Fr. Christopher Leighton - Psalm 110 - February 27th

“The Lord is at your right hand”

Psalm 110, II Samuel 7

1.         Read II Samuel 7.  What does David want to do for God?  What does God want to do for David?

2.         What is promised to David in verses 9 -16?  How was the promise fulfilled?  In what way today is David’s house and kingdom established forever?  (read Isaiah 9:6-7;  Luke 1:32-33)

3.         John Newton wrote “Amazing Grace” based on this passage (especially the words, “The Lord has promised good to me, His word my hope secures”.)  Reflect on the promises and the grace that God extends to you.  Give thanks.

4.         Read Psalm 110.  What stands out in your mind as you read it?

5.         This psalm is drawn upon heavily in the New Testament.  What point did Jesus make with this psalm (read Luke 20:41-44)?

6.         Who is Melchizedek in Psalm 110:4?  Read Genesis 14:17-20.  How are his roles conferred on the Davidic line?  What does the New Testament say about him  (see Hebrews 7:1-19)?

7.         Psalm 110:5 says, “The Lord is at your right hand.”  What does this mean for David?  For Jesus?  For you?

The Altar

By , February 27, 2011

Today the global Anglican Church celebrates George Herbert, a pastor of souls, a poet, and priest in God’s temple.  Herbert was no stranger to sacrifice, so it is fitting to remember his life as we approach the season of Lent.  Herbert was born into a wealthy and artistic family, and he received a good education which led to a prominent position as orator of Cambridge University. He even served two years in Parliament – all by the age of 35.

 Yet Herbert abandoned his sky-rocketing political career to become the rector of an obscure little parish in rural England.  He was noted for providing unfailing care for his parishioners, bringing the sacraments to them when they were ill, and giving food and clothing to those in need.  Meanwhile, he composed some of the most beautiful poetry in the English language.  Take a moment to consider a few fragments from one such poem:

A broken ALTAR, Lord, thy servant rears,

Made of a heart, and cemented with tears…

A HEART alone

Is such a stone,

As nothing but

Thy power can cut…

O let thy blessed SACRIFICE be mine,

 And sanctify this ALTAR to be thine

This Lenten season our St. Paul’s family will be learning how to conform the altar of our hearts to an even more beautiful statement:  “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.  AND you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  As we learn to shape our lives in the words of the Jesus Creed, ask yourself not just how you should sacrifice (“What should I give up for Lent?”).  But also ask yourself how you can be an altar (“What should I take up for Lent?”).

 God is moving at St. Paul’s, and I’m excited to see what He does in this next season as we move together with Him. 


The Rev. Jordan Easley


On the MArk February 27th

Fr. Jordan Easley - Psalm 30 - February 20th

By , February 20, 2011

Psalm 30   (II Samuel 6:16-27)
“You have turned my mourning into dancing”

1)         What are your experiences of dancing as a form of praise? If you’ve tried it yourself, has it helped you worship God better? Why or why not? Has watching other people dance ever helped you worship?

2)         Read Psalm 30 and I Samuel 6:16-27. How does this psalm mirror David’s excitement as he leads the ark of God to the temple?

3)         Do you feel sorry for Michal? Why or why not?

4)         Has worship ever seemed embarrassing or undignified to you? It seems that Michal had some selfish “hang ups” about David’s worship style. During worship how do you discern the difference between your own “hang ups” and personal preference?

5)         What has God done for you historically (or recently) that make you want to worship him without any inhibition?

6)         Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” How is this different from the kind of mourning that David is talking about in verse 11? How is it similar?

7)         Echoing verse 11, Isaiah 61:3 states that God will give his people “a beautiful crown instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a fainting spirit.” What does this “garment of praise” look like in your worship? In your daily life?

Here Comes Lent

Although Ash Wednesday comes very late this year, we will be beginning Lent very soon, March 9th.  It is good to think prayerfully now about your goals for the season.  What does God want to change about your life?  Are there certain things to lay aside or to pick up?  What will better glorify the Lord Jesus?

The days are lengthening – that is what Lent literally means.  As the hours of daylight increase our expectancy for Holy Week and Easter intensifies. 

The one thing I’d like you to do now is to take out your calendar and mark off Holy Week (beginning with Palm Sunday, April 17) as time to spend with the members of St. Paul’s in prayer and worship.  There will be something every day.  Plan to participate as fully as possible.

Here comes Lent, and here comes Easter.  You will get out of them as much as you put into them!  I am looking forward to spending these days together.

Your brother in Christ,


The Rev. Christopher P. Leighton


On the Mark February 20th


By , February 13, 2011

Did you know that early Christians were accused of being atheists?  Because they refused to swear allegiance to Caesar, or to make sacrifices to other Roman gods, the surrounding culture believed they had no religion.  Because they said, “Jesus is Lord,” and not “Caesar is Lord,” everyone thought that they were freaks, that they might as well have believed in no god at all.

On February 23rd, the Church commemorates of the death of Polycarp, a disciple of the Apostle John, who was martyred by the Romans for his allegiance to Jesus. When asked to curse Christ, he replied: “Eighty-six years have I served him, and he never did me any wrong.  How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?”

While you and I may never be faced with the choice to renounce Jesus or die, we have the far more difficult choice to affirm Jesus and live.  How does the statement “Jesus is Lord” make a difference in your life from hour to hour? Do your neighbors and your coworkers, think of you as an “atheist” for your daily allegiance to Jesus?   

In a few weeks St. Paul’s will be reading The Jesus Creed together as a church body.  We will be learning how to live in light of the two great commands of our Lord: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, your soul, your mind, and your strength, AND love your neighbor as yourself.”  If loving God and loving our neighbors makes “atheists” in the eyes of the world, then let us be “atheists” in 2011, the year of freedom.  My prayer for all of us at St. Paul’s is that each of us will more fully learn how to live Jesus’ Creed and more boldly proclaim,  “Jesus is Lord!”


The Rev. Jordan Easley


On the Mark February 13th

Fr. Jordan Easley – Psalm 17 – February 6th

By , February 13, 2011

“From your presence let my vindication come!”

Psalm 17

  1. All of the psalms can be used as prayers, but Psalm 17 is explicitly titled “A Prayer of David”.  Read through Psalm 17.  What stands out to you as a “prayer”?
  2. What pieces of this prayer resonate with prayers that you have been praying recently?
  3. At this point in our study in the life of David, he is King over all Israel.  Yet even from a position of power, he doesn’t take revenge on his enemies.  Have you ever had this experience – where you suddenly have the upper hand over those who have done you harm?  Did you avoid being smug or vindictive?  If so, then how did God help you?  If not, then how might you ask God to help you in this situation?
  4. As David cries out to God, he declares that his “lips are free from deceit” (verse 1) and his “feet have not slipped” (v. 5)  How can he claim this?  We know that he is not blameless (even if he hasn’t sought revenge on his enemies), yet he says that he is.  How is this confidence possible?
  5. What kind of self-examination does it take to make a please of innocence like David makes?
  6. David says, “From your presence let my vindication come” (verse 2, ESV, emphasis mine).  When you examine your life and set it before the Lord, do you have assurance that he has vindicated you – from sin, from Satan, from your enemies?
  7. Ultimately, our confidence in God’s salvation springs from the righteousness that we have by faith in Jesus Christ.  Look at verse 15:  Do you think David caught a glimpse of this?  What is the last time you caught a glimpse of this?

Fr. Christopher Leighton – Psalm 24/122 February 13th

“Who is this King of glory?”

Psalm 24, Psalm 122, II Samuel 6

Read Psalm 24 and II Samuel 6

  1. What would a worship service led by David look like?  Would you be surprised by any sights or sounds?
  2. What musical instruments are listed as used in worship (II Samuel 6:5,15)?  How do instruments release love for God?
  3. What would it take to get you dancing in the streets?  A disarmament treaty?  Your beloved said, “I do”?  A Super Bowl victory for your favorite team?  Receiving the love that the Lord Jesus has for you?
  4. Compare the response of David and the people (II Samuel 6:12-15) with Michal’s response (verse 16).  Have you ever experienced such feelings?
  5. In Psalm 24, what does David stress about God in verses 1-2?  How do these qualities relate to his Questions and answer in verses 3-4?
  6. What is meant by “clean hands and a pure heart”?
  7. In verse 5, we read that the Lord blesses and vindicates those whom He saves.  How have you been blessed and vindicated?
  8. What names would you give God from this psalm?  Use these now as you pray and worship Him.

    Winning and Losing

     Have you ever thought about your life as a war in which there is winning and losing?  How are things going right now?

    In every contest there are advances and setbacks.  The Bible often depicts our life in Christ as a struggle.  Jesus has won a victory which He offers to His followers (e.g., “to him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on His throne.” Revelation 3:21)

    St. Paul speaks of gaining salvation as we decide and take action to put aside the deeds of darkness and to put on the armor of light (Romans 13:12).  He goes on to say that we are to “behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.  Rather clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ.” (verses 13-14)

    Let us agree together to clothe ourselves with Christ;  that will be the way of winning!

    Your brother in Christ,


    The Rev. Christopher P. Leighton


    On the Mark February 6th

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