Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Revelation 14 and "For all the Saints"

A favorite hymn of mine from the Trinity Hymnal that we sang tonight is 'For All the Saints', a hymn with a melody and lyrics that are just beautiful.  I'm particularly in awe of the lyrics from the last verse:

From earth's wide bounds,
from ocean's farthest coast,
Through gates of pearl
streams in the countless host,

Singing to Father,
Son, and Holy Ghost,
Alleluia, Alleluia!

The verses speak of the gathering of the saints from the furthest reaches, brought in through the "gates of pearl" and singing praises to the Triune God.  Beautiful hymn and such a blessing to sing this during time of worship.

Luke 15:11-32 and "The Prodigal God: Finding Your Place at the Table"

We've been using Tim Keller's "The Prodigal God: Finding Your Place at the Table" as a component of our nightly family worship, and its quite excellent. Keller's manner of teaching is remarkably accessible, and it's clear how, as gifted he is in teaching, how he could bring this type of teaching style to a church in the heart of New York.  The DVD features a 30-min session of Keller's teaching on the parable of the Prodigal son from Luke 15:11-32, and gives emphasis to the fact that the parable isn't just about the younger son who runs away, but rather more shockingly is the role of the older brother - the one who, on the return of the younger son, refuses to be a part of the celebratory meal.  In the situaion with both sons there is rebellion against the father:  the younger son (indentified with the "sinners" and tax-collectors listening to Christ) flees to pursue his own interests and desires then returns in repentance, while the older son complains of his faithfulness to follow the rules and restrictions of the house all along, and expresses no joy at the return of the younger brother (the older brother being a a reflection of the Pharisees and teachers of the law - faithful to legalistic standards without a genuine love of the father.)
The DVD also features shorter segments that correspond with sections of the discussion guide, with plenty of thoughtful questions that can be discusses