Café Theology with Terry Crist | TBN

Café Theology with Terry Crist

Watch Café Theology with Terry Crist
August 21, 2017
25:55

Thin Places

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Café Theology with Terry Crist

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  • - Terry Crist: I grew up in a
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  • small town, and even though
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  • I love large cities, small towns
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  • will always have a special place
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  • in my heart.
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  • And when I say small,
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  • I really mean tiny.
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  • The first couple of years of my
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  • life were spent in a town of
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  • about 900 people.
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  • My granddad was a pastor, police
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  • chief, and the owner of the only
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  • restaurant in that little town
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  • for years.
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  • By the way, you know you're from
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  • a small town when the city limit
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  • signs are both on the same post.
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  • You know you're from a small
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  • town when you don't have to use
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  • a signal light because everybody
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  • in town knows where you're going
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  • anyway.
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  • And you know you're from a small
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  • town when the first baby of the
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  • year is born in May, or June, or
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  • even October.
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  • Small towns, you gotta love 'em.
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  • But today, I'm gonna be talking
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  • about how the greatest gift ever
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  • given to humanity came out of
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  • one of the smallest places in
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  • the land of Israel.
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  • Wonder what that is and how it
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  • applies to your life?
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  • Stay with me for this edition of
  • 00:01:04.040 --> 00:01:06.100
  • - Terry: Hello, I'm Terry
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  • Crist, the lead pastor
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  • of Hillsong Phoenix, and I wanna
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  • welcome you to another edition
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  • of "Cafe Theology."
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  • I'm pretty sure that you're like
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  • most people in that you've got a
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  • lot going on in your life, and
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  • I'm really honored that you
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  • would take time out of a busy
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  • life and a busy day to spend
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  • some time right here with me on
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  • the Hillsong Channel for another
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  • edition of "Cafe Theology."
  • 00:02:02.040 --> 00:02:04.040
  • We are continuing our way
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  • through the Bible, and this has
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  • been an amazing season.
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  • We started in the book
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  • of Genesis.
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  • We are working our way into the
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  • New Testament.
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  • And today, I wanna take you to a
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  • somewhat obscure book
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  • of the Bible.
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  • It's the book of Micah.
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  • Micah chapter 5 is where we're
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  • going to begin our journey as we
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  • continue talking about the story
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  • of us.
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  • That is, the story of God and
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  • man.
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  • Micah chapter 5, beginning with
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  • verse 2, the Scripture reads
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  • like this.
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  • "But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
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  • who are too little to be among
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  • the clans of Judah, from you
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  • shall come forth for me one who
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  • is to be ruler in Israel, whose
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  • coming forth is from of old,
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  • from ancient days."
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  • Bethlehem.
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  • Of all the places in the world
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  • God could have chosen as the
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  • birthplace for the Savior of the
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  • world, by choose this tiny,
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  • little town in the Judean hill
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  • country?
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  • Why not choose some other place
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  • far more significant?
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  • Now, for those who know the
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  • history of Bethlehem, you might
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  • justify it based upon some
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  • legitimate grounds.
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  • I mean, Bethlehem was the site
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  • of one of the great love stories
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  • in the Bible.
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  • It's where Boaz met Ruth.
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  • Bethlehem was also the burial
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  • site of Rachel, the great love
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  • of Jacob's life, the girl he
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  • worked 14 years to marry.
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  • And Bethlehem was also known as
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  • the city of David.
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  • David loved Bethlehem.
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  • It was where he was anointed
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  • king over Israel.
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  • And for all of those reasons,
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  • Bethlehem seems like a logical
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  • choice.
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  • But then again, the holy land is
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  • filled with hundreds of logical
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  • choices, and many of them are
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  • far more impressive.
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  • So, why choose this tiny,
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  • little town located
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  • in the middle of sheep country?
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  • [music]
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  • - Terry: A few months ago,
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  • Judith and I spent an afternoon
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  • in Bethlehem.
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  • Once again, I was struck by the
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  • simplicity of the town.
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  • It looks just like all the other
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  • small towns in Judea, except for
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  • one thing: it is the location of
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  • the Church of the Nativity,
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  • which is generally accepted as
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  • being built on the site of
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  • Jesus' birth.
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  • Constantine, the first Christian
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  • emperor of the Roman Empire,
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  • sent his mother to Israel to
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  • identify holy sites about 250
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  • years after the birth of Jesus.
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  • And apparently, everyone agreed
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  • that Jesus was born at that
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  • location, so a church was built
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  • there.
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  • Today, the site has been
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  • commercialized.
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  • It's hard to imagine what a
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  • silent night would have looked
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  • like back then.
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  • People from all over the planet
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  • are gathered with little tour
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  • flags raised high, held up by
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  • the tour operators who are
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  • trying to keep their groups
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  • together.
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  • Security guards are stationed
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  • around the perimeter with guns
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  • strapped to their chests.
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  • And instead of feeling as if
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  • this is a holy place, it just
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  • feels like a hectic place.
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  • When you enter into the Church
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  • of the Nativity, you have to bow
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  • low and pass through an entrance
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  • called the Door of Humility,
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  • which, frankly, I find a little
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  • ironic since the place is filled
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  • with pride and strife.
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  • In fact, the church is jointly
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  • controlled by the Greek Orthodox
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  • Church, the Syriac Orthodox
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  • Church, the Roman Catholic
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  • Church, and the Armenian
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  • Apostolic Church.
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  • All four churches are located on
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  • the site, and it's sad to say,
  • 00:05:51.170 --> 00:05:54.090
  • it's not a picture of peaceful
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  • harmony.
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  • [music]
  • 00:06:00.160 --> 00:06:03.160
  • - Terry: Once you leave the
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  • commerce in the courtyard, and
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  • the chaos in the sanctuary, you
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  • then wind down the stairs to
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  • find a series of small caves
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  • beneath the church.
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  • One particular cave, marked by a
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  • star, was used as a stable
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  • around the time of the birth of
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  • Jesus.
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  • And there, even though you are
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  • packed into this highly
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  • commercialized, tiny, little
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  • cave, something just feels
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  • different.
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  • It's a thin place.
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  • Now, the idea of thin places
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  • comes from an ancient Celtic
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  • Christian concept.
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  • It was first expressed in the
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  • 5th century.
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  • You see, unlike modern Western
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  • Christians who believe that
  • 00:06:47.090 --> 00:06:48.210
  • heaven and earth are worlds
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  • apart, the ancient Celtic
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  • Christians believed that the
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  • space between heaven and earth
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  • was only about 3 feet apart.
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  • And then, they believed that
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  • there were thin places, and at
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  • thin places that distance was
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  • even less.
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  • A thin place was a place where
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  • the line between the holy and
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  • the human collapsed, if but for
  • 00:07:12.080 --> 00:07:15.080
  • a moment; a place where the
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  • presence of God could be found;
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  • a place where the kingdom of God
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  • breaks in.
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  • And as strange as it sounds to
  • 00:07:24.050 --> 00:07:25.180
  • our Western, modern way of
  • 00:07:25.180 --> 00:07:27.070
  • looking at things, it rings true
  • 00:07:27.070 --> 00:07:29.220
  • to me.
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  • In fact, in the beginning, in
  • 00:07:31.050 --> 00:07:33.070
  • Genesis chapter 2, we see the
  • 00:07:33.070 --> 00:07:35.080
  • first thin place in Scripture.
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  • It's called the Garden of Eden.
  • 00:07:38.170 --> 00:07:40.200
  • And in Genesis chapter 3, we see
  • 00:07:40.200 --> 00:07:43.030
  • the separation between heaven
  • 00:07:43.030 --> 00:07:44.200
  • and earth thinning as God comes
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  • down to walk with humanity
  • 00:07:47.110 --> 00:07:50.110
  • in the cool of the day.
  • 00:07:50.110 --> 00:07:52.110
  • [music]
  • 00:07:58.010 --> 00:08:01.030
  • - Terry: In Genesis 28, Jacob
  • 00:08:01.030 --> 00:08:02.200
  • is on a journey and he lays down
  • 00:08:02.200 --> 00:08:04.120
  • to rest.
  • 00:08:04.120 --> 00:08:05.280
  • And while he is sleeping, the
  • 00:08:05.280 --> 00:08:08.010
  • heavens open to him in a dream
  • 00:08:08.010 --> 00:08:10.240
  • and the angels of God began
  • 00:08:10.240 --> 00:08:12.210
  • ascending and descending with
  • 00:08:12.210 --> 00:08:15.210
  • God standing at the top of the
  • 00:08:15.210 --> 00:08:17.040
  • ladder.
  • 00:08:17.040 --> 00:08:18.090
  • There, God makes a covenant with
  • 00:08:18.090 --> 00:08:20.110
  • Jacob and gives a promise to him
  • 00:08:20.110 --> 00:08:22.200
  • Genesis 28 describes it like
  • 00:08:26.010 --> 00:08:27.210
  • this, "Then Jacob awoke from his
  • 00:08:27.210 --> 00:08:30.140
  • sleep and said, 'Surely the Lord
  • 00:08:30.140 --> 00:08:32.180
  • is in this place, and I wasn't
  • 00:08:32.180 --> 00:08:34.230
  • even aware of it!'
  • 00:08:34.230 --> 00:08:36.070
  • But he was also afraid and said,
  • 00:08:36.070 --> 00:08:38.110
  • 'What an awesome place this is!
  • 00:08:38.110 --> 00:08:40.040
  • It is none other than
  • 00:08:40.040 --> 00:08:41.100
  • the house of God,
  • 00:08:41.100 --> 00:08:42.270
  • This was a thin place.
  • 00:08:46.230 --> 00:08:49.230
  • In Exodus 3, we read of God
  • 00:08:49.230 --> 00:08:51.210
  • meeting Moses in a burning bush
  • 00:08:51.210 --> 00:08:53.220
  • that is not consumed.
  • 00:08:53.220 --> 00:08:55.200
  • And God instructs him to remove
  • 00:08:55.200 --> 00:08:57.040
  • his shoes, for the ground he is
  • 00:08:57.040 --> 00:08:59.070
  • standing on is holy.
  • 00:08:59.070 --> 00:09:01.200
  • And on, and on I could go.
  • 00:09:01.200 --> 00:09:04.180
  • Mount Sinai, Mount Horeb, the
  • 00:09:04.180 --> 00:09:07.130
  • Mount of Transfiguration, the
  • 00:09:07.130 --> 00:09:09.260
  • temple, the tabernacle of David,
  • 00:09:09.260 --> 00:09:12.210
  • the house of Obed-Edom, which
  • 00:09:12.210 --> 00:09:14.200
  • housed the Ark of the Covenant,
  • 00:09:14.200 --> 00:09:16.240
  • the manger in Bethlehem,
  • 00:09:16.240 --> 00:09:18.240
  • the borrowed tomb
  • 00:09:18.240 --> 00:09:19.180
  • of Joseph of Arimathea.
  • 00:09:19.180 --> 00:09:22.080
  • All thin places, all places
  • 00:09:22.220 --> 00:09:25.220
  • where heaven meets earth, all
  • 00:09:25.220 --> 00:09:28.170
  • places where God's omnipresence
  • 00:09:28.170 --> 00:09:30.150
  • is superceded by his manifest
  • 00:09:30.150 --> 00:09:33.000
  • presence, all places where his
  • 00:09:33.000 --> 00:09:35.030
  • - Terry: Maybe this whole idea
  • 00:09:44.180 --> 00:09:45.120
  • of seeing God in the world
  • 00:09:45.120 --> 00:09:46.130
  • around us relates more to the
  • 00:09:46.130 --> 00:09:48.070
  • adjustments that we need to make
  • 00:09:48.070 --> 00:09:50.000
  • in our inner world than anything
  • 00:09:50.000 --> 00:09:52.270
  • related to where we need to go
  • 00:09:52.270 --> 00:09:55.080
  • - Terry: But did you know it's
  • 00:10:02.260 --> 00:10:03.250
  • not just physical locations that
  • 00:10:03.250 --> 00:10:06.050
  • can become thin places?
  • 00:10:06.050 --> 00:10:08.110
  • I really believe that thin
  • 00:10:08.110 --> 00:10:09.190
  • places are possible at any place
  • 00:10:09.190 --> 00:10:12.100
  • in time when God chooses to
  • 00:10:12.100 --> 00:10:14.290
  • intervene in our world.
  • 00:10:14.290 --> 00:10:17.070
  • They're not restricted to church
  • 00:10:17.070 --> 00:10:18.280
  • buildings, or sacred places, or
  • 00:10:18.280 --> 00:10:21.190
  • holy spots in the Middle East.
  • 00:10:21.190 --> 00:10:24.130
  • We can encounter thin places in
  • 00:10:24.270 --> 00:10:27.270
  • nature, moments when we
  • 00:10:27.270 --> 00:10:30.210
  • experience the transcendence of
  • 00:10:30.210 --> 00:10:32.160
  • God, moments when watching a
  • 00:10:32.220 --> 00:10:35.220
  • sunrise or a sunset,
  • 00:10:35.220 --> 00:10:37.260
  • or even the Northern Lights.
  • 00:10:37.260 --> 00:10:40.170
  • Thomas Merton, the Trappist
  • 00:10:40.170 --> 00:10:41.250
  • monk, once wrote that thin
  • 00:10:41.250 --> 00:10:43.220
  • places are even more prevalent
  • 00:10:43.220 --> 00:10:45.180
  • than the Celts believed,
  • 00:10:45.180 --> 00:10:47.180
  • He wrote, "Life is as simple as
  • 00:10:49.190 --> 00:10:52.180
  • this.
  • 00:10:52.180 --> 00:10:53.210
  • We are living in a world that is
  • 00:10:53.210 --> 00:10:55.130
  • absolutely transparent, and God
  • 00:10:55.130 --> 00:10:57.080
  • is shining through it all the
  • 00:10:57.080 --> 00:10:59.140
  • time.
  • 00:10:59.140 --> 00:11:00.100
  • If we abandon ourselves to him
  • 00:11:00.100 --> 00:11:02.090
  • and forget ourselves, we see it
  • 00:11:02.090 --> 00:11:05.010
  • sometimes.
  • 00:11:05.010 --> 00:11:06.100
  • The only thing is that
  • 00:11:06.100 --> 00:11:08.100
  • Maybe that's what Jesus was
  • 00:11:10.110 --> 00:11:11.160
  • talking about in Matthew chapter
  • 00:11:11.160 --> 00:11:12.270
  • 5 and verse 8 when he said,
  • 00:11:13.220 --> 00:11:16.220
  • "Blessed are the pure in heart,
  • 00:11:16.220 --> 00:11:18.260
  • for they will see God."
  • 00:11:19.100 --> 00:11:22.100
  • I don't think he was talking
  • 00:11:22.100 --> 00:11:23.080
  • about becoming pure in heart so
  • 00:11:23.080 --> 00:11:25.100
  • that we can qualify to see God
  • 00:11:25.100 --> 00:11:27.130
  • someday when we get to heaven.
  • 00:11:27.130 --> 00:11:29.280
  • That's not the gospel.
  • 00:11:29.280 --> 00:11:31.190
  • I think he was talking about
  • 00:11:31.190 --> 00:11:33.190
  • positioning our hearts today to
  • 00:11:33.190 --> 00:11:36.000
  • perceive God at work in the
  • 00:11:36.000 --> 00:11:37.040
  • world around us today and every
  • 00:11:37.120 --> 00:11:40.120
  • day.
  • 00:11:40.120 --> 00:11:41.270
  • Maybe this whole idea of seeing
  • 00:11:41.270 --> 00:11:43.070
  • God in the world around us
  • 00:11:43.070 --> 00:11:44.210
  • relates more to the adjustments
  • 00:11:44.210 --> 00:11:46.030
  • that we need to make in our
  • 00:11:46.030 --> 00:11:47.260
  • inner world than anything
  • 00:11:47.260 --> 00:11:50.080
  • related to where we need to go
  • 00:11:50.080 --> 00:11:52.200
  • in our outer world.
  • 00:11:52.200 --> 00:11:54.110
  • Maybe we need
  • 00:11:54.110 --> 00:11:54.260
  • to clean the windows of our soul
  • 00:11:54.260 --> 00:11:57.080
  • so that we can see what
  • 00:11:57.080 --> 00:11:58.190
  • is right there in front of us.
  • 00:11:59.000 --> 00:12:02.020
  • [music]
  • 00:12:05.080 --> 00:12:08.080
  • - Terry: Eugene Peterson
  • 00:12:08.080 --> 00:12:09.070
  • translates Matthew 5:8 in the
  • 00:12:09.070 --> 00:12:11.030
  • Message this way, "You're
  • 00:12:11.030 --> 00:12:13.290
  • blessed when you get your inside
  • 00:12:13.290 --> 00:12:16.240
  • world--your mind and heart--put
  • 00:12:16.240 --> 00:12:19.190
  • right.
  • 00:12:19.190 --> 00:12:20.080
  • Then you can see God
  • 00:12:20.080 --> 00:12:21.210
  • in the outside world."
  • 00:12:21.210 --> 00:12:24.040
  • I love that.
  • 00:12:24.040 --> 00:12:25.290
  • Maybe thin places are available
  • 00:12:25.290 --> 00:12:27.180
  • to us every single day in so
  • 00:12:27.180 --> 00:12:29.250
  • many ways if we go about our
  • 00:12:29.250 --> 00:12:32.080
  • lives with the sense of being
  • 00:12:32.080 --> 00:12:34.000
  • conscious of the nearness of God
  • 00:12:34.000 --> 00:12:36.200
  • and his desire to be present to
  • 00:12:36.200 --> 00:12:39.000
  • us.
  • 00:12:39.000 --> 00:12:40.210
  • You see, this idea is really all
  • 00:12:40.210 --> 00:12:42.000
  • about practicing the presence of
  • 00:12:42.000 --> 00:12:43.190
  • God, being conscious of the
  • 00:12:43.190 --> 00:12:46.170
  • nearness of God, knowing the
  • 00:12:46.240 --> 00:12:49.240
  • faithfulness of God, and
  • 00:12:49.240 --> 00:12:51.110
  • believing that, ultimately, the
  • 00:12:51.110 --> 00:12:53.040
  • story of Scripture is all about
  • 00:12:53.040 --> 00:12:55.290
  • God chasing us down so he can
  • 00:12:56.100 --> 00:12:59.100
  • redeem us, renew us, restore us,
  • 00:13:00.020 --> 00:13:03.020
  • and be in fellowship with us.
  • 00:13:03.020 --> 00:13:05.240
  • You know, I was thinking about
  • 00:13:05.240 --> 00:13:08.030
  • some thin places in my life just
  • 00:13:08.030 --> 00:13:09.290
  • recently.
  • 00:13:09.290 --> 00:13:11.140
  • The couch where I surrendered my
  • 00:13:11.140 --> 00:13:13.080
  • life to Jesus at age 6 and was
  • 00:13:13.080 --> 00:13:15.180
  • filled with the Holy Spirit was
  • 00:13:15.180 --> 00:13:17.150
  • a thin place for me.
  • 00:13:17.150 --> 00:13:19.290
  • Every year at youth camp, it was
  • 00:13:19.290 --> 00:13:22.040
  • another thin place.
  • 00:13:22.040 --> 00:13:24.260
  • The delivery room
  • 00:13:24.260 --> 00:13:26.110
  • - Terry: The first church
  • 00:13:33.060 --> 00:13:34.000
  • Judith and I pastored, which had
  • 00:13:34.000 --> 00:13:35.040
  • gone through a horrible split,
  • 00:13:35.040 --> 00:13:36.280
  • and we became the pastors on the
  • 00:13:36.280 --> 00:13:38.240
  • Sunday where the entire
  • 00:13:38.240 --> 00:13:41.140
  • congregation was comprised of
  • 00:13:41.140 --> 00:13:43.080
  • just six people, good people who
  • 00:13:43.080 --> 00:13:45.040
  • were broken, hurt, justifiably
  • 00:13:46.130 --> 00:13:49.130
  • angry, but were present.
  • 00:13:49.150 --> 00:13:52.150
  • That experience almost killed
  • 00:13:52.150 --> 00:13:54.000
  • us, but it became a thin place
  • 00:13:54.000 --> 00:13:56.120
  • for us.
  • 00:13:56.120 --> 00:13:57.230
  • I'll never forget lying on the
  • 00:13:57.230 --> 00:13:58.270
  • floor of the sanctuary in the
  • 00:13:58.270 --> 00:14:00.030
  • middle of the night, crying out
  • 00:14:00.030 --> 00:14:01.250
  • to God to help us, crying out to
  • 00:14:01.250 --> 00:14:04.190
  • God to resource us as young
  • 00:14:04.200 --> 00:14:07.200
  • pastors so that we could love
  • 00:14:07.200 --> 00:14:09.200
  • those people well, and care for
  • 00:14:09.200 --> 00:14:11.130
  • them well, and rebuild the
  • 00:14:11.130 --> 00:14:13.270
  • testimony of God in that
  • 00:14:13.270 --> 00:14:15.170
  • community.
  • 00:14:15.170 --> 00:14:16.180
  • And it was there in the middle
  • 00:14:16.180 --> 00:14:17.150
  • of the night God actually gave
  • 00:14:17.150 --> 00:14:20.040
  • me a vision of what I'm doing
  • 00:14:20.040 --> 00:14:22.050
  • today.
  • 00:14:22.050 --> 00:14:23.080
  • I saw Hillsong Church.
  • 00:14:23.080 --> 00:14:25.200
  • I saw multi-site.
  • 00:14:25.200 --> 00:14:27.250
  • I saw the future.
  • 00:14:27.250 --> 00:14:29.200
  • I saw what I'm doing today.
  • 00:14:29.200 --> 00:14:32.150
  • It was the thin place.
  • 00:14:32.150 --> 00:14:34.150
  • [music]
  • 00:14:38.180 --> 00:14:41.180
  • - Terry: Sometimes when I read
  • 00:14:41.180 --> 00:14:42.110
  • my Bible, the world seems to
  • 00:14:42.110 --> 00:14:44.190
  • stand still and I feel that God
  • 00:14:44.190 --> 00:14:46.290
  • is actually speaking to me
  • 00:14:46.290 --> 00:14:49.270
  • through what I'm reading.
  • 00:14:49.270 --> 00:14:51.270
  • Sometimes when we are engaged in
  • 00:14:51.270 --> 00:14:54.080
  • worship on Sunday morning and I
  • 00:14:54.080 --> 00:14:56.020
  • sense heaven filling the room,
  • 00:14:56.020 --> 00:14:58.070
  • and I know that God is focused
  • 00:14:58.070 --> 00:14:59.200
  • on us, that becomes a thin place
  • 00:14:59.220 --> 00:15:02.240
  • for me.
  • 00:15:02.240 --> 00:15:04.000
  • I've experienced thin places in
  • 00:15:04.000 --> 00:15:05.140
  • late night conversations with
  • 00:15:05.140 --> 00:15:06.260
  • good friends.
  • 00:15:06.260 --> 00:15:08.210
  • I've experienced thin places
  • 00:15:08.210 --> 00:15:10.070
  • lying awake in the middle of the
  • 00:15:10.070 --> 00:15:11.140
  • night, praying for God to give
  • 00:15:11.140 --> 00:15:13.190
  • me strength to just make it one
  • 00:15:13.190 --> 00:15:15.270
  • more day.
  • 00:15:15.270 --> 00:15:17.180
  • I've experienced thin places
  • 00:15:17.180 --> 00:15:19.030
  • when I've looked at my grandson,
  • 00:15:19.030 --> 00:15:21.220
  • beautiful little face, and I've
  • 00:15:21.220 --> 00:15:23.270
  • caught a glimpse of God's
  • 00:15:23.270 --> 00:15:26.160
  • faithfulness, his goodness, his
  • 00:15:26.160 --> 00:15:29.050
  • kindness, and his favor.
  • 00:15:29.050 --> 00:15:31.120
  • You see, thin places are
  • 00:15:31.120 --> 00:15:33.050
  • possible any place and at any
  • 00:15:33.050 --> 00:15:35.190
  • time when we become aware of the
  • 00:15:36.130 --> 00:15:39.130
  • presence of God.
  • 00:15:39.130 --> 00:15:41.080
  • Thin places are available to us
  • 00:15:41.080 --> 00:15:42.270
  • when God chooses to break into
  • 00:15:42.270 --> 00:15:44.270
  • our world.
  • 00:15:44.270 --> 00:15:46.110
  • That's why Jesus taught us to
  • 00:15:46.110 --> 00:15:47.200
  • pray for them in what we call
  • 00:15:47.200 --> 00:15:49.220
  • the Lord's Prayer.
  • 00:15:49.220 --> 00:15:51.080
  • Jesus said, "Pray in this
  • 00:15:51.080 --> 00:15:53.220
  • manner: 'Our Father which art in
  • 00:15:53.270 --> 00:15:56.270
  • heaven, hallowed be thy name.
  • 00:15:56.270 --> 00:15:59.150
  • Thy kingdom come,
  • 00:15:59.150 --> 00:16:01.170
  • thy will be done
  • 00:16:01.170 --> 00:16:03.120
  • on earth as it is in heaven.'"
  • 00:16:03.200 --> 00:16:06.200
  • You see, the inbreaking
  • 00:16:06.200 --> 00:16:07.180
  • of God's kingdom into this world
  • 00:16:07.180 --> 00:16:09.000
  • is what makes things right.
  • 00:16:09.000 --> 00:16:11.200
  • The world in all of its
  • 00:16:11.200 --> 00:16:13.030
  • wrongness is made right by the
  • 00:16:13.030 --> 00:16:15.100
  • coming of Jesus with
  • 00:16:15.100 --> 00:16:17.150
  • - Terry: God can take the
  • 00:16:26.230 --> 00:16:27.150
  • smallest of us from the most
  • 00:16:27.150 --> 00:16:30.010
  • remote location and he can
  • 00:16:30.010 --> 00:16:32.140
  • position us for something great
  • 00:16:32.140 --> 00:16:35.090
  • and mighty.
  • 00:16:35.090 --> 00:16:36.030
  • And it's through all of that
  • 00:16:36.030 --> 00:16:37.220
  • - Terry: Now, before I'm
  • 00:16:45.080 --> 00:16:45.290
  • through, let's go back to
  • 00:16:45.290 --> 00:16:47.280
  • Bethlehem.
  • 00:16:47.280 --> 00:16:49.090
  • The Prophet Micah called the
  • 00:16:49.090 --> 00:16:50.140
  • people of Judah to focus on
  • 00:16:50.140 --> 00:16:52.060
  • finding a thin place in the
  • 00:16:52.060 --> 00:16:53.190
  • midst of the thick and
  • 00:16:53.190 --> 00:16:55.110
  • foreboding threat of a foreign
  • 00:16:55.110 --> 00:16:57.090
  • invasion.
  • 00:16:57.090 --> 00:16:58.200
  • In fact, like a raging storm,
  • 00:16:58.200 --> 00:17:00.120
  • the Assyrians were bearing down
  • 00:17:00.120 --> 00:17:02.140
  • on them to sweep them away as
  • 00:17:02.140 --> 00:17:04.210
  • God's instrument of judgment
  • 00:17:04.210 --> 00:17:06.090
  • against his people.
  • 00:17:06.090 --> 00:17:08.060
  • And like so many of us, the
  • 00:17:08.060 --> 00:17:10.010
  • people of Judah had made a
  • 00:17:10.010 --> 00:17:11.110
  • mistake into thinking that God
  • 00:17:11.110 --> 00:17:13.050
  • was far away.
  • 00:17:13.050 --> 00:17:15.030
  • So, what did they do?
  • 00:17:15.030 --> 00:17:16.180
  • They put up a thick wall of
  • 00:17:16.180 --> 00:17:18.120
  • unbelief, a wall of rejection,
  • 00:17:18.230 --> 00:17:21.230
  • a way of holding God
  • 00:17:21.230 --> 00:17:23.160
  • at a distance.
  • 00:17:23.160 --> 00:17:25.220
  • Hey, we've all done that,
  • 00:17:25.220 --> 00:17:27.080
  • haven't we?
  • 00:17:27.080 --> 00:17:28.140
  • Instead of looking for thin
  • 00:17:28.140 --> 00:17:30.040
  • places, we create thick places
  • 00:17:30.230 --> 00:17:33.230
  • by feeding our fears, stoking
  • 00:17:33.230 --> 00:17:36.010
  • our doubts, mistrusting God's
  • 00:17:36.010 --> 00:17:38.260
  • character, and sometimes even
  • 00:17:38.260 --> 00:17:41.060
  • disobeying his Word.
  • 00:17:41.060 --> 00:17:42.280
  • And yet, in the midst of this
  • 00:17:42.280 --> 00:17:44.040
  • impending doom, God offers them
  • 00:17:44.040 --> 00:17:45.240
  • a Word of hope through the
  • 00:17:45.240 --> 00:17:47.060
  • Prophet Micah with this promise,
  • 00:17:47.060 --> 00:17:49.060
  • and the promise was,
  • 00:17:49.060 --> 00:17:50.110
  • "I will create a thin place
  • 00:17:50.170 --> 00:17:53.170
  • for my people."
  • 00:17:53.170 --> 00:17:55.110
  • Now, interestingly, most people
  • 00:17:55.110 --> 00:17:56.230
  • in Micah's day thought of the
  • 00:17:56.230 --> 00:17:58.200
  • temple as the thinnest place on
  • 00:17:58.200 --> 00:18:00.230
  • earth, but the temple was not to
  • 00:18:00.230 --> 00:18:02.200
  • be Israel's salvation.
  • 00:18:02.200 --> 00:18:04.290
  • In fact, the temple was going to
  • 00:18:04.290 --> 00:18:07.170
  • eventually be destroyed.
  • 00:18:07.170 --> 00:18:10.000
  • Because the hope of Israel was
  • 00:18:10.000 --> 00:18:11.080
  • not in a location, but in a
  • 00:18:11.080 --> 00:18:13.260
  • person, a Redeemer, a Messiah,
  • 00:18:16.000 --> 00:18:19.000
  • the Savior, their true security
  • 00:18:19.000 --> 00:18:21.140
  • was in God's true King, who
  • 00:18:21.140 --> 00:18:23.250
  • would bring peace through his
  • 00:18:23.250 --> 00:18:26.020
  • righteousness and would come to
  • 00:18:26.020 --> 00:18:27.110
  • them in the thinnest of all
  • 00:18:27.110 --> 00:18:29.280
  • places.
  • 00:18:29.280 --> 00:18:31.040
  • He would come to them through
  • 00:18:31.040 --> 00:18:32.280
  • the womb of a virgin who had not
  • 00:18:32.280 --> 00:18:35.090
  • known a man, in a small manger,
  • 00:18:35.190 --> 00:18:38.190
  • in a tiny, little backwater town
  • 00:18:38.210 --> 00:18:41.210
  • called Bethlehem.
  • 00:18:41.210 --> 00:18:44.080
  • - Terry: "But you, O Bethlehem
  • 00:18:58.100 --> 00:18:59.230
  • Ephrathah, who are too little to
  • 00:18:59.230 --> 00:19:02.180
  • be among the clans of Judah."
  • 00:19:02.200 --> 00:19:05.200
  • I love the absolute kindness of
  • 00:19:05.200 --> 00:19:08.190
  • God, that even though we may not
  • 00:19:08.190 --> 00:19:10.160
  • be qualified as the world
  • 00:19:10.160 --> 00:19:12.120
  • determines qualification, God
  • 00:19:12.120 --> 00:19:14.140
  • can use any of us.
  • 00:19:14.140 --> 00:19:17.090
  • You may be watching me from a
  • 00:19:17.090 --> 00:19:19.130
  • major city, and yet you may feel
  • 00:19:19.130 --> 00:19:22.050
  • confined in a very small place
  • 00:19:22.050 --> 00:19:23.290
  • emotionally, or you may be
  • 00:19:23.290 --> 00:19:25.230
  • watching from a tiny apartment
  • 00:19:25.230 --> 00:19:28.210
  • in a tiny town somewhere across
  • 00:19:28.210 --> 00:19:31.000
  • the planet.
  • 00:19:31.000 --> 00:19:32.140
  • The truth is, so many times we
  • 00:19:32.140 --> 00:19:34.080
  • feel as if that our position
  • 00:19:34.140 --> 00:19:37.140
  • should qualify us to be used by
  • 00:19:37.140 --> 00:19:40.050
  • God or our position should
  • 00:19:40.050 --> 00:19:43.030
  • unqualify us to not be used by
  • 00:19:43.030 --> 00:19:44.260
  • God.
  • 00:19:44.260 --> 00:19:46.000
  • But the amazing thing about God
  • 00:19:46.000 --> 00:19:47.190
  • in his kindness is that where we
  • 00:19:47.190 --> 00:19:49.230
  • are doesn't really matter.
  • 00:19:50.100 --> 00:19:53.100
  • Who we are and how we present
  • 00:19:53.100 --> 00:19:55.270
  • our hearts to him is what he's
  • 00:19:56.050 --> 00:19:59.050
  • looking for.
  • 00:19:59.050 --> 00:20:00.160
  • God can take the smallest of us
  • 00:20:00.160 --> 00:20:02.200
  • from the most remote location
  • 00:20:02.200 --> 00:20:05.150
  • and he can position us for
  • 00:20:05.150 --> 00:20:08.050
  • something great and mighty.
  • 00:20:08.050 --> 00:20:10.210
  • And it's through all of that
  • 00:20:10.210 --> 00:20:12.100
  • that the glory goes back to him.
  • 00:20:12.160 --> 00:20:15.160
  • So, why did God choose
  • 00:20:15.160 --> 00:20:17.060
  • Bethlehem?
  • 00:20:17.060 --> 00:20:18.210
  • Why choose this tiny, little
  • 00:20:18.210 --> 00:20:19.270
  • town?
  • 00:20:19.270 --> 00:20:21.030
  • Nobody can say for certain.
  • 00:20:21.030 --> 00:20:23.100
  • Maybe it's just as simple as God
  • 00:20:23.100 --> 00:20:24.230
  • wanting to show us that he can
  • 00:20:24.230 --> 00:20:25.270
  • take the weak, and the small,
  • 00:20:25.270 --> 00:20:27.200
  • and the insignificant things in
  • 00:20:27.200 --> 00:20:29.000
  • our lives and turn them into
  • 00:20:29.000 --> 00:20:31.180
  • thin places, the places he can
  • 00:20:31.180 --> 00:20:34.130
  • - Terry: I really wanna
  • 00:20:43.280 --> 00:20:44.160
  • encourage you to become
  • 00:20:44.160 --> 00:20:46.260
  • conscious of the nearness of
  • 00:20:46.260 --> 00:20:48.190
  • God, to become aware of his
  • 00:20:49.010 --> 00:20:52.010
  • desire.
  • 00:20:52.010 --> 00:20:53.040
  • The old preachers talked about
  • 00:20:53.040 --> 00:20:55.010
  • God's desire to tabernacle with
  • 00:20:55.010 --> 00:20:57.270
  • us.
  • 00:20:57.270 --> 00:20:59.100
  • I know it's a clunky word, to
  • 00:20:59.100 --> 00:21:02.050
  • tabernacle.
  • 00:21:02.050 --> 00:21:02.220
  • What's a tabernacle?
  • 00:21:02.220 --> 00:21:03.270
  • It was their way of describing
  • 00:21:03.270 --> 00:21:05.200
  • the greatness of God, the glory
  • 00:21:05.200 --> 00:21:06.260
  • of God, the majesty of God, the
  • 00:21:06.260 --> 00:21:08.260
  • splendor of God, and God, in all
  • 00:21:08.260 --> 00:21:11.070
  • of his Godness, coming down to
  • 00:21:12.020 --> 00:21:15.020
  • where we are to make his
  • 00:21:15.020 --> 00:21:17.190
  • dwelling with us.
  • 00:21:17.190 --> 00:21:20.100
  • That's really what the
  • 00:21:20.100 --> 00:21:20.280
  • incarnation was all about.
  • 00:21:20.280 --> 00:21:23.020
  • That's what the story of God is
  • 00:21:23.020 --> 00:21:24.050
  • all about.
  • 00:21:24.050 --> 00:21:24.240
  • I love how C.S. Lewis once
  • 00:21:24.240 --> 00:21:26.120
  • described it.
  • 00:21:26.120 --> 00:21:27.000
  • He talked about history.
  • 00:21:27.000 --> 00:21:28.110
  • He talked about the story of God
  • 00:21:28.110 --> 00:21:30.050
  • being big and broad, and then
  • 00:21:30.050 --> 00:21:32.090
  • narrowing its way down through
  • 00:21:32.090 --> 00:21:34.230
  • time and opportunity, until,
  • 00:21:35.090 --> 00:21:38.090
  • finally, it comes to the
  • 00:21:38.090 --> 00:21:40.000
  • narrowest of all places.
  • 00:21:40.000 --> 00:21:41.270
  • He called it like the point of
  • 00:21:41.270 --> 00:21:43.190
  • - Terry: God, in his greatness,
  • 00:21:53.230 --> 00:21:56.040
  • making his story personal
  • 00:21:56.040 --> 00:21:58.230
  • for us.
  • 00:21:58.230 --> 00:21:59.220
  • God, in his majesty, providing
  • 00:21:59.220 --> 00:22:02.090
  • the way individually for us.
  • 00:22:02.160 --> 00:22:05.160
  • I don't know where you are and
  • 00:22:05.160 --> 00:22:06.280
  • what you're going through in
  • 00:22:06.280 --> 00:22:07.230
  • this season of your life, but
  • 00:22:07.230 --> 00:22:08.260
  • what I do know is that God knows
  • 00:22:08.260 --> 00:22:11.260
  • and he desires to tabernacle
  • 00:22:11.260 --> 00:22:14.100
  • with you.
  • 00:22:14.100 --> 00:22:15.030
  • He desires to cohabitate with
  • 00:22:15.030 --> 00:22:17.260
  • you.
  • 00:22:17.260 --> 00:22:18.140
  • He desires to be in the same
  • 00:22:18.180 --> 00:22:21.180
  • space that you are in, so that
  • 00:22:21.180 --> 00:22:23.290
  • by being with you, he might
  • 00:22:23.290 --> 00:22:26.060
  • reveal himself as sufficient for
  • 00:22:26.060 --> 00:22:28.090
  • you.
  • 00:22:28.090 --> 00:22:29.150
  • By becoming aware of the
  • 00:22:29.150 --> 00:22:30.150
  • presence of God, our lives are
  • 00:22:30.150 --> 00:22:33.010
  • forever changed.
  • 00:22:33.010 --> 00:22:35.120
  • You can become aware of the
  • 00:22:35.120 --> 00:22:36.090
  • presence of God while feeding
  • 00:22:36.090 --> 00:22:38.020
  • your children.
  • 00:22:38.020 --> 00:22:39.240
  • You can become aware of the
  • 00:22:39.240 --> 00:22:40.270
  • presence of God while changing a
  • 00:22:40.270 --> 00:22:42.260
  • smelly diaper and trying to get
  • 00:22:42.260 --> 00:22:45.030
  • a toddler to stop crying.
  • 00:22:45.030 --> 00:22:46.250
  • You can become aware of the
  • 00:22:46.250 --> 00:22:47.240
  • presence of God in an intense
  • 00:22:47.240 --> 00:22:49.200
  • board room where you're
  • 00:22:49.200 --> 00:22:51.260
  • negotiating for your life.
  • 00:22:51.260 --> 00:22:53.250
  • You can become aware of the
  • 00:22:53.250 --> 00:22:54.230
  • presence of God in traffic,
  • 00:22:55.040 --> 00:22:58.040
  • people around you, and horns
  • 00:22:58.040 --> 00:23:00.270
  • blaring, and gestures flying.
  • 00:23:00.270 --> 00:23:03.230
  • You can become aware of the
  • 00:23:03.230 --> 00:23:04.220
  • presence of God as a student in
  • 00:23:04.260 --> 00:23:07.260
  • a classroom, where no one but
  • 00:23:07.260 --> 00:23:09.290
  • - Terry: See, all of these
  • 00:23:19.210 --> 00:23:20.160
  • places and all of these
  • 00:23:20.160 --> 00:23:21.220
  • situations are somewhat
  • 00:23:21.220 --> 00:23:23.100
  • irrelevant, irrelevant in the
  • 00:23:23.100 --> 00:23:25.020
  • sense that God's willing to come
  • 00:23:25.020 --> 00:23:27.120
  • there, and the reason God's
  • 00:23:27.120 --> 00:23:29.170
  • willing to come there is because
  • 00:23:29.170 --> 00:23:30.250
  • God wants to come where we are,
  • 00:23:30.250 --> 00:23:33.240
  • in the messiness of our lives
  • 00:23:33.240 --> 00:23:35.220
  • and the reality of our
  • 00:23:35.220 --> 00:23:37.090
  • circumstances.
  • 00:23:37.090 --> 00:23:39.060
  • Emmanuel, God With Us.
  • 00:23:39.060 --> 00:23:41.230
  • The whole plan of God from the
  • 00:23:41.230 --> 00:23:42.280
  • beginning is to come to us, and
  • 00:23:42.280 --> 00:23:45.200
  • then eventually, and I'll close
  • 00:23:45.200 --> 00:23:47.060
  • with this, to take up residence
  • 00:23:47.100 --> 00:23:50.100
  • within us.
  • 00:23:50.100 --> 00:23:51.250
  • That's the beauty of this whole
  • 00:23:51.250 --> 00:23:52.250
  • story is that God loves us so
  • 00:23:52.250 --> 00:23:54.230
  • much that he couldn't stay
  • 00:23:54.230 --> 00:23:55.250
  • distant from us, and then he
  • 00:23:55.250 --> 00:23:57.140
  • sent his Son to be with us.
  • 00:23:57.140 --> 00:23:59.100
  • But ultimately, he loves us so
  • 00:23:59.100 --> 00:24:01.070
  • much that he now wants to be in
  • 00:24:01.180 --> 00:24:04.180
  • us.
  • 00:24:04.180 --> 00:24:05.250
  • By putting our faith in Jesus to
  • 00:24:05.250 --> 00:24:08.210
  • save us, he takes up his
  • 00:24:08.210 --> 00:24:11.140
  • residence within us and he
  • 00:24:11.140 --> 00:24:14.060
  • becomes Christ in us, the hope
  • 00:24:15.040 --> 00:24:18.040
  • of glory.
  • 00:24:18.040 --> 00:24:19.050
  • And the thinnest place on the
  • 00:24:19.050 --> 00:24:20.250
  • - Terry: Well, we've come to
  • 00:24:30.120 --> 00:24:31.040
  • the end of another program and I
  • 00:24:31.040 --> 00:24:32.120
  • wanna thank you for spending
  • 00:24:32.120 --> 00:24:33.290
  • this time with me.
  • 00:24:33.290 --> 00:24:35.100
  • If you've enjoyed the program, I
  • 00:24:35.100 --> 00:24:36.220
  • wanna encourage you to tell
  • 00:24:36.220 --> 00:24:38.080
  • someone about it.
  • 00:24:38.080 --> 00:24:39.250
  • It's always an honor for me to
  • 00:24:39.250 --> 00:24:41.000
  • be able to share God's Word with
  • 00:24:41.000 --> 00:24:42.240
  • you and I really hope that I've
  • 00:24:42.240 --> 00:24:44.210
  • said something that helps you to
  • 00:24:44.210 --> 00:24:46.280
  • see your place in this amazing
  • 00:24:46.280 --> 00:24:49.160
  • story.
  • 00:24:49.160 --> 00:24:50.110
  • And I hope you'll join me next
  • 00:24:50.110 --> 00:24:51.180
  • week as we talk about the first
  • 00:24:51.180 --> 00:24:53.290
  • message Jesus ever preached.
  • 00:24:53.290 --> 00:24:56.100
  • You know, there's a good chance
  • 00:24:56.100 --> 00:24:57.210
  • that you may not have heard what
  • 00:24:57.210 --> 00:24:59.040
  • that is because most churches
  • 00:24:59.040 --> 00:25:01.210
  • spend all their time talking
  • 00:25:01.210 --> 00:25:03.090
  • about who Jesus is and rarely
  • 00:25:03.090 --> 00:25:06.030
  • ever tell us what Jesus taught.
  • 00:25:06.180 --> 00:25:09.180
  • So, what is it?
  • 00:25:09.180 --> 00:25:10.290
  • Well, you'll have to join me
  • 00:25:10.290 --> 00:25:12.170
  • next week to find out the answer
  • 00:25:12.170 --> 00:25:14.070
  • as we explore God's Word
  • 00:25:14.070 --> 00:25:15.240
  • together on another edition
  • 00:25:15.240 --> 00:25:17.150
  • - Terry: Jesus was unwilling
  • 00:25:23.060 --> 00:25:24.180
  • to postpone the kingdom of God
  • 00:25:24.180 --> 00:25:26.160
  • to some future age.
  • 00:25:26.160 --> 00:25:27.290
  • That's why he began his earthly
  • 00:25:27.290 --> 00:25:29.010
  • ministry in Matthew chapter 4
  • 00:25:29.010 --> 00:25:30.230
  • with that startling declaration.
  • 00:25:30.230 --> 00:25:33.020
  • Jesus said, "The kingdom of
  • 00:25:33.020 --> 00:25:35.220
  • heaven is at hand."
  • 00:25:35.220 --> 00:25:37.210
  • Don't ever mistake the fact
  • 00:25:37.210 --> 00:25:39.020
  • that, because it's not obvious,
  • 00:25:39.020 --> 00:25:41.150
  • it's not present.
  • 00:25:41.150 --> 00:25:43.130