Archives for the month of: April, 2020

Christ Is Risen! · Blog from Author & Methodist Minister Adam ...

On this Easter Sunday I woke up with the hymn, Christ the Lord Is Risen, in my head and heart. Later this morning I will join in singing that hymn with the congregation of Peachtree Road United Methodist Church and many others (online) as the choir processes down the aisle of the sanctuary (video from last year).  Later in the service we will sing “He is risen! He is risen! Sing it out with joyful voice.”

Handel's “Messiah” FAQs – Parker Symphony Orchestra

I will join in the Apostle’s Creed and the words “the third day he arose from the dead” will be especially relevant on this Sunday. Our closing hymn will be Rejoice the Lord Is King and after the benediction the choir will sing from Handel’s Messiah:

Hallelujah! For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth!

The kingdoms of this world is become the kingdom

of our Lord And of His Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever.

King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, Hallelujah!

As I had my own personal sunrise service earlier this morning and was enjoying my first cup of coffee, another song came to mind. It is a more contemporary song that was  written by Sydney Bertram Carter. Upon his death on March 13, 2004, at the age of 88, his obituary in the London Daily Telegraph began with the bold assertion, “Lord of the Dance” was “the most celebrated religious song of the 20th century.”

“Lord of the Dance” almost did not appear in The United Methodist Hymnal. It was the only hymn not included in the original Report of the Hymnal Revision Committee to the 1988 General Conference of the Methodist Church. Bishop Woodie W. White influenced its addition at the last minute when he used this song as the theme of his sermon preached at the opening service of the conference. (https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/history-of-hymns-lord-of-the-dance)

Lord of the Dance: Sydney Carter, Jackie Morris: 9780745938981 ...

I share it with you as another way of celebrating the Resurrection of our Lord today.

Lord of the Dance
by Sydney Carter;
The United Methodist Hymnal, No. 261

 danced in the morning
When the world was begun,
And I danced in the moon
And the stars and the sun,
And I came down from heaven
And I danced on the earth,
At Bethlehem
I had my birth.

Dance, then, wherever you may be,
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he,
And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be,
And I’ll lead you all in the Dance, said he

I danced for the scribe
And the pharisee,
But they would not dance
And they wouldn’t follow me.
I danced for the fishermen,
For James and John
They came with me
And the Dance went on.

Dance, then, wherever you may be,
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he,
And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be,
And I’ll lead you all in the Dance, said he

I danced on the Sabbath
And I cured the lame;
The holy people
Said it was a shame.
They whipped and they stripped
And they hung me on high,
And they left me there
On a Cross to die.

Dance, then, wherever you may be,
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he,
And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be,
And I’ll lead you all in the Dance, said he

I danced on a Friday
When the sky turned black
It’s hard to dance
With the devil on your back.
They buried my body
And they thought I’d gone,
But I am the Dance,
And I still go on.

Dance, then, wherever you may be,
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he,
And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be,
And I’ll lead you all in the Dance, said he

They cut me down
And I leapt up high;
I am the life
That’ll never, never die;
I’ll live in you
If you’ll live in me –
I am the Lord
Of the Dance, said he.

 Dance, then, wherever you may be,
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he,
And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be,
And I’ll lead you all in the Dance, said he

Hoping you have a happy and blessed Easter!

Jamie Jenkins

 

Why Tony Campolo's announcement on LGBT inclusion is a big deal.

Tony Campolo tells how he preached the perfect sermon one Sunday and had taken the congregation to ‘the heights of glory’. As he sat down beside his pastor, Tony patted him on the knee and simply said, “Top that.” The older black pastor looked at him and said, “Boy, watch the master” as he stood to address the congregation. The following is what he said.

It's Sunday - Imgflip

It’s Friday. Jesus is arrested in the garden where He was praying. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. The disciples are hiding and Peter’s denying that he knows the Lord. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is standing before the high priest of Israel, silent as a lamb before the slaughter. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is beaten, mocked, and spit upon. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Those Roman soldiers are flogging our Lord with a leather scourge that has bits of bones and glass and metal, tearing at his flesh. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. The Son of man stands firm as they press the crown of thorns down into his brow. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. See Him walking to Calvary, the blood dripping from His body. See the cross crashing down on His back as He stumbles beneath the load. It’s Friday; but Sunday’s a coming.

It’s Friday. See those Roman soldiers driving the nails into the feet and hands of my Lord. Hear my Jesus cry, “Father, forgive them.” It’s Friday; but Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is hanging on the cross, bloody and dying. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. The sky grows dark, the earth begins to tremble, and He who knew no sin became sin for us. Holy God who will not abide with sin pours out His wrath on that perfect sacrificial lamb who cries out, “My God, My God. Why hast thou forsaken me?” What a horrible cry. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. And at the moment of Jesus’ death, the veil of the Temple that separates sinful man from Holy God was torn from the top to the bottom because Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is hanging on the cross, heaven is weeping and hell is partying. But that’s because it’s Friday, and they don’t know it, but Sunday’s a coming.

And on that horrible day 2000 years ago, Jesus the Christ, the Lord of glory, the only begotten Son of God, the only perfect man died on the cross of Calvary. Satan thought that he had won the victory. Surely he had destroyed the Son of God. Finally he had disproved the prophecy God had uttered in the Garden and the one who was to crush his head had been destroyed. But that was Friday.

Now it’s Sunday. And just about dawn on that first day of the week, there was a great earthquake. But that wasn’t the only thing that was shaking because now it’s Sunday. And the angel of the Lord is coming down out of heaven and rolling the stone away from the door of the tomb.

Yes, it’s Sunday, and the angel of the Lord is sitting on that stone and the guards posted at the tomb to keep the body from disappearing were shaking in their boots because it’s Sunday, and the lamb that was silent before the slaughter is now the resurrected lion from the tribe of Judah, for He is not here, the angel says. He is risen indeed.

It’s Sunday, and the crucified and resurrected Christ has defeated death, hell, sin and the grave.

It’s Sunday. And now everything has changed. It’s the age of grace, God’s grace poured out on all who would look to that crucified lamb of Calvary. Grace freely given to all who would believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross of Calvary was buried and rose again. All because it’s Sunday.

At the end of the message the pastor shouts out:

It’s Friiidaaaay!

And the whole congregation responds:

But Sunday’s Coming!

Jamie Jenkins

Peachtree Road United Methodist Church has announced its 2019-20 ...

The music of the church has always given me encouragement and guidance. Next to the Bible, the hymnal has provided words of comfort, encouragement, and instruction more than anything else. Hymns like It Is Well With My Soul, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, Amazing Grace, Crown Him With Many Crowns, How Great Thou Art, Lead On, O King Eternal, What A Friend We Have in Jesus, and the list goes on and on.

Other more recent Christian music also speaks to me. As I was drifting off to sleep one night recently my prayers and praises were being lifted silently to God when one of those came to mind. It is song that I usually sing in a setting of corporate worship. It is a song written by Dottie Rambo, an American gospel singer and songwriter.. Along with husband Buck and daughter Reba, she formed the award-winning southern Gospel group, The Rambos. She wrote more than 2,500 songs.

Dottie Rambo - Wikipedia

As I shelter in place along with millions of others there is more time to think and more moments of reflection than normal. The words of this song have been rolling around in my head for days during this time of isolation and social distancing.

*Holy Spirit Thou art welcome in this place
Holy Spirit Thou art welcome in this place
Omnipotent Father of Mercy and Grace
Thou art welcome in this place

Lord in Thy presence there’s healing divine
No other power can save Lord, but Thine
Holy Spirit Thou art welcome in this place
Thou art welcome in this place

Holy Spirit Thou art welcome in this place
Holy Spirit Thou art welcome in this place
Omnipotent Father of Mercy and Grace

Thou art welcome in this place.

Fill all the hungry and empty within

Restore us O Father, Revive us again

Holy Spirit Thou art welcome in this place

Thou art welcome in this place.

As I sing these words over and over in my mind I realize that wherever I am God is with me. Therefore, every place is holy. Not just the church sanctuary or wherever we gather together in worship but every place is holy. Although I really miss being together with friends and other fellow disciples of Christ in corporate worship, I am in God’s Presence and can worship anywhere. I welcome the Holy Spirit in any place and at anytime and I know that I am not alone.

Grace and Peace,

Jamie Jenkins

*Words by Dottie Rambo and David Huntsinger

 

COVID-19

During this coronavirus pandemic everything has changed in our world. Whether you are sheltered in place, quarantined, in isolation, or just hunkered down. Things are different.

Things that we have felt were essential have been taken away or shut down.

All of this has forced us to think differently and to alter our everyday routines. To look at life through different lenses.

A friend posted on Facebook a formula that he had learned sometime ago that is applicable to our present circumstances. Adjust. Adapt. Accept. We all are having to learn how to do that. Life has certainly thrown us a curve. Our routines have been upended and the way we are spending our time is drastically different for what it was just days ago.

In this unusual time when most folks are spending more time at home than normal and options are limited many sources are trying to help us to be entertained. Symphony orchestras are offering concerts online. The Metropolitan Opera have made several operas available for livestreaming. Special sports programming is abundant. Cable networks are letting you watch movies and other special programs. And it is all free.

Last night my wife and I watched a special live musical program presented by the CBS Network- Garth and Trisha in Studio G. These two country music stars, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, sang many of their hit songs in a very casual environment. Just the two of them and Garth’s guitar.

The last song of the program, If Tomorrow Never Comes, reminded us of how important it is to be sure folks know how much we love them. You don’t have to be a country music fan to appreciate the depth of the message for this and all times.

Garth Brooks' First Country Hit "If Tomorrow Never Comes"

Sometimes late at night

I lie awake and watch her sleeping

She”s lost in peaceful dreams

So I turn out the light and lay there in the dark

And the thought crosses my mind

If I never wake up in the morning

Would she ever doubt the way I feel

About her in my heart

 If tomorrow never comes

Will she know how much I loved her

Did I try in every way to show her every day

That she’s my only one

And if my time on earth were through

And she must face this world without me

Is the love I gave her in the past

Gonna be enough to last

If tomorrow never comes

 ‘Cause I’ve lost loved ones in my life

Who never knew how much I loved them

Now I live with the regret

That my true feelings for them never were revealed

So I made a promise to myself

To say each day how much she means to me

And avoid that circumstance

Where there’s no second chance to tell her how I feel

If tomorrow never comes

Will she know how much I loved her

Did I try in every way to show her every day

That she’s my only one

And if my time on earth were through

And she must face this world without me

Is the love I gave her in the past

Gonna be enough to last

If tomorrow never comes

So tell that someone that you love

Just what you’re thinking of

If tomorrow never comes

 

Jamie Jenkins

 * Written by: Kent Evan Blazy, Troyal Garth Brooks

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Downtown Music Publishing