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Blog Archives: April 2015

Dual Level Preaching

April 29, 2015
Chris Castaldo
It was one of the best pieces of advice I have ever received. Following an exposition of Matthew 2 in which I explained the typological significance of Jesus’ flight to Egypt against the background of salvation history, an older member of the congregation put his arm around me and asked if he could offer some feedback. “Please,” I replied, “I am a seminarian; this is the season of life in which I need input.” I’m not sure I believed it, but it seemed like the appropriate thing to say. The old gentleman with striking blue eyes proceeded to ...

The Claim of Jesus

April 21, 2015
Chris Castaldo
On this 50th anniversary of New Covenant Church in Naperville, we desire for the spotlight to be on our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. In numerous ways, we have been telling the story of our congregation, connecting the dots between God’s promise to save and the rhythms of life that have unfolded here over the decades. Therefore, in this post I would like to concentrate our attention upon the person and central claim of Jesus. It continues to be true in Western culture that Jesus of Nazareth is the ultimate Rorschach test. Authors, common ...

Living Like Mary in a Martha World

April 15, 2015
Chris Castaldo
Every so often I read an article that speaks directly to my current life situation. Here is one of them. It’s written by J.D. Greear, pastor of the Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. I would like to share it with you for a few reasons. First, as we are currently celebrating New Covenant Church’s Fiftieth Anniversary, we would benefit from a reminder to observe biblical rest in the midst of our frenetic activity. Secondly, the concept of rest also sheds light on the need for elder and deacon terms limits, which will be a proposed ...

New Covenant Church Vision at Fifty Years

April 09, 2015
Chris Castaldo
This Sunday, April 12, will begin our Fifty Year Anniversary, a time in which we set aside three weeks to celebrate God’s goodness and grace to our church. A particular highlight for me in preparation for this occasion has been collaboration with Professor Edith Blumhofer, for whom I give special thanks. Edith has spent many weeks combing through archival documents in the formation of our church’s story. We anticipate having a booklet at the end of these three weeks in which we get to read the story for ourselves. Trust me, you’re in for a ...

Christ the Lord is risen! He has risen indeed. But don’t simply believe it.

April 05, 2015
Chris Castaldo
The risen Christ exercises dominion over the expanse of history. He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. In the final words recorded in Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus says, “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt 28:20). As men and women whose lives are established in the risen Christ, our calling is not simply to believe that Christ rose, necessary as this is. Further and deeper and more immediately, God calls us to experience the resurrection. By the Spirit who lives within us, we have the capacity to ...

My Song Is Love Unknown

April 01, 2015
Chris Castaldo
It will soon be Good Friday, a time to read Scripture, poetry, hymns, and events from church history that probe into the wonder of Jesus’ cross. One of my favorite poems is one that we’re planning to sing on Friday evening at New Covenant Church, My Song Is Love Unknown. Let the lyrics sink into your soul and remind you of the inexplicable love that defines this week. My song is love unknown, My Savior’s love to me; Love to the loveless shown, That they might lovely be. O who am I, That for my sake My Lord should take Frail flesh, and ...