When I look over beyond the line and beyond death, to the laughing side of the world, I triumph, and ride upon the high places of Jacob: howbeit, otherways I am a faint, dead-hearted, cowardly man, oft borne down and hungry in waiting for the marriage supper of the Lamb. Nevertheless, I think it is the Lord’s wise love that feeds us with hunger, and makes us fat with wants and desertion.  

(Samuel Rutherford, Loveliness of Christ, 15)

Rutherford’s words are sweet to me. I am so much a coward that I, too, must bank my hope on that day. To be fed with that hunger!

Come, Lord Jesus!

 

Are we more blessed than the virgin Mary?… Luke 11:27-28

Jonathan Edwards writes:

“The hearing and keeping the word of God brings the happiness of a spiritual union and communion with God. ‘Tis a greater blessedness to have spiritual communion with God and to have a saving intercourse with him by the instances of his Spirit and by the exercise of true devotion than it is to converse with God externally, to see the visible representation and manifestations of his presence and glory, and to hear his voice with the bodily ears as Moses did. For in this spiritual intercourse the soul is nigh unto and hath more a particular portion than in any external intercourse.

‘Tis more blessed to be spiritually related to Jesus Christ–to be his disciples, his brethren and the members–than to stand in the nearest temporal relation, than to be his brother or his mother.”

“That Hearing and Keeping the Word of God Renders a Person More Blessed Than Any Other Privilege That Ever God Bestowed on Any of the Children of Men” Unpublished Sermons, ed. McMullen, in Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus, ed. Nancy Guthrie.

This is the word of the prophet: “Unto to us a child is born, unto to us a son is given” (Isa. 9:6). This is for us the hardest point, not so much to believe that he is the son of the virgin and God himself, as to believe that this Son of God is ours. That is where we wilt, but he who feels it has become another man. Truly it is marvelous in our eyes that God should place a little child in the lap of a virgin and that all our blessedness should lie in him. And this Child belongs to all mankind. God feeds the whole world through a Babe nursing at Mary’s breast. This must be our daily exercise: to be transformed into Christ, being nourished by this food. The will the heart be suffused with all joy and will be strong and confident against every assault.

Martin Luther in his Christmas Book

in Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus, ed. Nancy Guthrie, (Wheaton: Crossway, 2008), 26-27.

For Christian worship…

November 12, 2008

And the full revelation of God is absolutely clear: if there is no salvation apart from Jesus Christ, then faith in Jesus Christ is certainly the basis of worship (Allen P. Ross, Recalling the Hope of Glory, 419)

The conclusion of the matter is clear. Worship begins with the response to divine revelation. But if little time of attention is given to the revealed Word of God, read, proclaimed, or taught, then to what do people respond? The result is that worship becomes superficial or sentimental. If the church is truly interested in recapturing the spirit and nature of the prophetic and apostolic ministry of the Word in worship, then there will have to be a greater emphasis placed on reading, teaching, and preaching the Word of God, but it has to be with clarity, accuracy, power, and authority (Ross, 429).

I can imagine a plethora of pastors of who would amen this quote, but who are incognizant as to what changes that may mean to their bulletin. We really need Your help, Holy Spirit. And what more encouragement do we need than that You were sent to help us!