Every summer we cancel our Wednesday evening programs on the day D. A. Carson comes to Toronto to preach at the Knox Summer Fellowship. The reason we cancel is so that we can all head down and sit under his ministry.
It was a lovely night in T.O. last night, so Mrs. Martin and I jetted down and parked nearby to the grand old Knox. Roger Bergs was making the pipe organ sound lovely as we entered (like he always does!) and there was hardly a seat to be found... sort of. For some reason they had one side roped off... so we hustled down the other side to get as close to the front as possible. Most of our GFC folks were in the first 4 rows - keaners.
We sang 4 hymns, the most profound of which (in my mind) was based on Psalm 103 and written by Mollie Knight (no date given). It was entitled, "Praise the Lord, My Soul is Singing" and it the text did a lovely job of capturing the Psalm. It was sung to HYRFRYDOL for those interested.
D. A. took on the task of preaching the 4 prayers of Moses from Exodus 32-34. This was the fastest Carson sermon I have ever heard - some said it went for an hour - but it could have gone for another 2 hours in my mind - creaky, wood pew nonetheless!
Looking at the first prayer, DAC posed the question, "Does prayer change things?" As always, his explanation was splendid. The problem with the question, he stated, "is that the Christian is introduced as an independent agent" and there is no acknowledgement of the fact that God is inducing him to pray.
DAC listed several Biblical examples to flesh this out... Samuel being told to no longer pray for Saul... the 1 John 5 command to stop praying for certain sinners... the search of God in Ezekiel 22 for a man "to stand in the gap" (which DAC said most certainly refers to intercessory prayer)...
All of these, he deduced, teach that God is "utterly sovereign" and yet "interactive and personable along the lines of of His own covenental purposes." [Note: Just coming up with a sentence like that would probably take me... like... three days.]
As DAC progressed through the next three prayers, he showed how true prayer identifies with people in love and prays for what is most needed: in Israel's case, forgiveness!
He also demonstrated how Moses' greatest need is ours: knowing God better.
Of course, the real fun part of the night was when he tied the whole message together. He urged us to notice 5 themes in the Exodus passage:
2. The glory and goodness of God
3. HSD - powerful, loving covenant-keeping faithfulness of God
4. The giving of the Law
5. God's words to Moses that no one could see Him and live.
Then he went to John 1 and showed how our glorious Lord Jesus is the fulfillment of all these things:
1. The Word "tabernacled among us"
2. We have seen His glory
3. He is full of grace and truth (especially as "truth" relates to "reliability")
4. The Law was given through Moses
5. Jesus has seen the Father and explains Him
O, that was good!
As always, the preaching was followed by a Q. and A. that more showcased DAC's patience than anything else. But I have never sat under DAC's ministry and left empty. I am so glad that the Lord has put it in his heart to use his giftedness for good in the Kingdom!
We grabbed a couple of TTC'ers and headed for drop offs and home. It was a great night.