Categories
Life

Wrestling with an Angel

Greg Lucas writes on a blog that I was introduced to today.  Greg has a son, Jake, with severe disabilities and now, after 17 years, Jake is out of the home, receiving greater care as he tries to prepare for independent living.

Greg’s passion for Christ, holiness, and living they atypical American life is convicting.  God has used Jake’s life to push Greg in this direction.

A recent birthday letter to from Greg to Jake especially gripped my heart:

Then, just after your first birthday, you got sick and had to spend a lot of time in the hospital. Your mom and I were young and scared and didn’t know what to do when you stopped breathing and had seizures. We spent that entire year in hospitals and doctors offices trying to figure out what was causing you to be so sick. No one could give us any answers. No one could help you get better. We cried a lot that year. It was one of the most difficult times of my life.

Then, just as we were about to give up, we found someone who could help. He picked us up off the floor of our hopelessness, held us up with His strong arms, wiped away our tears with His gentle hands, and healed your seizures with His mighty power. He changed our lives forever. His name is Jesus, and you know Him well—for it was you that introduced us to Him

Categories
Theology

Symphonies and the Trinity

The Trinity — the fact that God exists as three persons in one — is the most mysterious and glorious truth about God.  The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all the same in their deity, attributes, and being, yet different in their function, office, and purpose.  I love that our God is a Trinitarian God.  It illustrates unity and diversity functioning together in perfect union, harmony, peace, love, respect, and a thousand other things.

In music, especially symphonies, we see a small reflection of this truth. I am not the musician in our house: Carly get’s that title.  She is gifted with a number of instruments and can sing beautifully.  What I do know is that a a full-size orchestra consists of about 100 people, and that they are all unique in their talents, functions, and purposes. In order for an orchestra to master a symphony, the musicians must not all be playing the flute.  They all have their own instruments; they fulfill their role and responsibility and trust that the others will do the same.

As one person plays, he is one part of a greater whole. As one person plays, there are a hundred other musicians who are playing their own notes, with their own sheet music, with their own purpose. Yet as each musician performs, the music comes together in perfect harmony, and art and beauty is created.

This is true of all music, not just the orchestra. When we listen to music, we must embrace the reality, and appreciate the harmony, of unity and diversity functioning together. Whether it is Coldplay or Skillet or the Boston Symphony Orchestra , music performed skillfully should lead us to worship the God who is diverse, yet unified and three, yet one.

Categories
Life

Father, Long Before Creation

This is one of my favorite hymns. It was originally a Chinese hymn, and it was translated by Francis P. Jones.  It was most recently re-recorded by Matthew Smith on the Beams of Heaven: Indelible Grace IV project.

*               *               *

Translated by Francis P. Jones
Music and Chorus by Andrew Osenga

Father, long before creation
Thou hadst chosen us in love,
And that love so deep, so moving,
Draws us close to Christ above.
Still it keeps us, still it keeps us
Firmly fixed in Christ alone.

Though the world may change its fashion,
Yet our God is e’er the same;
His compassion and His covenant
Through all ages will remain.
God’s own children,
God’s own children
Must forever praise His name.

God’s compassion is my story,
Is my boasting all the day;
Mercy free and never failing
Moves my will, directs my way.
God so loved us,
God so loved us
That His only Son He gave.

Loving Father now before Thee
We will ever praise Thy love,
And our songs will sound unceasing
‘Til we reach our home above,
Giving glory,
giving glory
To our God and to the

Giving glory,
giving glory
To our God and to the Lamb.