Posts tagged Matthew
Blessed Are the Meek

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”. - Matthew 5:5

When we first began this sermon series on the opening to the Sermon on the Mount in the gospel of Matthew, this verse stood out to me. In the introduction sermon, I admitted that I don’t get how meek can be something God calls blessed. After the sermon, a friend of mine came up to me and agreed. 

“I’m not sure how it is possible to make that one make sense,” he confided. 

So much of our lives seem to be fighting for the opposite of meekness. We strive for respect, safety, power, and the right to a voice. Weakness and passivity are the road to failure in business, in relationships, in parenting, in self-esteem, in just about everything.

But what if meekness was not about lack of respect, safety, power, or voice? What if meekness was simply the absence of fighting for these things? What if the meek that are blessed are those who do not need to fight because they trust their blessedness… their inheritance is in God’s hands?

All the sudden, meekness is not to be avoided. It is the life where there is freedom from the need to control or prove things. It is the life of freedom to partner with God. The meek are not worried about grabbing their part of the earth because they are already assured of their inheritance of the whole thing in God. The meek are free and flexible to find and pursue God each step of the way.

Put that way, the meek in Christ are among the most blessed.

Jesus, we confess the ways we are bent toward pride and power and greed as ways of being secure. These words on meekness challenge the very core of this. Help us to begin to see the ways that we are already secure in you. Thus freed, show us how to be both blessed and a blessing in the freedom of meekness. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Lenten Devotional Series: Singing Scripture

When we sing worship music, no matter the style, we are given the opportunity to sing Scripture; the inspired words of God. Additionally, one of the beautiful gifts in any type of worship music is that it provides us a way to interact with Scripture artistically. It provides us a way to learn and memorize Scripture in a creative way and embed those words in our everyday speech and thoughts. It provides us a way to sing back to God the words He wrote for us. Your Love is Strong is a great example.
 
                                                           

                                                               Jon Foreman's "Your Love Is Strong"

Scripture beautifully frames this song. Lyrics and music retranslate Bible passages so that we learn Scripture through song. Below is a side-by-side comparison of the lyrics along with the passages of Scripture that inspired those lyrics. I invite you to listen to this song several times. Listen to it with an open Bible, and turn to the passages referenced in the lyrics. Note the changes the artist made. Note the significance of the passages in your life as you listen and sing. Allow these lyrics, these Bible passages, to wash over you and remind you of God’s love for you. At church this week, remember that you are joining other voices in singing Scripture.

     Lyrics                                                                                

Heavenly Father, You always amaze me
Let Your kingdom come in my world and in my life
Give me the food I need
To live through today
 
And forgive me as I forgive
The people that wrong me
Lead me far from temptation
Deliver me from the evil one
READ:  Matthew 6:9-13 

I look out the window
The birds are composing
Not a note is out of tune
Or out of place
 
I walk to the meadow
And stare at the flowers
Better dressed than any girl
On her wedding day
 
So why should I worry?
Why do I freak out?
God knows what I need
You know what I need
READ:  Matthew 6:26-31

The Kingdom of the Heavens
Is now advancing
Invade my heart
Invade this broken town
 
The Kingdom of the Heavens
Is buried treasure
Would you sell yourself
To buy the one you've found?
READ:    Matthew 13:44

Two things You told me
That You are strong
And You love me
Yes, You love me
READ:  Psalm 62:11-12a 

 

This lent, we have decided to focus upon musical worship.  When we worship God, we essentially fast from our own tendencies to self-absorption, control, fear, anxiety, and an assortment of other problems of focus. Instead of focusing upon ourselves, we rightly focus on God.

For Lenten we offer a number of devotionals centered upon music. These devotionals are meant to invite you into moments of worship throughout your week.

To help you practice the discipline of worship, we have made some of the music from our two worship services available as playlists on Spotify on the HOME page.  Simply click on the words or photo to be directed to the site to setup your new Spotify account. Spotify is a free website.

- by Drew Hanson