Friday, April 30, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Joni Mitchell was interviewed recently and had some unkind things to say about Dylan. To wit.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Recite the text.
The word of the Lord.
And as far as words of the Lord go, not too shabby. If texts are mountains, this is a Himalaya no matter how you measure it. And fortunately for us, this is one of our texts. It’s the text, after all, that we list on our birth certificate in Churches of Christ. It says on the cornerstone, “This building erected 1954, this church established 33 AD.” Acts 2. It’s our text. We are, proudly and for good reason, Acts 2 Christians.
I saw you mouthing the words when we got to verse 38. Brothers, what shall we do. Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized”…and some other stuff…"and 3,000 were added that day to the church.”
So great. Doesn’t that make you want more? Create some longing for a day like that, for some Pentecost? Gotta get me some Pentecost.
Repent and be baptized. These words are so central to this chapter. What else is there to do in the wake of the appearing of the great and glorious day of the Lord? Repent. Which is different than, “Be your best self now!” This is “turn!” A new world has arrived, one spinning in a different direction that the world afforded us by other Lords. There’s simply no way to continue in the same direction and welcome this new world. Repent.
And make no mistake about it, the appearing of a new world is what this day is all about. These men aren’t drunk. This is God’s word through the prophet Joel come to life. The great and glorious day of the Lord. The pouring out of power from on high—the same power that raised Jesus from the dead poured out on sons and daughters, young and old, slaves both male and female (in case you missed it). And with it a new dispensation of speech. A day when the gospel becomes the universal language of the whole world, when everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
And this day has lived in the hearts of some for a long time. Lived in their hearts like an ache. Like a key change. Like … (help me here)
People like Simeon, whose old, watery eyes were looking for the consolation of Israel. It was revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would see God’s anointed one—the one who would end their long humiliation at the hands of other powers, and bring Israel back to the center of God’s redemptive purposes for all nations. Listen to him. You can hear the weight of his longing, “My eyes have seen your salvation! A light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory to your people Israel.”
Or Simeon’s counterpart Anna. A prophet, Luke calls her, of great age, living in the temple, praising God and preaching to anyone who will listen about the redemption of Jerusalem. 84 years of anticipation for the day when Jerusalem would rise above every hill and become the mountain of the Lord’s instruction for the nations. Her eyes creased with the wrinkles of a life spent fasting and praying night and day out of a hunger to sing with full throat, “Zion, o glorious Zion!”
Simeon and Anna, filled with the Holy Spirit, living, breathing billboards for the future, forerunners of Pentecost, a prophesying son and daughter, harbingers of a new day, desire set deep in their hearts for more, for more—a new day bursting with all the promise of God.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Traveling tomorrow, so a little note before I go on Jakob Dylan's new cd, Women and Country. I haven't quite absorbed it yet, but so far I like it, and I think better than his previous solo album, Seeing Things. That's already saying something.