Wow! This passage is loaded with symbolism, a clever presentation of a message, deep meaning, insight and important issues. You and your class can chew on this one awhile. Notice how, in Zechariah, the crown in the temple is a symbol of spiritual leadership—God’s leadership. Notice how the crown is placed on the priests head rather than Israel’s king, thus avoiding confronting the occupying king of Persia and providing a reminder of the importance of spiritual leadership and secretly sending a message to the Jewish people about who is and is not really in power. There is much to talk about here when it comes to practical matters of administration and spirituality in church leadership and theological and political issues of church and state. Enjoy!
Reading the Scripture
Here are some ways you might read the scripture or tell the story:
• You may have to pull this one apart before you can put it back together. You might wish to read it slowly with some explanation as you go.
o The Bible Experience: The Complete Bible includes the Old Testament (“presented by a stellar ensemble of today’s top-name actors, musicians, clergy, directors, and award-winning producers.” Available from Keith).
• Worshipful Work: On our committee meeting nights we combine worship with our committee’s administrative work. Sometimes churches leave behind Bible study, prayer, worship, and spirituality when they conduct their business. We want to be very intentional about conducting our church business with a deep awareness of God’s leading, knowing that everything we do as a church is, or should be, spiritual, prayerful, worshipful, and biblical. The church’s most important decisions should be made in the context of Bible study, worship, and prayer. Thus the phrase, “Worshipful Work.”
o How can we be intentional about conducting our church business, work, and leadership in a prayerful and worshipful manner, discerning God’s will in all things?
• Symbols: The crown in the temple in this passage is a deep symbol.
o What does it mean?
o What symbols of LABC guide us and communicate to others who we are?
o Consider these symbols of LABC. What do they mean to us?
i. Lord’s Supper table
ii. Communion cup and plate
v. The Cross
vii. Tables in fellowship hall, especially round ones
viii. Morocco Partnership banner
ix. Missions room
x. The steeple/bell tower
xi. The bells
o What does our church logo symbolize? (see top of left column and on the front of the bulletin)
o If you were designing a logo for LABC what would it look like?
• The crown in the temple was a reminder of God’s kingship. So is the Lord’s Prayer we pray each Sunday: “Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be your name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Remember that as we pray the Lord’s Prayer today.
• Pray for our church leaders, that they will be able to handle administrative details effectively and efficiently while doing so prayerfully under God’s leadership. I have provided for you a list of many of our church leaders.
I have set aside a shelf in the library with resources for Sunday School teachers. I will place there resources of general interest and some specifically applicable to current lessons.
• For additional commentary on the text see these commentaries in our library:
o Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi: The New Century Bible Commentary, Paul Redditt. Recommended to me by Dr. Greg Earwood, president of Baptist Seminary of Kentucky.
o Mercer Commentary on the Bible (Mercer University Press, 1995)
o Harper’s Bible Commentary (Harper & Row, 1988)
• In Keith and Tommy’s offices:
o The Book of the Twelve: Micah-Malachi, Smyth & Helwys Bible Commentary, James D. Nogalski (Smyth & Helwys, 2011)
• Bible Atlas of maps: available in my office and hopefully soon in the library.