Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Saints are Coming

U2 and Green Day collaborated on this song "The saints are coming" which is a cover of an old Skids song with an added first line from "The house of the rising sun." The song is sung from the perspective of a poor boy ruined by "the house of the rising sun," a New Orleans whore house. He calls his dad on the telephone to ask him when he will be home, but the line went dead. He laments the change since his dad has been gone. He hopes that when the weather changes for the worse, his dad will come home, but his daddy doesn't come home. He cries and there's no reply, no answer. It feels like the end. And so he sings...The saints are coming.

For according to scripture when Jesus comes again, he comes with his saints. 1 Thessalonians 3:13 says "at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints." When Jesus comes, he's not coming alone. He's coming with his saints, that is to say those who follow Jesus. Those who follow Jesus are made saints not by working many wonders but by having faith in Jesus. In the end when Jesus comes to judge the world he will come with those who believe in Him.

But what about now? What if we feel like the boy in the song? We're hurting because of a distant father. We're crying out, even to God, but it feels like there's no reply. What's the answer? The Saints. The Saints are coming. Jesus has chosen to use those who follow him to bring kindness, warmth, salvation, and healing in a broken and hurting world. Saints have helped me on my way. When I am deep distress, I trust the Lord that he is sending his saints to help me.
The video shows scenes of the aftermath of Katrina in New Orleans. It shows people crying for help. It shows a street sign "Humanity st." drowning because of the flood waters. Then it shows "the saints" coming. It shows fake news clips of troops being brought home from the Iraq war to save survivors on rooftops and to airlift food and supplies in to hurting areas. It shows a superpower using its might... to save.

This is a wonderful picture of what God is doing with his superpower, with his might. He's using it not to destroy but to seek and to save the lost. He is using his church, his saints to bring relief to a hurting world. The only question remains...are we going to be the saints who are coming? Are we going to be God's answer to a hurting world? God has given his son to be the answer to our hurting world are we going to go and do likewise?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

August calendar

August 12th: Youth Group at the block building we'll be watching and discussing the video "How to Save a Life" by the Fray.

August 18th: Sandtown Mission trip: FULL. If you signed up please bring work gloves, water bottle, and bag lunch (they have a refrigerator.) We will be meeting at Sandtown Habitat by 9am. We will finish by 3:30pm. Directions: Go east on Liberty rd, slight right on REisterstown rd at Mondawmin Mall, slight right on N. Fulton. Sandtown Habitat is .7 miles down on your right at the Lauren rd cross street. http://www.sandtownhabitat.org/ If you need a ride please call me.

August 19th: Parents meeting during Sunday school hour beginning at 9:30 in the Block house.

August 19th: Wyld Life interest meeting 7 pm at the block house.

August 23rd: Due date for our 3rd child.

August 26th: 6-9pm Back-to-school-bash at Faith Frampton's 1401 Buckhorn rd. Sykesville, MD 21784-9304 . Bring a bathing suit, a side or dessert (veggies are cool too!), and a sixth grader to initiate.

The Lord Reigns

When we were at the beach this past weekend we felt the mighty power of the waves. Two youth kept drifting off down the beach because the waves were inexorably carrying them. One youth was knocked down three times while trying to get in. We made sandcastles and played bocce ball in the sand, sand which was created by thousands of years of waves crushing rocks into tiny pieces. Waves are powerful. Tsunami waves can reach heights of 100 ft at the shore and 13,000 feet in the ocean. (submerged) They can do untold damage. They are so powerful that governments around the world are seeking to harness their energy through wave technology.

In psalm 93:4, the Bible says "Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the LORD on high is mighty!" The Lord is more powerful than all the power of the waves. This seems like a no-brainer, but in our lives we really do question the power of God. We wonder whether he reigns. We look at all the evil in the world and we wonder whether God is in control. Especially when we look at the cross we can wonder if God is in control. The only son of the God of the universe was put to death by ancient peasants... what's wrong with this picture? Yet this psalm, God's word, is reassuring us that God is indeed in control. He's stronger than the strongest thing we can imagine or fear here on earth. God reigns. That should be a comforting thought to us for God is a good God, slow to anger and abounding in love.

There once was an emporer of a mighty nation who declared war on the sea. He sent his army down to the sea. They gave a great shout and all the soldiers threw their spears into the sea. Then the emporer declared his army victorious over the sea. How foolish! How foolish it is to be at war with God who is much greater than the sea, the waves, the waters. The Lord reigns, there is no hope of fighting him even though God doesn't seem to be in control. The Lord reigns.