Biblical Messages

SONGS OF L(AM)ENT: Watch With Him

On this Good Friday, we wrapped up our series on the songs of the season of Lent with a 03_08look at the time of prayer Jesus had just prior to his betrayal.  We sang, “Go to dark Gethsemane”, and practised visio divina with this image, a painting by the 15th-century Italian artist Andrea Mantegna called “The Agony in the Garden”.

The message was based on Matthew 26.36-46 and can be listened to here:

Facebook video, watchable by anyone, is available here:

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Biblical Messages

SONGS OF L(AM)ENT: Redeemer King

How does Palm Sunday relate to contemporary life?  One answer comes to us from the traditional Palm Sunday hymn by Bishop Theodulph of Orléans, a 9th century church leader who was imprisoned:  “All glory, laud, and honour, to Thee, Redeemer, King”.

What does it mean for Jesus to be Redeemer King?  Based on John 12.12-19, listen here:

Or catch the video on Facebook (which, this week, might seem a little shaky!):

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Encouragement From The Word

Waiting

I’m glad I have an unlimited internet subscription at home.  My wife is spending a lot of 1777331_630x354time online these days.

It’s nothing to worry about – I hope!  You see, there is this pregnant giraffe in a park in the United States that’s been, apparently, “ready” to give birth for weeks now.  And there’s a “giraffe cam” that is positioned in her stall 24/7, allowing all interested parties to watch the impending birth.

I’ve been hearing for quite a while now that this giraffe’s special delivery is imminent.  Yet the waiting continues.

Perhaps the anticipation of the birth will make it all the more exciting, all the more worthwhile – I don’t know.  But I guess I’ll find out one of these days.

Now this would be the perfect illustration for the season of Advent, wouldn’t it?  A season of waiting for an important birth?  Perfect!

But it’s not Advent; it’s Lent.

However, Lent is also a season of waiting, a season of preparation – not for a birth, but for what will bring about new birth; not for the tears of a baby, but for tears of agony; not for the cry of a newborn, but for the cry of “It is finished!”

And it is a season of waiting for the culmination of all this in the echoes of an empty tomb.

This weekend marks Palm Sunday, the time when Jesus rode a humble donkey from the humble towns of the Mount of Olives, through the Kidron Valley and into Jerusalem, where he was lauded as a victorious king.

The week that follows would demonstrate that Jesus was, indeed, a victorious King – but not in the way people expected.  He would be nailed to a cross like a vile criminal, buried in a borrowed tomb, and on the third day, exit that tomb having paid the price for sin, and defeating death with life.

Lent can seem a long season of waiting, but as with all God-appointed seasons of anticipation, it’s worth the wait.  Take it all in.  Whatever worship gatherings are offered to you, go and worship!  Stand at the foot of the cross.  Poke your head in the empty tomb.  Revel in the fruit of your waiting.

We can be certain of the timing and the outcome of this waiting.  Meanwhile, the “giraffe cam” is still on live feed at my house.

I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness
    while I am here in the land of the living.

Wait patiently for the Lord.
    Be brave and courageous.
    Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.  (Psalm 27.13-14, NLT)

Encouragement From the Word will return on April 21.  A blessed Easter to all!

 

Biblical Messages

SONGS OF L(AM)ENT: What Language?

Words matter – for good or for ill.  What does the trial of Jesus before Pilate in John 19.1-16a teach us about words?  Have a listen:

Facebook Live video is here:

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