Posts Tagged ‘Acts’

In February I was faced with the predicament of hiring a Choir Master and organist, something I admittedly knew NOTHING about.  Thanks to God’s grace and a committed and talented search committee, we found Mark and hired him over the summer.  As you can see below, “traditional” worship is far more than pretty music to Mark, but something of rich theological depth and sophistication that he has quite intentionally applied in the selections for this Sunday.  I will be including his e-newsletter on the blog from now on under the special heading “Music Ministry at Trinity”.  Make sure you get to his description of hymn 608 towards the bottom.  Excellent.

Resonet in Laudibus
A weekly newsletter for the Music Ministry of
Trinity Episcopal Church

…to inspire all people through the power of the Gospel
to become living members of the Body of Christ

November 2, 2008
Twenty-fourth Sunday after Trinity
This Week’s Lessons
Acts 27:1, 13-20, 33-38
After a lengthy cruise that can only be described as something between the USS Caine and the Titanic, Paul reassures his companions and convinces them to eat. In breaking bread and sharing fellowship, the entire company receives encouragement; the entire episode is strongly reminiscent of Jesus’s appearance to his disciples on the beach after his resurrection in John 21. Almost all of the hymns and anthems today tie into this bread theme: both metaphorically as God’s sustaining nourishment to his people, and literally as the bread of Christ’s body in the Eucharist.

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pretty interesting stuff…

Throughout the apologetic speeches of Paul, as Luke recounts elements of them for us in Acts, it is apparent that Paul is putting into practice his own stated philosophy of ministry, expressed in some detail in his first Letter to the Corinthian Christians:

Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law.To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings (1 Cor. 1:9:19-23 NIV).

It is clear from these comments that Paul had thought very carefully about his unique calling as the
Apostle to the Gentiles and his role as a loyal son of Israel. To win his own Jewish brothers and sisters to Christ, Paul became as “one under the law”–though he was free in Christ. To the Gentiles who knew not Moses, the law, or Israel’s God, Paul instead became a man subject only to the law of Christ, so that those who were at one time “separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world” might be won to Israel’s Messiah (Eph. 2:12).

Let us be careful to note that Paul was no mere pragmatist, adopting in chameleon-like fashion, the ideology of whatever group he happened to be facing at any given moment. Paul was not concerned with demographics or “success” in the modern American sense of church planting. He was concerned with being faithful to the commission given him by Jesus Christ. (more…)

“But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the Gospel of the grace of God.” (Acts 20.24)