Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Christmas is about the incarnation of Christ. It is about how the Word took on flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). It is about the one who was rich became poor that we might become rich (2 Cor. 8:9). It is about the righteous one who knew no sin came to be sin on our behalf that we might become righteous (2 Cor. 5:21). It is about the one who appeared to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). It is about our great high priest who has passed through the heavens that he might come in the flesh so that he can sympathize with our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:14-15). It is this last statement that provides such great comfort for those who will have a mournful, hope-filled Christmas.
The second verse of O Holy Night, which rarely gets sung, points us to this very fact for it states,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
O'er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friend.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!
More than this when it comes to the loss of a loved one who died in Christ may we remember that it was the infant in the manger who would climb the hill of Golgotha to make atonement for our sins and who would walk out of the tomb to prove that death has no hold on him or on those who are his. Death is a defeated foe! So while we shed tears of grief, it is a grief mingled with hope of the resurrection. Paul states, “For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his” (Romans 6:5). There is a certainty of resurrection for those who have gone before us!
May we who have known loss this year come and worship him who has taken on our flesh and may we weep with him for he knows our griefs and is acquainted with our sorrows. May we remember that this Christmas we look on him with eyes of faith, but our loved ones look on him face to face. We will worship the Christ who came and is coming and they will worship him in his presence. We will look forward to the day that he himself will wipe away all our tears, they have had their tears wiped away. And with every song we sing we will join with the heavenly host, in whom are loved are now part, and worship the Savior.
Saturday, November 17, 2012
This semester I had the privilege of hearing Micah Fries preach at chapel. If I ranked the chapel messages I would put this one at the very top of the list. Since that chapel I have listened to this chapel message two more times and enjoy it greatly every time. It is definitely worth your time.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Wilt Thou pursue thy worm to death?
"Tis in this way" The Lord replied
"I answer prayer for grace and faith"
"These inward trials I employ
From self and pride to set thee free
And break thy schemes of earthly joy
That thou mayest seek thy all in me,
That thou mayest seek thy all in me."
Sunday, August 26, 2012
John Newton is best known as the writer of 'Amazing Grace,' but he was so much more than just a hymnist. He was a theologian and a mighty one at that. There is a collection of his letters entitled Cardiphonia, or the Utterance of the Heart which are full of wisdom and grace. I was reading it for a paper on grief when I came across this portion of a letter to a lady who was struggling with loss and this spoke greatly to me. I hope it speaks to you as well.
Your wound, while fresh, is painful; but faith, prayer, and time will, I trust, gradually render it tolerable. There is something fascinating in grief; painful as it is, we are prone to indulge it, and to brood over the thoughts and circumstances which are suited (like fuel to fire) to heighten and prolong it. When the Lord afflicts, it is His design that we should grieve. But, in this, as in all other things, there is a certain moderation which becomes a Christian, and which only grace can teach; and grace teaches us, not by books or by hearsay, but by experimental lessons. All beyond this should be avoided and guarded against as sinful and hurtful. Grief, when indulged and excessive, preys upon the spirits, injures health, indisposes us for duty, and causes us to shed tears which deserve more tears. This is a weeping world. Sin has filled it with thorns and briars, with crosses and calamities. It is a great hospital, resounding with groans in every quarter. It is as a field of battle, where many are falling around us continually. And it is more wonderful that we escape so well, than that we are sometimes wounded. We must have some share; it is the unavoidable lot of our nature and state; it is, likewise, needful in point of discipline. The Lord will certainly chasten those whom He loves, though others may seem to pass, for a time, with impunity. That is a sweet, instructive, and important passage (Hebrews 12:5-11). It is so plain that it needs no comment; so full, that a comment would but weaken it. May the Lord inscribe it upon your heart, my dear Madam, and upon mine.