A Christmas Prayer
5 hours ago
...By Grace Alone
The story immediately before Leviticus is one in which the Lord redeems the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and enters into covenant relationship with them. They are to be his ‘treasured possession’ who are to fulfill a special role: being a ‘kingdom of priests and a holy nation’, and in this way spreading the Lord’s kingdom of justice, mercy, goodness and love in all the earth. What is more, they are to do this with the Lord himself dwelling in their midst in the tent of meeting. If you were an Israelite, all of this would lead to some burning questions: How in the world can the holy and pure King of the universe dwell among his sinful and impure people? How can he live here, in our very midst, without his holiness melting us in our sin and impurity? And how can we live as his people in such a way that we really do extend his holy kingdom throughout the earth?
Leviticus answers these questions.
And all the while Jay reminds us, “If what we see in the Old Testament is an acorn, what we see in Jesus is a magnificent oak. This is especially true for the themes of Leviticus.”(I)t also casts a vision that takes the Israelites back to the Lord’s intent for humanity from the beginning of the world: to walk in rich fellowship with their covenant King, enjoying his care and blessing, and extending throughout all the earth his kingdom of justice, mercy, kindness, righteousness, holiness and love.
Thousands of little girls across the country are singing this song – a manifesto of sorts, a call to cast off restraint, rebel against unrealistic expectations and instead be true to whatever you feel most deeply inside. What’s ironic is that the movie’s storyline goes against the message of this song. When the princess decides to “let it go,” she brings terrible evil into the world. The fallout from her actions is devastating. “No right, no wrong, no rules for me” is the sin that isolates the princess and freezes her kingdom.He goes on...
A popular idea in our culture is that there are only two ways to live:Neither of these paths are the way to true fulfillment though.Wax concludes,
- Through authenticity, expressed in rebellion against cultural constraints
- Through an ordered life, expressed in rule-keeping
Christianity teaches explicitly what Frozen only hints at: salvation comes not through self-discovery or self-restraint, but through self-sacrifice.Read the whole post here.
All across the country, little girls are singing about self-discovery. Let’s make sure that after they see the film, they are given songs about self-sacrifice.
The book of Ruth is not a work of deep theological reasoning like Paul's epistle to the Romans, yet it is full of theology. It is not a magnificent symphony on the work of Christ like the Gospel of John, yet it ultimately points to the coming of Christ. It is not full of vivid apocalyptic imagery like the book of Revelation, yet it traces the details of God's working in the unfolding of the events of history. It is not basic instruction about the kingdom of God like the Sermon on the Mount, yet it contains important lessons about life in the kingdom.If you live in the Flint area, we'd love to have you join us at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings this fall as we examine this Old Testament treasure of a book. Audio of sermons in the series will be posted on our website as well.
Now, I’m a thirty-something with two kids living a more or less ordinary life. And what I’m slowly realizing is that, for me, being in the house all day with a baby and a two-year-old is a lot more scary and a lot harder than being in a war-torn African village. What I need courage for is the ordinary, the daily every-dayness of life. Caring for a homeless kid is a lot more thrilling to me than listening well to the people in my home. Giving away clothes and seeking out edgy Christian communities requires less of me than being kind to my husband on an average Wednesday morning or calling my mother back when I don’t feel like it.
None of this is, of course, to criticize caring for the homeless or providing help somewhere on the other side of the globe. It merely reminds us that while we often spend much time and energy "looking for ministry opportunities," in reality we have many of them staring us in the face each day. And though they might not seem as glamorous or important as others, we must remember that we serve a God whose economy is radically different than our own.And here is the embarrassing truth: I still believe in and long for a revolution. I still think I can make a difference beyond just my front door. I still want to live radically for Jesus and be part of him changing the world. I still think mediocrity is dull, and I still fret about settling.But I’ve come to the point where I’m not sure anymore just what God counts as radical. And I suspect that for me, getting up and doing the dishes when I’m short on sleep and patience is far more costly and necessitates more of a revolution in my heart than some of the more outwardly risky ways I’ve lived in the past. And so this is what I need now: the courage to face an ordinary day — an afternoon with a colicky baby where I’m probably going to snap at my two-year old and get annoyed with my noisy neighbor — without despair, the bravery it takes to believe that a small life is still a meaningful life, and the grace to know that even when I’ve done nothing that is powerful or bold or even interesting that the Lord notices me and is fond of me and that that is enough.
A couple years ago I shared the trailer below. Check it out. Or even better, check out the film next Tuesday at Seed&Spark!
We're very very proud to announce that TMWANO will be premiering next Tuesday, August 28, for $2.99 streaming rental at Seed&Spark! Seed&Spark was started by some dear friends of ours (superstar founder Emily Best was chosen by Indiewire as one of 20 people changing the face of indie film), and it's a great, great concept. Check it out, for sure. We'll also be available for digital download and on DVD that same day (details to follow). And we're planning a big red carpet theatrical debut in Atlanta for the night of August 27th, so mark your calendars!!!