Monday, February 24, 2014

What the Hijabi Witnessed (and What She Didn't) - Reformation21

The thing that interested me about this article is what it might say to us about reading Scripture in our services.  Before the twentieth century and the onset of Liberalism and higher criticism, we used to read Scripture in church more than we sang.  We all had at least an Old Testament and New Testament reading along with the Psalms, and the readings were done in some sort of systematic way.  But now in our churches we sing way more than we read the Bible, even though the Lord commands us to be publicly devoted to the public reading of the Scriptures (1 Tim. 4:13).  



At the same time that we are singing more and reading less in church, the average Christian is getting so much of his theology from the contemporary Christian music scene in his car or in his home!  If we are raising Christians whose theological beliefs are more in tune with contemporary Christian music than God's Word, then maybe in the church we need to return to the tradition of the Christian liturgy for the first 1900 years of its existence, reading from the Old Testament, Gospels, Epistles and Psalms.  Reading Scripture has power---more power than the individualism of contemporary choruses.  The enemy must be pleased to have maneuvered this change in our liturgy, silencing the written Word he hates.

What the Hijabi Witnessed (and What She Didn't) - Reformation21 

Friday, February 21, 2014

New Song Based on Luke's Sermon on the Plain

Our Father, For Your Precious Son

Suggested tune: TALLIS' EVENING HYMN (http://www.opc.org/hymn.html?hymn_id=27).  Meter: LM.  Based on Luke 6:27-42.  Words: William Weber, 2014. (after sermon, imitation of God in Christ, Christ as gift and example, indicative/imperative, sanctification)

v. 1
Our Father, for Your precious Son,
and all that through Him You have done,
we lift our hearts in thanks and praise;
O be with us through all our days.

v. 2
Conform us, Father, to Your Son,
and make us like You in Your love.
O may the world Your mercy see,
and orphan sinners come to Thee.

v. 3
O Jesus, teach to be like You,
in all our ways and all we do.
Forgiving, giving as we're taught,
and cursing and condemning not.

v. 4
Our God to whom all glory's due,
O may we not Your name impugn.
Your love in Christ to us is great,
O may we learn to imitate.

v. 5
Our Father, we are children weak,
and sin remains and so we seek:
the Spirit who joins us to Christ,
who is the way, the truth, the life.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Jesus as Gift and Example

Luther taught us to receive Jesus as both gift and example.  Luke's Sermon on the Plain seems to teach the same thing.  Jesus himself fulfill the beatitudes perfectly, and his perfect life, including his sin-bearing death is given to his people who come to him in faith.  Thus, we are justified (made right with God) by Jesus' righteousness. But Jesus is also given to his people as example.  As our Teacher, Jesus trains his people, so that when we are fully trained we become like him.  Thus, imitation is a big part of the ethic of Jesus.  The lyrics of this hymn are built upon the truth that Jesus is given to his people as both gift and example.  The basis for the hymn in Scripture is Luke 6:20-23, 36, 40.



Jesus Christ Is Gift, Example

Suggested tune: REGENT SQUARE (http://www.opc.org/hymn.html?hymn_id=225).  Meter: 878787.  Based on Luke 6:20-23, 36, 40.  Words: William Weber, 2014. (after sermon, indicative/imperative, imitation of God in Christ)

v. 1
Jesus Christ is gift, example,
given by the God of grace.
Sent to win a great salvation,
for a dying human race.
Find in Jesus grace and blessing,
at His table take your place.

v. 2
First He's gift and then example,
life we need to imitate.
We were made to bear God's image,
and His traits to emulate.
Living icons in His temple,
is our privileged estate.

v. 3
But we sought our independence,
and His likeness did not bear.
Far from God our hearts have wandered,
idols fetter and ensnare.
But our Lord came to our rescue,
in His love we now can share.

v. 4
So receive this gift of Jesus,
seek His presence day by day.
Seek to know the Son and Father,
meditate upon the Way.
May we bear the fam'ly likeness,
like our Teacher when we're trained.

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