Storytelling

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What I miss, right across the Western tradition, at least the way it has come through to the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, is the devastating and challenging message I find in the four gospels: God really has become king–in and through Jesus! A new state of affairs has been brought into existence. A door has been opened that nobody can shut. Jesus is now the world’s rightful Lord, and all other lords are to fall at His feet. This is an eschatological message, not in the trivial sense that it heralds ‘the end of the world’ (whatever that might mean), but in the sense that it is about something that was supposed to happen when Israel’s hopes were fulfilled; and Israel’s hopes were not for the demise of the space-time universe, but for the earth to be full of God’s glory. It is, however, an inaugurated eschatological message, claiming that this ‘something’ has indeed happened in and through Jesus and does not yet look like what people might have imagined. That is the story the gospels are telling.

— N.T. Wright, How God Became King: The Forgotten Story of the Gospels, 37.

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War and Peace

At Grace Community Church, one of the songs we sing is “Lead On, O King Eternal,” which is a retuned older hymn (music by Enfield).

The lyrics:

Lead on, O King Eternal, the day of march has come
Henceforth in fields of conquest, Thy tents shall be our home
Through days of preparation, Thy grace has made us strong
And now, O King Eternal, we lift our battle song

So lead on, lead on, King of Heaven,
My light and My salvation,
Your faithfulness endures
O lead on, lead us to Your Kingdom
Through joy or tribulation:
We follow you, we follow you alone

Lead on, O King Eternal, we follow not with fears
For gladness breaks like morning wheree’er Thy face appears
For not with swords’ loud clashing, nor roll of stirring drums
With deeds of love and mercy the Heavenly Kingdom comes

Chorus

Lead on, O King Eternal, till sin’s fierce war shall cease
And holiness shall whisper the sweet “amen” of peace
The cross is lifted o’er us, we journey in its light
The crown awaits the conquest: Lead on, O God of might!

Continue reading “War and Peace”

Hosanna

Hosanna

The angels brought good news to earth,
The gospel of great joy;
The promised Son of David is
A newborn baby boy.

Hosanna! Blessed be the King!
Glory to David’s Son!
He comes to us to dwell with us,
The Christ, Incarnate God!

The Baptist shouts, “Behold the Lamb
Who takes away our sins!”
On Him the Father’s Spirit rests,
He is well-pleased with Him.

Hosanna! Blessed be the King!
Glory to David’s Son!
He comes in the name of the Lord
The Christ, Anointed One!

We Christians wait for the return
Of our victorious King,
When glory covers the earth as
Waters cover the seas.

Hosanna! Blessed be the King!
Glory to God’s own Son!
He comes to take His rightful reign,
The Christ, Exalted One!

Jesus, Forever King

Jesus, Forever King
Psalm 2

You laugh at mankind’s feeble plans
To throw away Your reign;
For You have set on Zion’s hill
The King who bears Your name!

The nations are Your heritage,
But they have turned away;
Your scepter is a rod of iron,
You shatter them like clay.

Jesus, Forever King!
Ruler of the nations!
Jesus, Forever King!
God of our salvation!

While nations rage against Your name
We hope in You alone;
We trust in Him who will not fail
To bring us safely home.

Lord, You abound in faithfulness,
We sing Your steadfast love;
Our shield belongs to You, O Lord;
Defend Your name for us!

Jesus, Forever King!
Promised Son of David!
Jesus, Forever King!
Come to us and save us!

Our sorrows deep, our sins are dark
We’re burdened by our grief
But Jesus is the conquering King
And He will bring relief

Whatever threats against us rise,
Whatever Satan schemes,
All his accusing lies cannot
Prevail against our King!

Jesus, Forever King!
Maranatha, O Lord!
Jesus, Forever King!
Sustain us by Your word!

Upside Down, Indeed

“…These men who have turned the world upside down have come here too, and Jason has received them as guests! They are all acting contrary to Caesar’s decrees, saying there is another king–Jesus!” Acts 17:6b-7 HCSB

There’s a lot of discussion–and rightly so–about the intersection of faith and politics, even if there should be such an intersection at all. One of the admittedly many things I appreciate about Pastor Doug Wilson is his consistent emphasis that Christianity is necessarily a political reality. “Jesus is Lord” is not merely a religious statement or sentiment; it is a political declaration.

Continue reading “Upside Down, Indeed”