Beliefs

God speaks to us through the songs we sing (COMMENTARY)

Tom Ehrich is a writer, church consultant and Episcopal priest based in New York. He is the president of Morning Walk Media and publisher of Fresh Day online magazine. Photo courtesy of Tom Ehrich

(RNS) The coming of Jesus is about God, and it is about us. If we start with the latter, we might understand the former.

How does God see us? Listen to what we sing.

God sees us as hungry for a “rose” blooming in the desert. A flower we ourselves cannot plant.

God sees us as desperate for a “silent night” of grace and peace. When we cease our strivings and lay down our tools and weapons, we need the Lord of life to lie with us, to “stay by our side ’til morning is nigh.”

God sees us so burned out by labors and bummed out by noise that we ache for stillness. “Still! Still! Still!” cry God’s angels, because God knows we need it. “Joy! Joy! Joy!”

God sees us struggling with the powers of this world. Too much wealth, too much arrogance, too much oppression. In this dark night we yearn to raise our heads. We want to know a better “king” is coming. And with him “salvation” and “healing.”

God sees our sadness and dismay. We cannot hide it in shopping and festivals. God sees us as shepherds caring for children, partners, parents, weak and helpless souls God has given to us.

Ours is lonely duty, unseen by revelers at the inn, maybe shared, maybe alone. This duty leads us outside ourselves: to listen when we are weary, to feed when we are hungry and to love when we feel unloved.

As a new parent, God understood that the world could be a harsh place for children. “Hopes and fears” crowd in on parents, and God sends an “everlasting light” to show the way.

God knows we are afraid. Our world seems to be spinning wildly off course. Whatever God calls this year, we know that 2014 has been a dreadful cycle around the sun. God knows we need a “star of wonder” to guide us. Not to make everything easy, but to give us direction and courage.

God sees all this and more. God sees the fragile parent and weary grandparent caring for the baby in duty that is both lonely and holy. God sees the once-young aching as a life-partner fades into dementia. God sees the parent feeling pride at children’s accomplishments but wanting even more to hold them close, to feel their heartbeat and to take their hand across the street. “O come, O come, O come.”

Tom Ehrich is a writer, church consultant and Episcopal priest based in New York. He is the president of Morning Walk Media and publisher of Fresh Day online magazine. His website is www.morningwalkmedia.com. Follow Tom on Twitter @tomehrich.

Tom Ehrich is a writer, church consultant and Episcopal priest based in New York. He is the president of Morning Walk Media and publisher of Fresh Day online magazine. His website is www.morningwalkmedia.com. Follow Tom on Twitter @tomehrich.

Yes, our hearts are breaking. We face it bravely, and maybe the world doesn’t ever see it. But in the night watch, when the “gloomy clouds of night” reveal our bondage in exile, at that precise moment, we are so close to God that we hear angels “bending to the earth.”

And if we listen closely, we will hear our own hearts reply, “Hallelujah!” Maybe in a whisper, maybe in a shout, whatever we can muster, we speak God’s truth: “The King of kings, the Lord of Lords” will reign forever. We aren’t alone.

Who, then, is God? The one who is with us “forever.”

(Tom Ehrich is a writer, church consultant and Episcopal priest based in New York. He is the president of Morning Walk Media and publisher of Fresh Day online magazine. His website is www.morningwalkmedia.com. Follow Tom on Twitter @tomehrich.)

YS/MG END EHRICH

About the author

Tom Ehrich

Tom Ehrich is a writer, church consultant and Episcopal priest based in New York. He is the author of “Just Wondering, Jesus” and founder of the Church Wellness Project. His website is www.morningwalkmedia.com.

3 Comments

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  • The San bushmen, and other peoples, sing songs of very different gods. Does that mean their gods are really speaking to them too?

    Really, the whole Jesus-sacrifice-salvation story, the foundation of the crazy Christian superstitions, is a steaming pile of nonsense out of the gate. How is it again that an omnipotent being couldn’t do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus’ death a “sacrifice”, when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers?

    It’s also worth asking why such a claimed benevolent, wonderfully kind, “god” has to put us through thousands of years of anxious waiting before “saving” us from a life that he supposedly created. The Christian beliefs are just plain ridiculous.

    Good day, and here’s to a less religious day for you.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
    Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

  • Bob,

    God, whose name is Jehovah, has been very involved with humans through the ages. How do we know that?

    By studying the Bible, God’s Word, we can see that God immediately got involved with mankind through a promise and covenants made through the ages as follows:

    1. The Edenic promise at Genesis 3:15, as follows:

    “And I willput enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise you in thy head; and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

    By means of that Edenic promise, God passed judgment on the Serpent and his offspring, as well as all those who take his side on the issue of God’s right to rule.

    God gave to the offspring of his heavenly woman or organization the authority to destroy Satan, which proved to be Jesus, God’s son. That promise points to God’s kingdom as the means by which God’s original purpose for mankind will be fulfilled. The following covenants advance the outworking of God’s purpose:

    2. Abrahamic Covenant: The parties involved are God and Abraham. Its purpose forms a legal basis for the “offspring” of the “woman” of Genesis 3:15 to rule in the kingdom.

    3. Law Covenant: The parties involved are God and natural Israel. The purpose of this covenant is to protect the “offspring” and leads humans to the Messiah.

    3. Davidic Covenant: The parties involved are God and David. Its purpose establishes that the Messianic King would come from David’s line and that what the kingdom accomplishes will be everlasting. (2 Samuel 7:12, 16)

    4. Covenant for a priest like Melchizedek: The parties involved are God and his son, Jesus. Its purpose is providing a legal arrangement for Jesus, the primary part of the woman’s organization, to be king and priest forever. (Psalm 110:1,2,4; Hebrews 7:1-3; 5:4-6).

    5. New Covenant: The parties involved are God and spiritual Israel. It provides a legal basis for 144,000 Christians, including Jews and Gentiles, to be adopted as sons of God and to form the second part of the kingdom. (Jeremiah 31:31-33; Luke 22:20; Matthew 26:27,28; Romans 8:14-17; 1 Peter 2:9).

    6. Kingdom covenant: The parties involved are Jesus and spiritual Israel. Its purpose is to legally join anointed Christians with Christ to rule as kings and serve as priests in heaven. (Luke 22:28-30; Revelation 3:21; 19:7,8; 21:9; 2 Corinthians 11:2).

    According to Bible prophecy and chronology, God’s kingdom was established in the heavens in 1914; that year started the end of this wicked era and sign of Christ’s presence. If you would like detailed information concerning this, please let me know.

    It is very obvious that God has made arrangements through time for humans to finally enjoy everlasting life on a paradise earth, which will come about by the rule God’s kingdom (Daniel 2:44) through his Edenic promise and the above covenants. God is a real person who truly loves and cares for mankind!

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