Hearing the Music

in truth

A Blazing Truth

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Some of you may have seen the recent post from a Twitter account run by Atheists. In this particular post they were trying to make light of the claims of Christianity, but the effect is quite the opposite. Here is their Tweet:

CHRISTIANITY: Belief that one God created a universe 13.79 billion yrs old, 93 billion light yrs in diameter (1 light yr = approx. 6 trillion miles), consisting of over 200 billion galaxies, each containing ave. of 200 billion stars, only to have a personal relationship with you.

Putting aside the specifics of the science, this claim is absolutely spot on, and precisely the reason why the Gospel is so amazing! This immense universe, created by an all-powerful God, who far from being an absentee landlord, enters his own creation in order to initiate a relationship with his creatures…truly humbling, awesome.

This is exactly what we have been encountering throughout the book of Luke. Here we see this God with power over every molecule of the universe, entering in and engaging with his creatures with an overflowing fountain of grace. This week we will encounter yet another incidence of this in Luke 8:40-56 as we come alongside of Jesus' interactions with an ostracized woman and a temple leader. In both interactions he demonstrates that his power is precisely positioned to draw people in. As we enter this Lenten season through both our study of the Word and the weekly communion at the table of our Lord, may we too be drawn into this relationship for which he died.

Photo by Mark de Jong on Unsplash

On Mission

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The Missions Festival is in full swing. It’s been a joy to see, hear and even taste of other cultures and countries. If you’re like me, exposure to these sorts of experiences and ideas leaves me asking a single question: Why? Why do we consider other cultures and countries? Why connect to them? Why spend our valuable time, and often money, on this sort of thing? Why do we keep doing this? Is it simply to know more, see more, to be more “well-rounded” Christians? I guess what I am asking and wondering is: is there more to these sorts of things than meets the eye (or the occasional taste bud)?

When we look to the Bible to answer this, we get a resounding, "yes". It may not surprise you that mission was at the heart of Jesus’ incarnation and ministry. To say Jesus was “on mission” seems a bit silly to say because it seems so...obvious. However, in an evangelical world that seems to tag “missional” onto just about everything, tagging it onto the life of Jesus is actually a correct fit. Consider what Jesus says early in his ministry: “but he said to them, 'I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose'" (Luke 4:43). Jesus names what he is doing as preaching, as taking “the good news” to different towns; that is his purpose. In other words, he is on mission. Also, consider Jesus’ parting words known as the Great Commission in Matthew 28 to his disciples. He is having them "go, make disciples… of all nations." His value of mission was passed on to his disciples. This certainly isn’t a new theme in the Bible either. God was fully aware of this dynamic when he was sending Israel into the Promised Land. The same can be said for the distinctives God was giving the Israelites in Leviticus about what it looked like to be YHWH followers.

So, let's attempt an answer to the many "whys" that were asked. We are on mission because Jesus takes mission seriously, and as Christ-followers we also take mission seriously. Highlighting the way Christ Church is on mission through the Missions Festival is more than tastes, words and experiencing other cultures, it’s being faithful to our call as Christ-followers in our current context. We are seeking to expose many others, in many other nations, to the saving power that is offered through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Illustration by Lillian Fuller

Posted by Addison Hawkins

It takes a lot of humility to ...

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Our C-Group has been involved in watching and discussing Regent University’s Reframe course. Most recently the discussion focused around the Spirit and the Church and the idea that all of us are pulled into the story of the Kingdom as it is worked out in the world. Furthermore, it is the church, throughout history, with all its flaws that God has ordained to be the carrier of this mission. It is in this context that the speaker made an extraordinary statement, namely, it takes a lot of humility to go to church.

For some reason this statement really struck me and we had quite a discussion on the truth of the statement. For starters coming to church takes humility because things are not always optimized for my tastes. We frequently sing songs that aren’t my groove. Not all of the scripture teaching is that exciting, or even that pertinent, at least not at first blush. In church we put up with people who are different than us. They are often challenging, seeing things differently than me. It takes humility to go to church.

It also takes humility to go to church because going to church is an admission of need. We need to hear from the Lord, to be taught from his Word. We need the fellowship of other believers. We need their care. We need their encouragement. Admission of need is not natural in our DIY society.

To take the idea of need one step further going to church requires humility because it will expose my flaws. Different than the need that we have as outlined above, going to church exposes how desperate I am for mercy. How much I need people to extend grace because I am frankly not a nice guy. I am self absorbed, quick tempered, and just as prone to hurt you as I am to bless you. But that is the irony of coming to a church where God is truly worshiped and lived. It is right at this place of ugliness that we have the best chance to actually experience what the Gospel is all about. As I receive mercy when I least deserve it from a sister or brother in Christ, I truly taste the life giving fountain of grace that flows from the Savior through His people.

So it is true, going to church will require humility. But it is in going to church that I taste and see that the Lord is good!


Photo by Sarah Noltner on Unsplash

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