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Monday, April 24, 2017

All The Earth Will Sing Your Praises


This post, being written during the Easter season, will be a reflection and compilation of discussions about the historicity of Jesus Christ, his death, and his Resurrection. In addition, since the primary purpose of this blog is to expound on God's message as it is present in Christian rock, the post will end with a discussion of the song "All The Earth Will Sing Your Praises" by Paul Baloche.

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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Resurrection Day!


This an update and reposting of a previous post.

Jesus Christ is risen!

Easter is the greatest and oldest Christian feast. It is the Feast of Feasts. And, it is the holiest day of the year for Christians. Easter celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. This is the act that is core to Christian beliefs. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (647) "it remains at the very heart of the mystery of faith as something that transcends and surpasses history".

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Monday, April 10, 2017

Prepare Ye The Way Of The Lord




Godspell was a Broadway musical which opened in 1971, and is a series of parables based mostly on the Gospel of St. Matthew. The first song after the Opening and the Prologue is "Prepare Ye The Way Of The Lord", which is started and led by the character of John the Baptist. It  is a representation of St. John baptizing the people in the Jordan River and calling them to repent and prepare.

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Monday, April 3, 2017

Above All

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be." (Jn 1:1-3)

"Therefore let the whole house of Israel know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified." (Acts 2:36)

"...Christ Jesus, Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped..." (Phil 2:5-6)

"Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, everything in the universe, cry out: “To the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor, glory and might, forever and ever." (Rev 5:13)

"...God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord..." (Phil 2:9-11)

These passages from the Bible all describe Jesus Christ, Lord (Kyrios) of all. The verses affirm that Jesus is above all things, including death. Based on this powerful message, Paul Baloche and Lenny LeBlanc wrote the song "Above All".



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Monday, March 27, 2017

Lamb Of God repost


This is a reposting of an earlier blog post.

In the Lenten season, we are called to reflect on our sins, and on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the redemption of those sins. The song Lamb of God, by Twila Paris, provides a powerful focus for our reflection. Twila uses the song to tell the story of Jesus, though in a very abbreviated form. She chooses those parts of the story which capture the love the Father for has for mankind, Jesus's great sacrifice, and our aspirations for grace and forgiveness. Twila has put so much meaning into this song both by her lyrics and by her singing, one will have a difficult time listening to it and not being touched.

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Monday, March 20, 2017

Be Forgiven


As Christians, we all know that we are sinners. And, as sinners, we all would like to be forgiven of our sins. Some of us (most of us?) have at one time or another done some pretty awful things, making it hard to believe that we can be forgiven. However, the Bible makes it clear that God did forgive sinners. He forgave David for his adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband Uriah. He forgave Israel for worshiping false gods, and breaking the covenant. Finally to show that God truly loves us and will forgive us, he offered up Jesus, his only begotten son, to redeem our sins. Yes, we can be forgiven. Tom Booth poignantly captures this truth in his song Be Forgiven, tenderly sung by Jackie Francois.

As the song begins, the refrain is sung quietly with minimal piano accompaniment. This beginning allows us to focus on the message that the song is trying to get across - that Jesus wants us to be forgiven. He wants us to be forgiven of those sins that we refuse to let go of. The ones that keep us from God. You know, the ones where we say "God will never forgive me for this." Jesus wants so much for us to be forgiven that he died on the cross for our sins, and rose from the dead to open the gates of heaven.

The two verses incorporate a fuller piano accompaniment, emphasizing the effort Jesus expended to get his message of forgiveness out to us. He wants us to have peace, and offered us his peace (Jn 20:19-21, Mt 11:28-30), - not the worldly peace but a true spiritual peace. He wants us healed of the damage that sin has done to our souls, the damage that blinds (Mk 8: 22-26, Lk 18:35-43, Jn 9) us to the love of God and the plight of our fellow human beings. He wants us to be reborn from the death (Jn 11:1-44) of sin to a new life of love for God and for our fellow man. Jesus consoled Lazarus's sisters by raising him from the dead (Jn 11:1-44), lifting them out of their mourning. Since many theologians consider leprosy as symbolic of sins, they interpret Jesus's cleansing of the lepers (Mk 1:40-45, Lk 17:11-19) as demonstrating that Jesus was without sin and was unaffected by touching the leper, something that the Jews could not do since they were not without sin. And, he wants to cleanse us of our sins. His love for Lazarus was so great that he wept upon hearing of the death of Lazarus (Jn 11:1-44). But, Jesus died on the cross and rose again from the dead to redeem us of our sins. If he would die for us, don't you think he will weep for us when we, too, die? All of these things and more were done by Jesus to lead us to forgiveness.

The bridge points out that Jesus knows all about us, as he knew all about the Samaritan woman at the well (Jn 4:4-19). He knows of our goodness and our sins. Notably, Jesus addresses the Samaritan woman first; she does not address him. In fact, she responds with anger - "How can you... ask me... for a drink?" But, Jesus persists, offering spiritual water. Just as he called the Samaritan woman and persisted in calling her, he calls us and persists in calling us. That's how much God loves us - he will continue to call us. And, if we open ourselves to him as the Samaritan woman did, he will tell us our failings. But, rather than reject and punish us for our failings, he will call us to follow him to forgiveness because of his great love for us. How many people would know and be able to tell you of your sins, and still love you so much that they will forgive you and even die for you? I'm guessing not many.

Tom Booth quite effectively begins to convey the love that Jesus has for us, and Jesus's desire that we come to him and ask forgiveness. Jesus gave his life for us, so that we can begin to see the depth of his love. So, go to Jesus. And be forgiven.

Description: God loves us so much that he will actively call us to himself, so that we can be forgiven. A beautiful song by Tom Booth, sung by Jackie Francois.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Come To The Cross


In this lenten season Christians are asked to prepare themselves for Easter, celebrating Jesus Christ rising from the dead and declaring victory over sin and death. During this time, we are guided through the final days of Jesus's life here on earth, and are reminded of his teachings. We are also reminded of the importance of the cross both in the time of Jesus and in our lives.

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