Showing posts from February, 2013

Corporate Worship is...

The engagement of God with his people through the Word, fellowship, the Lord’s Table, and prayer.   (Acts 2:42) Where’s music?
Music is a conduit for…
The Word:  “Let the word of Christ richly dwell in you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.”  (Colossians 3:16)
Fellowship: In the testimony songs of what God has done in our lives.
The Table: Music may serve the prayers that permeate our actions at the Table.
Prayer:  “He who sings, prays twice.”  Attributed to St. Augustine. Song carries the content of prayer in the text and the affection of prayer though melody, rhythm, and harmony.
Generally, prayer and the word are the dominant functions that music serves in corporate worship. 
Notes for a sermon to be delivered in the near future…

More on Forgiveness

In Matthew 18:21-35, Jesus tells a parable about a man who was forgiven a huge debt and then turned around and refused to forgive another of a very small debt.  Warren Wiersbe writes,
“What’s wrong with this man?  The same thing that is wrong with many professing Christians:  They have received forgiveness, but they have not really experienced forgiveness deep in their hearts.  Therefore, they are unable to share forgiveness with those who have wronged them.  If we live only according to justice, always seeking to get what is ours, we will put ourselves into prison.  But if we live according to forgiveness, sharing with others what God has shared with us, then we will enjoy freedom and joy.
…Our Lord’s warning is serious.  He did not say that God saves only those who forgive others.  The theme of this parable is forgiveness between brothers, not salvation for lost sinners.  Jesus warned us that God cannot forgive us if we do not have humble and repentant hearts.  We reveal the true …

The Forgiveness Equation

Teach Us to Pray:  Relationship Reboot Matthew 6:12 February 10, 2013
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.
Introduction I love technology. When it works, it increases my efficiency and broadens the horizon of creativity.  And I hate technology.  When I can’t get it to do what I want, I get very frustrated.  We kind of live and die by it in our day and age.   A couple of times when I’ve been practicing my sermon with PowerPoint in the sanctuary, the laptop would shut down and automatically start downloading updates.  I didn’t ask for those updates.  The stupid machine thinks it’s smarter than me and just went ahead and did it without asking.  (Yes, I know, I can stop the automatic updates. But that leads to other problems.)  I’m hoping that won’t happen some Sunday morning.  Something similar happened last week during the evening service.  We were showing a wonderful documentary through the laptop on George Mueller and the machine froze.  I tried everything - closin…

The Parable of the Running Father

For the last several weeks I've been teaching on the Lord's Prayer.  This week, I've been preparing to unpack the petition, "Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us."  In my preparation, I read several books along with Scripture and commentaries.  I was greatly moved by N.T. Wright's approach to this particular section in the prayer. From his little book, The Lord and His Prayer:
These days, people of all sorts run to keep fit.  Even presidents and politicians have been known to don jogging suits, and even to be photographed taking exercise.  But in Jesus’ world, the more senior you were in a community, the less likely you were even to walk fast.  It shows a lack of dignity, of gravitas.
So when Jesus told a story about a man running, this was designed to have the same effect on his audience as we would experience if, say, the [President of the United States] were to show up for [his inauguration] wearing a [bathing suit].  It’s a total los…