Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Grace And My Father's Birthday

Today's my father's Birthday. He would have been 20. They count better in Heaven than they do here.

Once a month, I'm allowed to help lead worship at my church. It's an honor for a lot of reasons, and I'm confident it's also what I should be doing. God has given Jen and me the pipes to sing, a heart for worship, and I have a pedigree for it. My dad taught me all I know about theology, and my brother went to Seminary. And now I have a nephew in the Sem. It's the family business.

For those of you who knew my Dad, perhaps his greatest ministerial gift was teaching. Any one of his confirmands could conjure up the heart he'd draw on the chalkboard to represent God, breaking down the most complex concepts into simple images.

So, a few weeks ago I submitted the songs to be sung for that week's worship. I learned that the text was going to be about the Transfiguration, and after a lot of searching around, I found myself cornered. I really wanted to sing "Show Me Your Glory" by Third Day, but that would cause some work for us as a group. It would end up being a special music song, and that was something we had already decided on.

So Jen and I began searching for music that focused on revelation, seeing, opening our eyes. Jen began searching through versions of music, listening to types of songs and she stumbled across this video (I'd embed it but YouTube forbids it for this particular video.)

It was very different, but it solved a different dilemma we were encountering - no drummer - and it was just quirky and different and repetitive enough to work. Plus, it included a bit of eschatology in it with the inclusion of "I'll Fly Away." Might be fun. I submitted the service and set about prepping the group to do it.

A few days later, I received an email telling me the lyrics to that song were not appropriate for worship, because it implies that we choose to let Christ in.

I wandered so aimless
Life filled with sin
I wouldn't let my dear Savior in
Then Jesus came
Like a stranger in the night
Praise the Lord I saw the light

I saw the light
I saw the light
No more in darkness
No more in night
Now I'm so happy
No sorrow in sight
Praise the Lord
I saw the light

Just like a blind man
I wandered along
Worries and fears
I claimed for my own
Then like the blind man
That God gave back his sight
Praise the Lord I saw the light

Some bright morning when this life is over
I’ll fly away
To a place on God’s celestial shore
I’ll fly away
I’ll fly away, oh glory
I’ll fly away.
When I die, hallelujah by and by
I’ll fly away
I’ll fly away

hmm. I pulled the song, but I did let them know the author clearly chooses nothing but sin and to walk away from the cross. I quote scripture and Luther and made my case. I was disappointed it was dealt with that way.

It's an image my Dad drew for us over and over. Of a cross with a sinner facing away from it. The only direction the sinner would walk, Dad would draw, is away from the cross. He would never turn around.

I wandered along
Worries and fears
I claimed for my own

 "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. " 1 Corinthians 2:14
"The carnal mind is enmity against God." Romans 8:7

It isn't, Dad would draw/teach, until the Holy Spirit turns that person around that they can actually even see the cross. See the light.

So, yeah, I took and still do take it personally. My Dad taught me well. I know the difference. I'm glad I have his drawings of His love on my heart, and understand grace and Lutheran theology.

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