A few weeks ago I was leading worship at our contemporary gathering and we were singing a new(er) song, one by Chris Tomlin called "Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies)," and I could hardly sing. I was fine with the intro and first verse, but as soon as I hit the second line…
You’ve probably figured out by now that I’m a huge fan of Seinfeld. One of the funniest episodes is from an earlier season when Jerry, George, and Elaine spend the entire show waiting for a table at a Chinese restaurant. As their wait drags on, they keep asking the host how long until they’ll be seated. “Oh, five, ten minutes” is his reply every time.
Probably the most difficult thing about understanding prophecy (and thus reading the book of Revelation) is confusion about time. What is past tense, present, future? God exists outside of time, something that’s difficult for us to grasp, because we are enslaved to the clock. Therefore, visions into the spirit realm are fuzzy and difficult to nail down specific time spans. It’s like dreaming while you sleep. How long does a dream usually last?
In John’s first vision, he sees a woman that symbolizes Israel and maybe even Mary, the mother of Jesus, who (like any other woman) cries out in the agony of giving birth. There are typically two takes on Mary: we deify her or we ignore her
Several years ago at the church I served at in Toledo, we presented a short Christmas teaching series that I think may have been called “The Invasion.” I’d like to sort of recycle that series here this week in the hope that it will prepare us for Christmas, not the Santa Claus and elves one nor even the one represented in the crèches most Christians set up in our homes. No, another view of the Nativity.
I realize our girls are getting older, and I won’t be able to walk them safely across the street forever. Soon they’ll be driving crummy cars like the one I had. Keeping them safe becomes less about holding their hands and more about teaching them how to be careful.
I think there are two approaches we take to worship. We can worship in an attempt to get forgiveness for sins. Or we can worship out of an awareness that we’ve already been forgiven.
Some six or seven years ago on Valentine's Day I was duped. Our girls were younger then (5 and 3), and we enjoyed celebrating special days on the calendar, particularly those that helped us get through the long winter months. We still do.