“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:3) The sermon on the Mount describes what human life and human community looks like when they come under the gracious rule of King Jesus… Still today the indispensable condition of receiving the kingdom of God is to acknowledge our spiritual poverty… Thus, … Continue reading Reflections on “The Poor in Spirit”
Have you ever wondered why singing is such a prominent feature in corporate worship? Singing serves as a way to bless and thank our God for who He is and for all that He has done to love and rescue us. Singing our Lord’s praise is a primary way that we enthrone Him in our … Continue reading How Singing God’s Praise Changes Us
Martin Luther learned a powerful lesson that, when power-hungry, religious people are threatened, they will even use the Scriptures (in his case the Psalms) to assail and assault you. This should not be a novel insight since the Devil misquoted Psalm 91 in tempting Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4:5-6). It is interesting to note … Continue reading The Indictment of Martin Luther – “A Wild Boar”
Martin Luther encouraged praying the Psalms by providing the common people with singable versions of metrical psalms in their own language. He acknowledged that, the common and ancient custom of the Christian church [was] to sing Psalms. St. Paul himself instituted this in I Corinthians 14:15 and exhorted the Colossians [3:16] to sing spiritual songs … Continue reading Martin Luther & Singing the Psalms
Behold, Lord, I am an empty vessel that needs to be filled. My Lord, fill it. I am weak in faith; Strengthen me. I am cold in love; Warm me and make me fervent that my love may go out to my neighbor. I do not have a strong and firm faith; at times I … Continue reading Prayer of Confession by Martin Luther
On Sunday, October 29th, we will celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. We remember on this day that Martin Luther began a process that resulted in the recovery of the biblical gospel. Many congregations will recall the efforts of Martin Luther and will sing his famous hymn based on Psalm 46 entitled "A Mighty … Continue reading Martin Luther & The Courage to Face Your Fears
God’s Fair and Glorious Gift “Music is a fair and glorious gift of God. I would not for the world forego my humble share of music. Singers are never sorrowful, but are merry, and smile through their troubles in song. Music makes people kinder, gentler, more staid and reasonable. I am strongly persuaded that after … Continue reading Martin Luther’s Reflection on Music
The lovely words of the Irish hymn-writer, George Croly serve as a simple reminder of why we desperately need the Holy Spirit poured out upon us: Spirit of God, descend upon my heart, wean it from earth, through all its pulses move; Stoop to my weakness, mighty as Thou art, and make me love Thee … Continue reading When the Spirit of God Descends Upon Your Heart
Martin Luther launched the great Reformation when he nailed “The Ninety-Five Theses” to the door of the Wittenberg Cathedral on October 31, 1517. Since then, many protestant churches commemorate this day on the Sunday closest to Reformation Day (October 31) each year. This year we celebrate Reformation Day on Sunday, October 29th. Why should you … Continue reading Why Celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation?
In the little town of Wittenberg, Germany on October 31, 1517, a priest nailed a challenge to debate on the church door. No one may have noticed then, but within the week, copies of his theses would be discussed throughout the surrounding regions; and within a decade, Europe itself was shaken by his simple act. … Continue reading What inspired Luther to recover the biblical gospel?