Mission/Vision

KING’S CROSS CHURCH exists to glorify God and enlarge His Kingdom by gathering regularly to proclaim and celebrate the Gospel of Jesus Christ, yielding to the authority of God’s Word as illuminated by the Holy Spirit and summarized in the historic Christian Creeds and Reformed Confessions, partaking together of Christ’s presence in the Sacraments, providing opportunities to love and serve one another in Community, equipping the saints for Ministry to those who are lost and hurting, both locally and globally, and preparing them to cultivate Shalom (peace and well-being) wherever God calls them to serve.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Set Free Audio and Text


Here is the theme song that I wrote for this year's Summer Sanctus PNW. Click on the song title (below.) GH

Summer Sanctus PNW 2017


Trapped in this prison-house of shame and sin

I’m shackled from without and wedged within

I long to breathe the air outside my jail

So hear my plaintive cry and wail

I yearn to be set free, set free


My dungeon walls seem like they’re ten feet thick

Impervious as steel and stone-hard brick

My only hope is for a Savior true

To do for me what I can’t do

I need to be set free, set free


The warden called, he said my debt’s been paid

I’m free to leave this stifling stone stockade

My Savior waits for me outside the gate

The time has come to relocate

Because I’ve been set free, set free


Sometimes I’m tempted to retake my chains

Pretending that I’m still in sin’s domain

But when I do, I hear my Savior say

“I died to put those chains away

C’mon and follow me, and live set free”

Set free, set free


If the Son sets me, free, then I’ll be free indeed

If the Son sets you, free, then you’ll be free indeed

If the Son sets us, free, then we’ll be free indeed

Set free!









Monday, July 17, 2017

Taste and See that the LORD is Good



One of the Spirit’s favorite metaphors for God’s Word is food, indicating that it is tasty, nourishing and meant to be ingested and digested, not merely tasted (like gum.) In chapter 3 of his prophecy Ezekiel is instructed to “eat” a scroll of God’s Word. And John is likewise instructed to do so in Revelation 10. In Psalm 19, David describes God’s law as “sweeter also than honey and the drippings from the honeycomb.” Oh yeah…


Recently, I had the privilege of filling the pulpit at one of our sister churches, and chose to preach out of Daniel 9. There are 1189 chapters in the Bible, and unbeknownst to me, the guest preacher (who received his PhD in Hebrew from Oxford University!) the previous week had used the same chapter for his sermon text. Fortunately, this repetition was not brought my attention until after I had delivered the sermon. But from the people’s comments afterward, it was quite obvious that God’s Word is indeed food, and not merely the recitation of data. Like pizza or a Milepost 111 burger, the same texts can be enjoyed and provide nourishment over and over again.


But sometimes it is a challenge to get beyond tasting God’s Word to actually ingesting it in a way that it becomes a part of us, shaping our affections and directing our thoughts, words and deeds. I recently came across eight questions to ask of a text in order to better hear what the Holy Spirit is saying as I read a portion of God’s Word. I use the King’s Cross lectionary, so after I have read the 2-3 chapters for the day, I spend a few minutes praying back to God my answers to the questions, and then conclude with a short prayer focused on the one or two questions/answers that seem most pertinent/applicable.


These questions have helped me move from tasting to feeding upon God’s Word, but they may or may not be helpful to you. As with a sumptuous feast, there are lots of different ways to eat and enjoy at table. Here they are:


Understanding:
1. What do I learn about God?

2. What do I learn about people?

3. What do I learn about relating to God?

4. What do I learn about relating to others?

     Pray…



Application:

1. What does God want me to understand?

2. What does God want me to believe?

3. What does God want me to desire?

4. What does God want me to do?

     Pray…


GH



Are These Promises for You?


(Jeremiah 29:11–14) For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.

This is an perfect example of what I like to call “refrigerator magnet verses”, so named because of the way that they are forcibly yanked out of context and blithely placed in Hallmark cards and placarded on internet memes.

In Jeremiah 29, the prophet speaks of two different classes of people within Israel. And the above promises are tenderly given to one sort of Israelite and clearly withheld from the other.

So, before we can put any sort of claim upon the mercies promised in these verses, we first need to determine which class of people we most closely resemble.

One camp within Israel was characterized by its refusal to listen to God’s Word and to embrace the God-ordained “death” of exile in Babylon, and to faithfully await the “resurrection” of return to the holy land by God’s means, in God’s time. To the Israelites who spurned God’s Word and were confident that they could save themselves, God promised “the sword, famine and pestilence.”

The other camp within Israel listened and obeyed God’s prophets, humbly embraced the “death” of Babylonian exile and faithfully awaited the “resurrection” of return. But their waiting for resurrection was not passive. In obedience to God’s command they actively built homes, planted gardens, bore and raised children and grandchildren, labored and prayed for the welfare of city where God had placed them, believing, as the Lord had said, that their welfare was linked to the welfare of their city; their city of exile.

It was to these Israelites; the Israelites who listened carefully to God’s Word, humbly submitted to God’s plan of death and resurrection and faithfully labored for the good of the worldlings who surrounded them, that God promised “plans for welfare and not for evil…a future and a hope.”

And so, not coincidentally, every week in our assembly on Mt. Zion, we revisit, re-hear and indeed reenact the Gospel, God’s wonderful plan to save us via our union, by faith, in Christ’s death and resurrection, along with reminders to build, plant and parent while actively seeking the welfare of the unbelieving city in which God has placed us.

And this we do, reveling in the sure knowledge that God’s plans for us are supremely good, filled with hope and bursting with promise.


GH

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Fathers' Work


"For you know how like a father with his children, we exhorted each on of you and encouraged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory." (1 Thess. 2:11)

In this verse Paul gives us some important insights into the duties of Christian fathers. Fathers "exhort" and "encourage" their children to walk in ways consistent with their calling and work in God's kingdom. There are many ways to do this, but historically, exhortation and encouragement have included the catechizing of children; grounding them in the basics of the faith. And the following catechism is a good place to start.

Small Children's Catechism

1. Who made you? God

2. What else did God make? God made all things.

3. Why did God make all things? For His own glory

4. Why do things work as they do? God has so decreed it.

5. How do we learn about God? God reveals Himself.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

A Prayer for Moms (WJM)


Lord, we pray for Your encouragement of mothers.
This role You have given them, first to physically bear the children,
And then to nurture and care for and raise their children
is so demanding, yet so important. 

We pray that you shower the gifts of Your Spirit on mothers
That You enable them to be kind and gentle with their children
When they have been frustrated and pushed to their limit
That You equip them to be patient and long-suffering with immature behaviors
Even when those behaviors last for years and come from large bodies.

We pray You grant mothers an extra measure of self-control when they need it the most.
And to cover it all, Lord, we pray that You enable mothers and grandmothers to love their children in a special way that only they can, and in circumstances when their children are not acting loveable, and that you recharge their capacity for love hour after hour for the days, months, years and indeed lifetimes that their mothering will go on.

And we pray that through it all, mothers will remain faithful to rely on You and trust in You that You will make their ‘mothering” paths straight and that You will be the Father guiding and leading their children, just as You are the Father guiding and leading them. 

We pray these things in Jesus name, Amen.


Bill Monnette

Mothers' Day Prayer of Thanksgiving (DD)

Father,

Thank you that you give us exceeding great and precious promises.  For a promise is a chance to trust in you while we wait to surely obtain something of great value….   Our first parents believed the demonic message that you were selfish and withheld your blessings.   The first born of the human race believed demonic message of envy: that his he was robbed because someone else was blessed.  And rather than obtaining what they sought, they and all their posterity became laden with the twin fruits of demonic pride: fear and envy.  And ever since we have both faithfully clung to this fruit and been sorely oppressed by their resulting hopelessness and despair. 

But thank you that you saved us in Christ, who delivers us from these scourges.  Thank you for the promise in the verse, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ.”  Thank you further, that you give us the same task our first parents failed at:  The need to trust and wait on you, to be faithful while we wait on your promises and blessings.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Mothers' Day Prayer of Thanksgiving 2017 (JP)


Our Heavenly Father, Creator of all that is, the Holy One who declares the end from the beginning, You are the God of order and not disorder.  And so we thank you for establishing motherhood and for creating women to perfectly fill the role of Mothers.

You have endowed them to be nurturers, patient, compassionate, filled with unquestioned love, willing to give their life in an instant for the life of their child, able to do multiple things with children under foot or on a hip.  Things that would cause most of us men to be pulling our hair out.

I thank you for mothers that surrender their own hopes and dreams for the good of their children.