Well, I've mentioned before how God does things and it's kind of surprising. Last month my husband came home and told me we are going to sing at Carnegie Hall, in New York City. I was thinking maybe he inhaled too many fumes on the drive home. But no. It's true. November 25 we'll be singing Christmas songs in Carnegie Hall : ) I never saw that one coming... Thankfully there will be over 300 singers so if I squeak (pray I won't) no one will notice : ) I'm a soprano and always need to be a little cautious... They seem to actually like my voice. Go figure? It's ecumenical (crosses denominations) which makes me very happy. I've been praying the Church could be one in the body of Christ. The world could use some good news these days.
One night my husband and I were going to rehearsal when my 5 year old neighbor asked, "Where are you going?"
There were a bunch of kids playing basketball outside. I answered, "I'm going to Church to sing in the choir." The ball stopped bouncing and I got some huge smiles on the kids faces. One of the boys keeps telling his friends, "She's a Christian. Isn't she nice?" The Lord does know how to encourage us doesn't He? And it's very encouraging to know kids are still faithful.
Also, a Men's Ensemble from St. Petersburg, Russia is going to be singing at my Church on November 15. I'm excited and look forward to meeting them.
One of the fun things about reading through Hebrews is there are all sorts of mini series stories in between the verses. Melchizedek is a mystery to us today. After Abraham finished a battle, a priest came from nowhere. It could be Jesus come to bless His people.
I really don't have the whole Bible memorized : ) When I read this Chapter of Hebrews, I saw the name, "Melchizedek" and remembered the story. So I looked up the name in a Concordance and found the location for the story- Genesis 14:17-20. If you are using the Olive Tree software it has the ability to look up verses when you type in a key word. Here's the story:
17 Then after his (Abraham's) return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King's Valley). 18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High. 19 And he blessed him and said, "Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; 20 And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand." And he gave him a tenth of all.Melchizedek brought bread and wine like the last supper, or communion we have today. He is the king of Salem. Abraham is the first patriarch of Israel. Another interesting thing here is that Abram gave a 10th of his earnings to Melchizedek. Sounds familiar right? Traditionally, Christians give 10% as a tithe. It goes to those in need, the Church and staff.
(Genesis 14:17-20 NASB)
1 Every high priest is selected from among the people and is appointed to represent the people in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2 He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. 3 This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people. 4 And no one takes this honor on himself, but he receives it when called by God, just as Aaron was.
Yet again God's compassion is clear. Verse 2- "He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness." After the Garden of Eden, God actually wants our leaders to be humble and gentle. Because none of us are perfect. Pretty cool! So God wants Church leaders who are real, not pretending perfection. We can't relate to that, it's not what we need and can scare people away.
5 In the same way, Christ did not take on himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him,
“You are my Son;
today I have become your Father.”
6 And he says in another place,
“You are a priest forever,
in the order of Melchizedek.”
7 During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8 Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10 and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.
(Hebrews 5:1-10 NIV)
What stands out to me in these verses is how Jesus learned obedience from His suffering. I sometimes feel picked on asking, "Why me?" Or maybe I want to get even with those who hurt me. But, then the light shines and I wonder how hurting someone else would really help me.