(originally delivered as a Christmas Eve devotional at Sun River Church, Rancho Cordova, on December 24, 2019)
Let’s talk about the angels and the shepherds, and the song, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. First, in case you’re not sure, the word “Hark” basically means: Listen up! Check it out! This is important! You know the word, because of the song. But you probably don’t use it in your everyday language. It’s kind of an interesting word though. It’s almost onomatopoeic. Yup, that’s a real word, too. It means “a word that sounds like what it means.” Like, “bang,” or “sizzle,” or “bark.” Hark! It definitely gets your attention. Especially when yelled. Or when coming out of the mouth of an angelic being!
But what about “Herald”? That’s not a real common word these days, either. No, the song is not called Hark the Herald Angels Sing because the lead Angel singer was named Harold. The word “Herald” means to proclaim or announce. This is why so many newspapers have the word Herald in their name. The Daily Herald, the Herald News. These angels were proclaiming the most important news ever.
But what about the shepherds? Why shepherds? Continue reading
It’s gotta be one of the most popular songs on Christian radio right now, and probably one of the top songs of the year (or two or three years). Hillsong United’s “Touch The Sky”, off their 2015 album Empires. It’s an extremely passionate and poetic song that seems to be resonating with many Christ-following souls. So I’ve been eager to sing the song myself, and to lead others in worship with this song. But when I began to chart out the song I had to stop and think about whether these lyrics were really appropriate for congregational singing. Continue reading
Here’s another good song for “marinating” in the presence of the Holy Spirit. It’s extremely repetitive(!)… but sometimes it’s good to just sit in one place and soak it in. This song has plenty of room to breath, space to listen. Listen for God’s voice.
Also, it’s got a cool throw back homage to an old David Gray song called Babylon – a totally secular song, but I love redeeming lyrics that were intended for a lover and stealing them for the original lover: the lover of our souls. Continue reading
I was struck by this song again today. I’ve loved it since I first heard it, and it means no less to me today than it did years ago. I love the space that is created within this song. Space to breath and to listen for God and to simply be still and know that He is God.
He is above all else. He is above your light and momentary troubles. He goes beyond the current circumstances, beyond this city, this country. He extends beyond this year, this century, this millennia. He is outside this time in history. He stretches out into eternity, His glory is over all the creation here on earth and in the universe. His glory is incredible! His glory shines forever. Praise be to the Lord!
This Shane and Shane song has been a favorite since I got the album several months ago and I’ve just got to write about it and share it with you now.
One of my favorite passages in scripture is Mark 9:14-29 when Jesus heals a boy possessed by an impure spirit. The boy’s father brings him to Jesus to be healed. He explains the symptoms and passionately begs Jesus to heal his son. He explains that he brought his son to Jesus’ disciples first but they were unable to heal the boy, and at this point in the man’s story Jesus interrupts and exclaims “you unbelieving generation! How long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you?” Then the boy’s father asks Jesus, “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
IF? IF you can do anything? That’s almost a dare that God can’t resist! I’m tempted to use this kind of statement next time I really want something from God… “Hey God, you probably can’t do this thing, it’s probably too difficult for you, but could you maybe try?” Just to see God dramatically prove His sovereignty and majesty. Continue reading