Friday, June 22, 2012

A Threefold Truth

There is a hymn that was written in 1980 by Jack Schrader, text written by Fred Pratt Green titled "This Is the Threefold Truth." It's hymn 355 in the 2008 Baptist Hymnal. I really like the first verse.

This is the threefold truth on which our faith depends,
And with this joyful cry worship begins and ends:
Christ has died!
Christ is risen!
Christ will come again!

We celebrate Christ's death all year long as we sing songs not only of His death but of our redemption. We, of course, celebrate the Resurrection at Easter, but in reality, every Sunday as we gather together on the first day of the week (don't even get me started on these new calendars that lump Saturday and Sunday together at the end of the week).

This Sunday we will celebrate with great hope and anticipation the third truth in this threefold truth on which our faith depends.

We'll begin our service singing "Days of Elijah!" "Behold He comes riding on the clouds, shining like the sun, at the trumpet call!"

The choir will then sing my new favorite song "The Great Day!" I don't have the words here to describe what a fantastic song this is. Andrew and Calli Smith will sing a duet on this song accompanied by the choir. The song is off of the CD "The Story." Wow! The entire CD is wonderful! Check out "The Story" here "The Story" is "God's story of love and redemption from Genesis to Revelation told in 18 new songs."

Artists who sing on "The Story" include Mark Hall from Casting Crowns, Bart Miller from Mercy Me, Nichole Nordeman, Amy Grant, Chris Tomlin, Natalie Grant, Michael W. Smith, Mac Powell from Third Day, Dan Haseltine from Jars of Clay, Mandisa and more!

So, I got distracted, anyway, I get all choked up and teary eyed every time we sing it. It is AWESOME!

Then we have a medley of some great songs about the 2nd Coming and heaven including "Soon and Very Soon," "I'll Fly Away," "When the Role Is Called up Yonder,"Shall We Gather at the River" and "I Will Rise."

It should be a great time of worship and celebration as we sing together THIS Sunday at 8:30 and 9:45. I hope you're planning on joining us. (If you're in the choir, listen to your rehearsal CD and sing in BOTH services if you can. You KNOW you want to really sing out when we sing the phrase "He will be King! Yeah!!")

Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly! Revelation 22:20

Monday, June 4, 2012

I Missed Pentecost

Actually, I missed Pentecost TWICE! How is that possible? Pentecost was May 27. I was visiting my Mom and her church didn't sing any songs about the Holy Spirit that Sunday. Hilldale enjoyed the music ministry of Geron Davis (and he is Pentecostal) so maybe that counts as a "Pentecost" service.

Then yesterday, as I was driving to church I was listening to the classical music station and noticed that the songs they were playing had the phrase "spiritus sanctus" in them. There were several short pieces in a row and each had that phrase. Now, I'm no Latin scholar, but I DO know that "spiritus sanctus" means "Holy Spirit."

You may not know this, but the Greek Orthodox Churches and I think maybe the Russian Orthodox Churches often have a different Sunday for Easter - which therefore dictates that they have a different Sunday for Pentecost. So when I got to church yesterday morning I "googled" "date for Orthodox Pentecost" and sure enough - it was yesterday.

So I missed Pentecost twice! I would have sung songs about the Holy Spirit yesterday. I think it is important. Southern Baptists seem to have a knack for ignoring things they don't want to deal with or that make them appear to be followers of a different denomination. We miss out on many good church traditions that other denominations enjoy so we won't look "too Catholic" or whatever.

We end up ignoring the Holy Spirit so we won't look Pentecostal - afraid people will then expect us to speak in tongues.

We should not do this. The Holy Spirit is the One who is God's presence and God's power in us.

I love these verses that talk about how we are sealed in Christ by the Spirit.

"who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge."
2 Corinthians 1:22 NAS

"In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation -having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,"
Ephesians 1:13 NAS


If you allow the Holy Spirit to actually work in your life then we will see the Fruit of the Spirit in you too.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control ; against such things there is no law.

I hope I don't miss Pentecost next year. I'm glad I don't miss out on the work of the HOly Spirit in my life every day.