Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What is His Message?

So I had an epiphany Sunday night.

But let me back up. There were a series of events that led to this beautiful moment that you must first understand. So here we go.

I've been listening to this band For Today a lot this week. Here is probably their most widely palatable song.

(Beyond this, proceed with caution because they are...well...aggressive!)

I've been listening to them to prepare for a study my D-Group is going to be doing over For Today's newest album Portraits. Each song on this album is about/from-the-perspective-of a character out of the Bible. Along with the lyrics, the band has also published some thoughts on each song for further contemplation.

As I spent this week listening and preparing, one of the first things that struck me was the sense of passion I received from the combination of music and the words. I've listened to a lot of heavy music in my life, so it was more than just a musical style issue. It seemed that they had such a serious, powerful, reverent approach to Christ. One that led them to a life of humble conviction and unrelenting sharing of His power & glory.

So our group chose to start with the first song and work our way through the album in order. The first song is titled Immanuel (The Challenger). And it is only three words long: "Repent or perish!" This is a reference to some things Jesus said in Luke 13. As our group talked about it and as I contemplated it, I wondered, "If Jesus only had three words to share with us, would it be these three?"

We decided that most people, when asked what Jesus' three-word-message would be, would come up with something like, "I love you." But I couldn't get these words - "Repent or perish" - out of my head.

So Sunday night, as we were having communion service and I found myself up front helping serve the congregation, I was really struck. As we took time to remember that Jesus suffered wounds and beatings and ultimately the death on the cross...

As Pastor Doug led us to take the bread to represent His body and the cup to represent His blood...

As I reflected on what Christ went through for me, it became apparent I would trust words from this man. I would accept a challenge to turn the other way, to change my life. I would humbly and reverently and passionately do whatever He asked. So will you join me as I strive to repent this week and follow the words of the Master!

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