.

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