On the first Sunday of 2014, Rev. Lois Blakey-Paige, Pastor of New Canaan Worship Center in Richmond, Virginia preached the sermon, "First Things First."
She began her sermon by saying, "Firsts are significant." Then she outlined some universal firsts: loosing first tooth, first day of school, first kiss, first child, first job, and first car. We remember our firsts because they make a lasting impression upon us.
Firsts in the Bible are always noted. Pastor Paige then taught the congregation three Hebrew words to demonstrate how the first of something sets the precedence for what is to follow.
- "Breeshiyt" is a Hebrew word that means "in the beginning" as in Genesis 1:1.
- "Reeshiyt" is a Hebrew word with the "B" dropped. "Reeshiyt" means "choice, first, best, or first fruits.
- "Aser" is a Hebrew word that means "wealth" or "tithe."
Then Pastor Paige explained why we should offer up to God the first fruit as a sacrifice to Him who is the head, the leader, and the top.
She demonstrated with containers of fruits and vegetables she displayed as an object lesson. She said that according to Romans 11:16 if the first fruit is holy, then the whole batch will be holy. So when we give God our first fruits, what's left is holy.
The pastor tied the sermon together by saying Jesus was our first fruit from the dead. Because he rose from the dead, we will rise as well.
Pastor Paige's sermon was packed with information concerning several themes for this first Sunday of the year. Because this sermon was offered up to God as holy, the sermons for the rest of the year will be holy well.