Author: Aaron Anderson

Galatians 5:1-15 – Christ Has Set Us Free – Rev. Aaron Anderson, July 06, 2014

Galatians 5:1-15 – Christ Has Set Us Free – Rev. Aaron Anderson, July 06, 2014

 

 

Christ Has Set Us Free

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again toa yoke of slavery.

Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified[a] by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesusneither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. 10 I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view, and the one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is. 11 But if I, brothers,[b] still preach[c]circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. 12 I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves!

13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.

 

 

 

Galatians 4:21-31 – Example of Hagar and Sarah – Rev. Aaron Anderson, June 29, 2014

Galatians 4:21-31 – Example of Hagar and Sarah – Rev. Aaron Anderson, June 29, 2014

Galatians 4:21-31 English Standard Version (ESV)

Example of Hagar and Sarah

21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. 23 But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise. 24 Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia;[a] she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written,

“Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear;
    break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor!
For the children of the desolate one will be more
    than those of the one who has a husband.”

28 Now you,[b] brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now. 30 But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.” 31 So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman.

Galatians 4:8-20 – Paul’s Concern for the Galatians – Rev. Aaron Anderson, June 22, 2014

Galatians 4:8-20 – Paul’s Concern for the Galatians – Rev. Aaron Anderson, June 22, 2014

 

 

Galatians 4:8-20English Standard Version (ESV)

Paul’s Concern for the Galatians

Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God,how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years! 11 I am afraid I may have labored over you in vain.

12 Brothers,[a] I entreat you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You did me no wrong. 13 You know it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first, 14 and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. 15 What then has become of your blessedness? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have gouged out your eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I then become your enemy bytelling you the truth?[b] 17 They make much of you, but for no good purpose. They want to shut you out, that you may make much of them. 18 It is always good to be made much of for a good purpose, and not only when I am present with you, 19 my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you! 20 I wish I could be present with you now and change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.

Special Announcement from Rev. Aaron Anderson

Special Announcement from Rev. Aaron Anderson

June 5, 2014

 

Dear friends and congregants,

For the last 18 months I have been working through a stirring in my heart regarding my sense of calling to City Church. I have analyzed and prayed about how my gifts and weaknesses have shaped, served and hindered City Church in the last five and a half years and how I might best serve Christ’s Kingdom in the future.

In this process of prayer and discernment, I have sought the counsel of numerous spiritual counselors and questioned my own heart and motives to discern if this was the moving of the Spirit or something else.

In late March I stepped into the role of Interim Transition Team Leader at Logos Academy on a part-time basis with the intention of concluding that role on June 30th. As the Logos Board of Directors planned for its future, I was asked to consider a long-term leadership role with the organization.

After much discernment, prayer and consultation, Gail and I have come to the conclusion we believe the Lord is leading me to this full-time role at Logos Academy to begin July 1st.

This will mean a transition of leadership for City Church. As the founding planter of City Church, this has been a difficult process for me. We deeply love the people at City Church and understand there is much more work to be done.

City Church’s borrowed session and Presbytery have engaged in discussion and have defined a search process for a new pastor for City Church. A search team is being assembled and will be made up of members of our borrowed session, members of City Church, and members of the Church Planting & Outreach committee of Presbytery. This team will refine the search process and lead City Church through it.

It has been a true joy and fulfilling experience to be a part of planting City Church and of being its pastor. I am so grateful that the Lord in his wisdom planted our family here in York in 2004 and is keeping us here in 2014 and beyond.

May Christ be glorified in His Church,

Rev. Aaron Anderson

 

Reading Scripture as a Church

Reading Scripture as a Church

If you would like to keep up with the Scripture readings that are used on Sunday mornings and use them for your own personal or family meditation time then go to the following link (updated weekly). The link will take you to the Revised Common Lectionary

http://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/

The Revised Common Lectionary is a three-year cycle of weekly readings used to varying degrees by the vast majority of mainline Protestant churches in Canada and the United States. The RCL is built around the seasons of the Church Year, and includes four readings for each Sunday, as well as additional readings for major feast days. During most of the year, the readings are: a reading from the Hebrew Bible, a Psalm, a reading from the Epistles, and a Gospel reading. (adapted from the FAQ section of the Vanderbilt site)

Sermon from Rev. Terry Traylor’s memorial service

Sermon from Rev. Terry Traylor’s memorial service

I wanted to post my sermon in honor of the life and ministry of my Father-in-law Rev. Terry Traylor. The following sermon was delivered at Terry’s memorial service at the Keswick Theater in Glenside, PA on December 16th 2013.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

My name is Aaron Anderson. I am the pastor at City Church in York, PA. More importantly, I am what Terry called “the Gorilla to whom I gave my Stradivarius,” his sweet oldest daughter Gail.

For half of my life, almost 19 years, Terry was a second Father to me and Susan, this amazing woman, a second mother to me. Joel, Greg, Jill, Nate, Alysa have all been brothers and sisters to me.

I am also father to six of Terry’s grandchildren, who endearingly call him “PeePops.”

I want to read a few verses from Hebrews 11-12 as we turn our gaze to Terry’s Redeemer Jesus Christ. Please stand with me, as was Terry’s own tradition and now mine, for the reading of God’s Word.

By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and the application of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.

By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned…

And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets…

These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

“The grass withers, the flowers fade but the Word of God stands forever.”-but as Terry used to say “You don’t have to.”

When Joel called me on Thursday night and said “he died” seeds were planted in my deepest parts- ones whose blossoms are described as what our text calls “growing weary” and “losing heart.”

“Growing weary” because while this world’s highs are really high, the lows are really low. Aren’t you tired of hearing bad news? This has been a really hard year. Sometimes I get so weary I just want to quit.

I sent a note to the ‘Philadelphia Inquirer’ yesterday to ask that they cover Terry’s funeral because I’m weary of stories about disgraced ministers who abuse children or who through scandal give offense to the Gospel.

I said “Terry was one of the good ones.” I weary because in this great Race of Faith we lose men like Terry in seemingly untimely ways. (Click here to read the Philadelphia Inquirer’s kind story.)

It’s easy to “lose heart” because sometimes you wonder if God was napping at the wheel or if this Gospel ministry is just a big venture in what our critics call “delusional wish-fulfillment.”

When I received the news I was in the midst of writing a sermon about John the Baptist sending word to Jesus asking “Are you the One or should we expect another?”. I think John was disappointed and struggling with Jesus. I have to admit I’ve been there with John this week.

But Terry wouldn’t want that, and more importantly, the LORD would not have us grow weary or lose heart.

Terry’s hero in the faith was Moses. He was counseling someone who once spoke critically of Moses. He came unglued “Don’t you dare diss Moses or you won’t go to the Promised Land!” Well, maybe Terry didn’t say that last part:)

I sat quietly in Terry’s home this week and read the Moses narrative he so loved even as my own weary gaze was fixed on pictures of Terry everywhere, tempted to lose heart.

How do keep from growing weary and losing heart in the midst of this tragic loss?

Verse 27 of our text says “By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.”

To keep from growing weary and losing heart we must be full of faith.

Moses was a man of great faith. Did you hear the repetition? “By faith” Moses chose a different identity than the Pharaoh’s grandson.” “By faith” Moses rejected sin’s pleasure for mistreatment w/the Lord’s people.” “By faith” Moses’ currency wasn’t Egypt’s treasures but rather disgrace for Christ.”

Why did Moses persevere? He saw the invisible One and it changed him!

The elders in Israel must have thought Moses was ‘pathologically optimistic.’ I can hear Moses in Terry’s voice say “But dude! I stood on holy ground and saw a burning bush!”

Hebrews 11:6 reminds us that “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Like Moses, Terry was a man of great faith! Just like his hero Moses Terry was  still living by pathologically-optimistic-faith when he died! He could have trusted in his amazing reputation but he chose a different identity based on faith.

“By faith” Terry believed God existed; “By faith” Terry shepherded his family; “By faith” Terry planted multiple churches, changed skeptical presbyteries, was raising money to plant more!

If we are to keep from growing weary and losing heart we must be full of that same faith. We must fix our gaze not on Terry but on the invisible One Moses and Terry saw.

Hebrews 11:28 says “By faith he kept the Passover and the application of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.”

To keep from growing weary and losing heart we must be full of Christ.

Moses was a man whose hope was in blood. “By faith” he trusted Lamb’s blood sloppily, slathered on the doorpost for his deliverance. “By faith” Moses led Israel to annually remember that bloody deliverance in the Passover meal. “By faith” Moses was looking ahead to Christ the Lamb of God.

Terry was a man full of Christ. Terry’s faith was no bare ‘faith’ or optimism. It was full of content.

Terry was deeply flawed, sinful, broken, and could go to dark places. You could love him one second and be infuriated the next. Susan knows this best:) But Terry owned his sinfulness, readily admitted his weakness and errors.

I think I understand why Moses was his hero. Moses was a man who didn’t think he could speak very well. Terry was often criticized for his sermons, his style or lack thereof, his artsy approach to preaching. Rarely did I see Terry’s pride wounded or him throw a fit. On those rare occasions of frustration I could hear his Mom tell him as a young boy “Terry, sit on that stool and cool your heels.”

Like Moses, “the most humble man in all the earth”, Terry was incredibly humble. How could he do it while facing criticism? “By faith” Terry trusted in the Lamb’s blood sloppily slathered over his life! He used to say “I don’t take myself very seriously but I do the Gospel!”

He was full of Christ and forever changed by the blood of Jesus. He knew that at the Cross of Jesus the worst that could be said about Terry Traylor was blared for the entire world to hear. But Terry was deeply changed by the opposite truth: that the now Visible God in Jesus was blaring another message: “I love you my son with an everlasting love.” I hope there is someone here who has never heard that message before and embraces Terry’s hope.

If we are to not grow weary or lose heart, we must be full of Christ!

There is a great story in the Washington Post from 2007 about one of the world’s greatest classical violinists, Joshua Bell. One day he threw on jeans and a Washington Nationals ball cap, setup in a DC Metro station in rush hour, pulled out his one-of-a-kind $3.5M Stradivarius, opened the case for collections and began to play masterpieces. Almost no one stopped to listen even though that very weekend people had paid $100 per ticket to see him play. He ended up collecting $37.

In Terry, we saw a man not full of himself but full of Christ. He was dressed as a non-descript, ordinary guy in a Metro station playing a masterpiece. The masterpiece Terry played so skillfully was the Christ that filled his life. If you could see Terry’s ‘spirit-man’ you would see a man dripping with life-giving blood of Jesus.

There is a subtle rebuke here for the kind of preaching we think we need. Do we want great orators or men full of Christ?

There is a great temptation in the midst of my own grief to be full of myself, my pity, my loss. I can hear Terry asking those he mentored “What is the present value of Jesus’ blood in your life?” 

Hebrews 12:1-3 says “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Terry has joined his heroes in that great cloud of witnesses. He is now cheering us on saying “Run the race. Fix your eyes on Jesus!!!”

Hebrews 11:29 says By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.”

To keep from growing weary and losing heart we must be fully invested in the Kingdom of God.

Moses was a man of vision. “By faith” Moses looked at the Red Sea and saw not only dry ground but a path to the Promised Land! “By faith” Moses carried God’s people through the wilderness and stood in the gap when they griped and moaned.

Moses was a man invested in seeing the Kingdom of God expand among the Lord’s people.

Terry, like his hero Moses, was a man of incredible vision.He could look at things that were not and seemingly bring them into existence by faith. RUF ministries, church plants and even a son-in-law I would have given up on. He believed the Gospel for all of us-older brothers and younger brothers too. He could see through the doubts, griping, and still be FOR people.

If you are here tonight and in ministry, or further along in ministry because of Terry’s influence please stand. Terry was fully invested not in his own kingdom (church budgets, attendance) but in building God’s kingdom!!!

On Saturday night Terry & Susan had the New Life elders at their home and Terry gave an update of his new MNA role of expanding the kingdom as a national church planting coordinator. Terry said “God saved the best for last.” Little did he know what those words would mean.

On the Thursday night when Terry passed, like his hero Moses, Terry climbed his own Mt. Nebo. The LORD said to Moses: “Take a look. The land I promised to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob is before you but you can only look not enter it.” I’m confident that when Terry got to the top of his own mountain he wasn’t met by Moses but by Jesus who said “Come on with me. I’ve crossed over and conquered. Rest a little while. Your buddy Moses wants to hang out.

Full of faith. Full of Christ. Fully invested in the kingdom of God. That’s the legacy Terry leaves us.

May the Lord help us fix our gaze on Jesus and make us people full of faith, full of Christ, fully invested in the kingdom of God. Amen.