Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Didache and the Lord's Supper --- An Interview of Glen Clary

This is an interview with Glen Clary.  I took a class from Glen and Dr. Hughes Oliphant Old at Erskine Seminary. This is an interesting interview that gets more interesting as it proceeds as it makes important points about the frequency of the Lord's Supper and the recovery of Reformed worship, which is like a rare species of butterfly these days---very hard to find! O that we would move away from the entertainment model of worship that seems to prevail in the ultra-ritualism of the high church and the praise bands of the low church!

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Body as a Sacrament

One of the problems that men struggle with is lust.  Jesus teaches us that we are not to look at a woman lustfully.  "You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’  But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:27-28).   Part of our problem is that in the area of sex we have been catechized and instructed by the world rather than the Bible.  What we need is a new way of looking at ourselves and the opposite sex.

If we begin at the beginning we learn that the body is a sacrament, in the sense that it was intended to make the invisible God visible.  We were created to reflect God's image in the world.  
"Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. . . .    
  So God created man in his own image,
  in the image of God he created him;
  male and female he created them." (Genesis 1:26-27)
By creating us male and female, the Lord inscribed in our bodies the deepest of all mysteries.  The union between the man and the woman, not only points us to the union between Christ and his church, but in the spousal union that brings forth life (a third person), we also have a picture of the trinity and the fellowship and mutual self-giving that has always existed between the Father, Son and Spirit.  This triune fellowship of persons is the source of all life and love, and the spousal union points to that deep mystery, and to our participation in that mystery by faith.

Instead of looking at the female body as an object to gratify/indulge my lust, I can see the spiritual meaning of the female form.  I can see the mystery of the trinity in our creation as male and female, and so look at women not as objects to indulge my lust, but can look at the wonderment of what God has done in inscribing in our bodies the deepest purpose of life, namely, our union with the triune God and our sharing in this life and love.  When Adam first looked at the woman in Genesis 2, he was not looking at her lustfully, but in wonderment as he saw the deep spiritual meaning of humanity created as male and female:
“This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh . . . . Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh."
We were made for union and fellowship with the Father, through the Son, and by the Spirit, and this union is pictured for us in our very bodies!  The body is a sacrament, and thus is the way we image the invisible God.  By taking to himself a human body, Jesus our Bridegroom, perfectly imaged God, and so when we see Him, we see the Father (John 14:9). Without the body we cannot reflect God and show his loving and gracious character in a dark world.

When Jesus saw the opposite sex he saw the spiritual meaning of the human body.  He did not see human beings or their bodies as something to be used.  Instead he saw that man was made for union with himself and to know the blessed fellowship of love and life found in the trinity.

As Christians, we learn to see through things.  The created world is not opaque, but if we have eyes to see, it points us to God.  "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork" (Psalm 19:1).  "For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made" (Romans 1:20).

But if we see through nature to the invisible God, it is not surprising that in the creature that bears God's image, we see the deepest mystery of all, namely, the fellowship of the triune God and our our participation with the triune God---a participation or fellowship made possible by the Son of God, who took our flesh to show us God, and reconcile us to Him by bearing our sins in his body.  In this act of love by our Bridegroom---this giving of his body---we have the pattern of love that should also govern our lives as we offer our bodies to God for the blessing and service of others. Instead of using people, we love them for Christ's sake, and this love is manifested through the service of our bodies---our hands, our feet, our eyes, our ears and our mouths, showing forth the God who is light and love.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Hymn Based on Luke 7:29-35

Luke 7:29-35

English Standard Version (ESV)
29 (When all the people heard this, and the tax collectors too, they declared God just,[a] having been baptized with the baptism of John, 30 but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.)
31 “To what then shall I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another,
“‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
    we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.’
33 For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ 34 The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ 35 Yet wisdom is justified by all her children.”

John to Israel Sang a Dirge

Suggested tune: NUN KOMM, DERE HEIDEN HEILAND ( click on Let the earth now praise the Lord, 91.  Meter: 7777.  Based on Luke 7:29-35.  Words: William Weber, 2014. (after sermon, Jesus the fulfillment of wisdom, Christ our teacher, Christ our bridegroom, repentance and faith)

v. 1
John to Israel sang a dirge,
and repentance to them urged;
pointed to the Lamb of God,
who for sinners shed His blood.

v. 2
Jesus sang a wedding song,
was the Bridegroom, joyful, strong;
gave His body as a gift,
and His bride to heaven lifts.

v. 3
To our Lord, hearts open wide,
in this way God's justified;
and our sin we will confess,
in our Savior we are blessed.

v. 4
May we listen to our Lord,
learn to know Him through His Word.
He is Wisdom from on high,
on His words we can rely.

v. 5
To no other teacher look,
we are people of the Book.
Jesus, teacher, husband, guide,
make us Your devoted bride.

v. 6
Send the Spirit, this our cry,
for without Him we will die.
To our Savior He unites,
as we walk by faith, not sight.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Hymn about the Blessing of Union with Christ

Blessed Is He Who Lives in Jesus

Suggested tune: ST.LEONARDS May the Mind of Christ My Savior ( Meter: 8785. Based on Luke 7:18-23. Words: William Weber, 2014.

v. 1
Blessed is he who lives in Jesus,
not offended by the Lord.
Such a man accepts his teaching, 
living in His Word.

v. 2
Blessed is he who lives in Jesus,
knowing that He is the Lord.
In Him only life and blessing,
and all treasure stored.

v. 3
Blessed is he who lives in Jesus,
and who takes the lowly place;
knowing that he is a sinner,
and is saved by grace.

v. 4
Blessed is he who lives in Jesus,
not offended by His work.
On the cross He gave His body,
gift of precious worth.

v. 5
Blessed is he who lives in Jesus,
all His teaching he accepts.
By the Spirit such a person,
will the Lord reflect.

v. 6
Blessed is he who lives in Jesus,
when the Lord will come again.
Such a man is saved from judgment,
that is coming then.

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