Psalm 69:19-20, Thy rebuke hath broken His heart (12/17/12)
One of the central tenets of the Christian faith is that Jesus knows what we’re going through, because he’s been through it. No sorrow is too heavy for Jesus to understand, and because he understands, he is able to provide the comfort that no one else can.
Thy rebuke hath broken His heart: He is full of heaviness. He looked for some to have pity on Him, but there was no man, neither found He any to comfort him.
Lamentations 1:11b-13, Behold, and see (12/18/12)
My main advice is never to read Lamentations on a cloudy day or after sundown. At the time Jeremiah wrote, Jerusalem was under siege by the Babylonians, and her people were starving. The writer of the lyrics for “The Messiah” compares Jesus’ sorrow on the cross to the terrible grief of the people of Jerusalem.
Lamentations 1:12b Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto [His] sorrow.
Isaiah 53:7-9, He was cut off (12/19/12)
Part II of “The Messiah” begins, “Behold the Lamb of God,” and it continues a few songs later with “All we, like sheep, have gone astray.” Today’s aria returns to the image of the Messiah as the lamb, although you must read the verse in context to know that! Again the innocent lamb bears the punishment for the sins of the people, just like the sacrificial lambs we read about in Leviticus
Isaiah 53:8 … He … was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of [Thy] people was he stricken.
Psalm 16:8-11, But Thou didst not leave (12/20/12)
The Bible tells us much more about how we should live than about where we go after we die, but it’s worth knowing that Sheol and Hell aren’t exactly the same. We normally think of Hell as a place of torment and possibly of punishment, although scripture varies on whether it is fiery, cold, dark, or merely separate from God. Sheol is even less well described in the Bible. It seems to be a rather shadowy place, neither especially good nor especially bad, where the ancient Jews expected everyone to go. The psalmist was ahead of his time in not expecting to stay there.
Psalm 16:10 For thou [didst] not leave my soul in hell; [nor didst] thou suffer [Thy] Holy One to see corruption.
Psalm 24:7-10, Lift up your heads (12/21/12)
In ancient times, any city worth mentioning had walls and gates to protect the people from stray marauders and enemy armies. The psalmist tells the gates, “Look up! The LORD, the king of the heavenly armies, is coming. You are the ones who get to let him in!”
More of Handel's “The Messiah” will be coming soon.
7 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
8 Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.
9 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory.
Comfort Ye My People
For behold, darkness shall cover the earth
He shall feed His flock
Thy rebuke hath broken His heart
Unto which of the angels
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St. John’s United Methodist Church,
2626 Arizona NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87110
Traditional worship services are held Sundays at 8:15 and
11:00 a.m. in the sanctuary. Casual worship services are held Sundays at
9:30 a.m. in the Family Life Center.
are held monthly on the second Saturday at 5:00 p.m. in the sanctuary. St. John’s feels especially called to the worship of God and to the service of our neighbors through our music program
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