There is a picture in my office of Martha sitting on stone steps in the biblical city of Corinth. The ongoing excavation site of Corinth reveals a complex and sophisticated city told through the exposed stones. Our biblical travels have exposed me to ancient stones with stories: the Jerusalem Temple wall, the Areopagus and Parthenon in Athens, the colosseum Ephesus. I have an enduring fascination with the old stones of churches around the world, particularly in southern France. How many generations of faithful pastors and priests have guided these churches through wars, famines and crises?
The Old Testament refers to stones many times, especially when it describes altars of remembrance, marking those times and places where God touched the lives of his people (Exodus 28:12, Joshua 4:6
The preacher for this Sunday is Dr. David Kersten, Dean of North Park Theological Seminary. Dave is a seasoned Covenant pastor, having served four churches around the country. He was my parents’ pastor in St. Paul, MN before he accepted the position of being pastor to all pastors, Executive Minister for the ordered ministry for ten years. For the past three years he has been the Dean of the seminary, whose task is to shape and guide new pastors. Dave spoke to Santa Barbara pastors on Thursday morning at the Samarkand with a powerful word for those of us in pastoral ministry.
The text Dave is preaching from at MCC on Sunday morning is Isaiah 51:1-6. And it’s all about the touchstones of our faith. He shared a bit with me about where he hopes to take us in worship and I’m very excited to have him preach to us. This is a Sunday on which you should consider inviting a friend!