Bible Reading for July 4th

Today is a national holiday, so the Bible reading schedule is taking a day off. Instead, enjoy this fine video!

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The Interest on Your Debt

I don’t listen to much Christian music. That’s not to say I don’t like Christian music; I like the hymns we sing at my church. I love all sorts of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, like Colossians 3:16 mentions. I just don’t listen to much of the “contemporary Christian music” that’s around. It’s just not my thing. I think that’s because my “cheeziness detector” is set to extra-sensitive. And a lot of those songs just hit me as cheezy. (I’m not sure how to define cheezy; but I think I know it when I see it!)

So, I usually listen to popular music while I’m getting work done. It helps me concentrate on what I’m doing. Every once in a while, though, a specific song will stick out to me and really make me concentrate on its lyrics.

One of those songs lately was “City With No Children” by the rock band Arcade Fire. I guess the song probably jumped out at me because I’m preaching on the sermon on the mount, and the sermon on the mount is mentioned in the song. Here’s the section in question:

You never trust a millionaire quoting the sermon on the mount
I used to think I was not like them but I’m beginning to have my doubts
My doubts about it

When you’re hiding underground
The rain can’t get you wet
But do you think your righteousness could pay the interest on your debt?
I have my doubts about it

The part that really gets me, if you can’t guess, is the last two lines. Do you think your righteousness could pay the interest on your debt? Of course it couldn’t. Our own righteousness can contribute nothing toward our debt of sin. On our own all we could hope to pay is the punishment of death and hell forever. But Jesus paid our full debt. In his life, death, and resurrection, he has given us the complete payment for our sins and won us eternal life!

I have no idea if this has anything to do with what Arcade Fire was saying in this song. But it’s interesting to think about. I’m posting a video below of what is really just the audio of this song, in case you’re interested in hearing it.

 

A Social Network Christmas

Christmas blessings to all reading this! Christ is born! God has come to save his people!

Ok, I realize there are only so many cutesy Christmas videos that one can stomach each season. I’ve already shared one, but I have one more for you to watch.

Again, it has it’s cutesy elements, but don’t roll your eyes too much at this video as it presents the Christmas story as if it happened on facebook. Instead, see what this video does well: it shows how the people in the biblical account were real people, and it explores the emotions they were / might have been feeling when these amazing events took place. Plus, the music is a bit better in this video than the last one.

One more time: merry Christmas! To us a child is born!

 

Digital Nativity

This video has been posted and reposted to countless places already, but in case you’re one of the few who hasn’t seen it, here you go!

It’s a fun video not meant to be taken too seriously, so keep that in mind.

Two things I can’t resist mentioning though: why did they pick jingle bells as the background music? Is that really the best they could come up with? Also, the “moral” at the end of the video is really lame, I can’t even stomach retyping it here. Let’s just say it’s not really what Christmas is about!

What Are the Lutheran Confessions?

I consider myself a confessional Lutheran. Well, to ask a good Lutheran question, “What Does This Mean?”

It means, first and foremost, that I use the Bible as the source and norm of all true teaching. What I teach and what I believe is what God teaches me in the Bible. There I find the truth of the Triune God, my sin, and God’s rescuing me through the person and work of God the Son, my Savior, Jesus Christ. All of God’s Word centers on him, and every teaching points back to him.

So…why do we need the Lutheran Confessions, then? I ran across a video that has shown up several places around the internet in the past few weeks. The man in the video, Pastor Jonathan Fisk of the LCMS, attempts to answer some questions about and to show the importance of the Lutheran Confessions. And he does a pretty good job of it!

Don’t let the length of the video scare you off. It goes really fast with Pastor Fisk’s informal and humorous style. Seriously, check it out!

Hope you liked it. Check out more on (and read) the Lutheran Confessions at http://bookofconcord.org. Also, you can check out a quick summary of the various documents in the Lutheran Confessions here.