"David's Punishment" by Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld (German artist, 1794-1872), woodcut illustration
Image: “David’s Punishment” by Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld (German artist, 1794-1872), woodcut illustration 

Reflection, Pardon, and Renewal

 

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise. May it please you to prosper Zion, to build up the walls of Jerusalem.
Psalm 51:17-19

 

The connection in Psalm 51 between repentance and our success in reaching others with the gospel was noted last week. In his prayer, David also shows us what our hope should be like for the church, too. King David’s hope at the end of the psalm is for the prosperity of Zion, to build up the walls of Jerusalem.  

While the parallel is not exact in every way, the church of Jesus Christ should be to His followers, as Jerusalem was to David and the Jewish people. We should want our church to prosper. We should want our fellowship to be built up! To this end, during Lent, Psalm 51 helps us examine ourselves and consider if there is anything we can do (or need to stop doing). Are the choices that I have made – or that I am making – building up the church? What impact are my decisions having on the fellowship of believers for whom Christ died?

The walls of Jerusalem were not torn down or damaged during David’s reign – that would come later in Jerusalem’s history. But perhaps David intends a metaphor here, using the image of a ruined Zion, surrounded by breached and damaged walls to illustrate the larger impact of what he did in his sin of adultery and murder and coverup, and its destructive ripples that had gone out through his kingdom. It must have been demoralizing, maybe devastating, for the people of Israel when their great king was exposed for his crime. And now David hopes for a future blessing for Israel along with the pardon that he is seeking from God. In the book of Psalms, the king, the success of his reign, the significance of his blessing, and the consequences of his actions, are often in view.

Like everyone else, I was shocked, saddened, and angered by what took place in our nation’s capital on January 6. Should the president have been held accountable or was he responsible for the actions of the mob, for the destruction and death at the capital? Our former president dismisses the idea, and Americans are divided over the question. King David had no doubts about his own culpability and wanted something better for his nation.

I do not write this to divide us along political lines or rehash recent events but to unite us as Christians and redirect us to the future as the fellowship of our King, Jesus Christ. Psalm 51 is a psalm of His pardoning power. It shows the power of God’s pardon to not only transform us but rebuild relationships and the entire culture around us! Whatever is wrong in our lives, whatever is wrong in our families, whatever is wrong in our church, whatever is wrong in our nation, we can be certain that the fault is in us, not Him! There is a story that the Times of London once ran an essay contest in the early 1900s. The essay question posed: What is Wrong with the World? English author and Christian apologist, GK Chesterton answered with his now famous two-word essay: I am. Lent is a time for seeing, as David did, as Chesterton did, the connection between ourselves and what is wrong in our world.  I want God’s blessing on our fellowship and on our nation but I first need to think about what is wrong with me.

Sermon Videos

February 21, 2021

2021年2月21日

English Sermon
英語主日崇拜

For the safety of our Guest Preacher, NO recording was made.
Please visit us next week or watch previous weeks videos.

 

Cantonese Sermon
粵語主日崇拜

『神眼神心永常在:宣教、社會、生命』
列王記上 9:1-9
陳浩強牧師
Pastor Cliff Chan
“God’s Eye is Always On: Outreach, Society, & Life”
1 Kings 9:1-9

Mandarin Sermon
国語主日崇拜

『世代悖逆、我当如何?』
路加福音 18:1-8
李灵牧师
Pastor Daniel Ling Li
“What If the Generations are Rebellious?”
Luke 18:1-8


Children’s Ministry
兒童事工

 

The Path of Lent

 

Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your unfailing love; according to Your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. … Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit in me. … Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will turn back to You.
Psalm 51:1-3,9-10,13

 

In What Are We Doing Here? Marilynne Robinson describes the large segment of our nation who know nothing about religion at all, except what they hear from its very loudest voices, and who are therefore, understandably, secularists (p.54). The loudest voices are rarely the most thoughtful voices. Midway through my sabbatical, and thinking about Robinson’s comment on this first day of Lent, I am pondering Psalm 51. The season of Lent is a time to contemplate the mercy of God and our personal need of it. But what David demonstrates in this psalm of repentance is that honesty before the Lord is not only what I need but it is also the path to helping others know His grace. He envisions teaching “sinners” the ways of God’s mercy and unfailing love and seeing them turn to the Lord but cannot unless he first repents and experiences God’s grace and creative power in his own life. In The Heart of Evangelism, Jerram Barrs sums up the beginning of outreach to others:  Humble prayer will be our starting point (p.131). If we want others to experience the grace of God revealed to us in Jesus Christ, this must be our starting point, too. Self-critique in the presence of God is the first step towards renewal by God so that through our voices, others might hear Him speaking.

February 14, 2021 – Ministry Sharing

Guest Speaker: Colleen Wong
Moderator: Shirley Yee

Colleen Wong is currently on staff with Deoworks as the Director of Strategic Partnerships and Platforms, with a focus on national leadership development. Deoworks is a Gospel-centered non-profit consulting company connecting the body of Christ to facilitate ministries within the Kingdom of God and to incubate ideas which contribute to the furthering of the Kingdom.

 

Sermon Videos

February 14, 2021

2021年2月14日

English Sermon
英語主日崇拜

“Soul Impact”
1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 4:12
Guest Preacher:
Colleen Wong

 

Click to Watch Video

Missions Sharing

https://www.atlpc.org/sharing2021-02-14/

Cantonese Sermon
粵語主日崇拜

『新年新開始』
書 5:10-15
李偉強牧師
Rev. David Lee
“A New Year, A New Beginning”
Joshua 5:10-15

Mandarin Sermon
国語主日崇拜

『你准备好了吗?』
马太福音 24:32-44
赵保罗牧师
Pastor Qiusheng Zhao
“Are You Ready?”
Matthew 24:32-44


Children’s Ministry
兒童事工

 

Sermon Videos

February 7, 2021

2021年2月7日

English Sermon
英語主日崇拜

For the safety of our Guest Preacher, NO recording was made.
Please visit us next week or watch previous weeks videos.

 

Cantonese Sermon
粵語主日崇拜

“困境中的卓越眼光”
民13:25-30;14:1-9
慎勇牧師
Pastor Mark Shen
“Outstanding Vision in Difficult Situations”
Numbers 13:25-30; 14:1-9

Mandarin Sermon
国語主日崇拜

“在爱中行走”
约翰福音 1:18;
约翰一书 4:12
任晓静牧师
Pastor Mary Ren
Walking in love
John 1:18; 1 John 4:12


Children’s Ministry
兒童事工

 

Sermon Videos

January 31, 2021

2021年1月31日

English Sermon
英語主日崇拜

“New Life for Dry Bones”
Ezekiel 37:1-14
Guest Preacher:
Rev. Dr. Dana Allin,
ECO Synod Executive

Cantonese Sermon
粵語主日崇拜

『失焦的危機』
哥林多前書 二章一至五節
陳立平長老
Elder Ben Tran
“The Danger of Losing Focus”
1 Corinthians 2:1-5

Mandarin Sermon
国語主日崇拜

『失焦的危机』
哥林多前书 2: 1-5
陈立平长老
Elder Ben Tran
“The Danger of Losing Focus”
1 Corinthians 2:1-5


Children’s Ministry
兒童事工

 

Sermon Videos

January 24, 2021

2021年1月24日

English Sermon
英語主日崇拜

“Slow to Speak”
James 1:19, 3:1-12
Pastor Al Han

Cantonese Sermon
粵語主日崇拜

“約翰眼中的耶穌”
啓示錄1:1-8
郭摩西牧師
Rev. Moses Kwok
“Jesus in the Eyes of
the Apostle John”
Revelation 1:1-8

Mandarin Sermon
国語主日崇拜

“行在蒙福的路上”
诗篇1:1-3
卢乾坤牧师
Rev. Qian-Kun Lu
“Walk the Blessed Path”
Psalm 1:1-3


Children’s Ministry
兒童事工

 

Sermon Videos

January 17, 2021

2021年1月17日

English Sermon
英語主日崇拜

“Sent to Flourish”
Genesis 12:1-3;
Matthew 28:16-20
Guest Preacher:
Pastor Len Tang

9:00am Cantonese Sermon
粵語主日崇拜

『這是屬靈的爭戰!』
以弗所書6:10-13
慎勇牧師
Pastor Mark Shen
“This is a Spiritual Battle!”
Ephesians 6:10-13

10:15am Mandarin Sermon
国語主日崇拜

『关注于美好』
罗马书 8:28
腓立比书 4:8
任晓静牧师
Pastor Mary Ren
“Focus on Beauty”
Romans 8:28;
Philippians 4:8


Children’s Ministry
兒童事工

 

Sermon Videos

January 10, 2021

2021年1月10日

English Sermon
英語主日崇拜

“Know God, Fear Not”
Isaiah 43:1-7
Elder Ben Tran
陳立平長老

9:00am Cantonese Sermon
粵語主日崇拜

認識神而不懼
以賽亞書43:1-7
陳立平長老
Elder Ben Tran
“Know God, Fear Not”
Isaiah 43:1-7

10:15am Mandarin Sermon
国語主日崇拜

『不是奴仆 乃是儿子』
加拉太书:4:4-9
孙家骥牧师
Pastor Jiaji Sun
“Not a Slave, But a Son”
Galatians: 4:4-9


Children’s Ministry
兒童事工