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Getting Ready for Sunday (March 03, 2024)

"Solomon the preacher is giving me a hard time, as though he begrudged anyone lecturing on him. But he must yield."

The above quote is from Martin Luther, as he wrestled to try and understand Ecclesiastes. Well, that's pretty much how I felt this week trying to prepare to preach from Song of Solomon 3:1-11, which is our text for Sunday. Give it a read in order to prepare for worship. Just note: Song of Solomon is a series of love poems that speak frankly about romance, marriage and sex. I've chosen the tamest chapter in the book, knowing we'll have a wide range of ages in the sanctuary, and we'll keep it rated PG, but be aware all the same.

Our New City Kids classes will be studying Acts 5:17-42 (the arrest of the aposltes). Make sure and ask them what they learned.

The big news this week is that we our New City Kids program for elementary age students is expanded to the whole of ther service. Kids are always welcome in worship, but you can now check them in and drop them of for our expanded Kids Church downstairs right when you arrive. (The program for nursery and preschool will remain the same) 

The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship

I'll be preaching at the organization service for King's Cross Community Church in Springboro on Sunday night. This is a milestone for them as they cross over from church plant status to a church in full standing in our denomination.

I'll be speaking from Romans 12 on the theme of a beautiful church. It got me thinking this week about how Paul says that we are one body, with many members. And how God's aportions gifts -- everyone has a gift, and no one has them all. So we need each other to be the kind of community God is calling us to be.

When my daughter was little, she and I read a book called The Fool of the  World and the Flying Ship, a Russian folktale retold by Arthur Ransome. It’s the story of a rather unimpressive boy, who the story calls “The Fool of the World.” Everyone thinks he’s kind of dumb. His parents don’t think much of him, favoring his two older brothers. One day, the king says that if anyone can bring him a flying ship, he will let them marry his daughter. The two older brothers set out on a quest, with much fanfare and a warm sendoff from their parents. But they are never heard from again.

Some time passes, and The Fool of the World wants to give it a try. His parents tell him he cwould certainly fail. But he decides to go anyway. He leaves without the hero's sendoff given to his brother, and just carries a small sack with bread and water.

Soon he encounters a beggarly old man. Though he has a meager meal, he offers it to the man, and somehow when he opens the bag it becomes a great feast. He tells the beggar about his quest over dinner. They go to sleep, and when the boy awakes the next morning, the beggar is gone. But nearby is a flying ship! Without another thought the boy jumps in and flies toward the King’s palace.

On the way he meets all kinds of strange people. A man who holds his head to the ground: “Listening to the world,” he says. The boy thinks he’s crazy, but he says, “You never know who we might need along the way,” so he welcomes him aboard. Then there is a guy hopping on one leg. He explains that if he puts the other leg down, he’ll take giant steps and travel great distances. Again the boy thinks this guy is nuts, but you never who you might need along the way, so he takes him along.

He meets several other people like this. Each time he invites them aboard. “You never know who you might need along the way.”

Finally, he gets to the palace. The King is impressed with the flying ship, but he’s not sure he wants to marry his daughter off to “The Fool of the World.” So he says, “You can marry my daughter, but only if you complete a series of quests.” And wouldn’t you know it, each quest he could never have fulfilled all by himself. Each person he brought along had some strange gift that made the completion of the quest possible.

And that’s the moral of the story: “You never know who you might need along the way." Of course, in the end, he marries the princess and lives happily ever after.

That’s what church is. Sometimes the church is even called the Ship of Fools. “You never know who you might need along the way.” Only God does, and he’s the one who apportions his gifts perfectly.


  • Pray for King's Cross Church and Pastor Casey Cramer and his family. New City has supported their work financially, and Dave Dupee has served on their tempoary leadership team. They now have trained their own elders, so we rejoice in the new stage of their work as a church.

  • Pray for our New City Kids Team and all our teachers and volunteers. We regularly have around 250 children checking in to our classes each Sunday. What a great privilege to take part in communicating and modeling faith in Christ to the next generation.


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