Even though COVID-19 has rocked the world and the ripples continue to roll, a large and important conversation has risen up to touch us in a new way. The Black Lives conversation should touch all of us and not be ignored. Here is a look into my journey and process.Continue reading “The Black Lives Conversation and Me”
The Saturday between Good Friday and Easter is not mentioned in the Bible. We have to speculate about what the Disciples and the world were doing between the day of judgments and punishments, and the day of wonder and power. We might be shocked at how similar our current situation is.Continue reading “Locked Inside between Good Friday and Easter”
Over the past few weeks I have seen more on social media than I did most of the last 6 months. I seem to be susceptible to the “rabbit hole” concept of scrolling further down the updates than usual.
Today I came across a post from a pastor sharing his new favorite worship song. I’m familiar with the song and had a feeling it wasn’t quite as new as the post advertised. So I went back to check it’s release date. Turns out, I wasn’t wrong. The song was originally released in January 2014. That’s five years ago.
I will concede that five years is not a long time in the worship music industry. It seems too many songs come from so many corners of the spectrum from well-known to new on the block to one-hit wonders.
It did make me wonder, though. When we find something new, how fresh is it? And if it isn’t that fresh, though it is new to us, what do we miss when we latch onto it?
One of the worship groups I listen to released their annual album a couple of months ago. It usually takes me a few listens through the list and each song before I hear all the words and get a taste of the message being conveyed.
Driving in the car one day, my wife and I were talking about worship and this album in particular as she considered bringing a new song to our worship team. As I was scrolling through the songs in her car, I saw the title of one having to do with new spiritual wine.
I blurted out, “You know the scripture about new wine has nothing to do with wine, and everything to do with the wineskins.” My comments at the time were not about the song specifically, but the concept of new wine in general. Jesus wasn’t placing the focus on new wine, but on being vessels ready to hold the new wine. Today’s post unpacks that thought, and at the end I’ll mention what I thought of the song when I really heard the words.
At this time of year, I always have trouble separating Easter and Good Friday. If Jesus didn’t offer His life as a sacrifice for sin, we wouldn’t have a resurrection to look forward to. Either in Easter, or for those who believe on the day when these mortal bodies are transformed into the immortal.
The sacrifice of Jesus was unique. Though it was symbolized for centuries through the sacrifice of lambs, bulls, and goats, it is only the precious sacrifice of Jesus which makes us truly right with God.
Christ entered the Most Holy Place only once—and for all time. He did not take with him the blood of goats and calves. His sacrifice was his own blood, and by it he set us free from sin forever. (Hebrews 9:12 NCV)
But what about us? Though Jesus “paid a debt I could not pay” according to the old hymn, is my life in Him without its own sacrifice? Or am I also called to lay put aside, consider dead, sacrifice something of me?
As an American, freedom is a term that is both familiar and foundational. There are battles over various freedoms in our Western nations, and we wonder at the lack of basic freedoms around the world.
Freedom is an essential building block of Christianity. Though it neither demands nor forces the freedoms many fight for today, it offers a deeper freedom that cannot be bound by any earthly shackles of inequality or oppression.
Proclaiming freedom for captives and the truth that sets us free, the church invites the hopeless to a life of freedom in Christ. At the Oxymoron Church, while shaking the keys of freedom before the chains of sin and death, they hold open the door a new life where hope slowly dies in a different kind of prison.