Sunday, June 13, 2010

Heaven on Earth

In hopes of clearing away any distractions, let's start off by reading the bit of the story of Nathan's prophesy to David that got cut from 2 Samuel 12 by the RCL.

11 Thus says the Lord: I will raise up trouble against you from within your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes, and give them to your neighbour, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this very sun.

12 For you did it secretly; but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.

Once again we are left wondering why these edits are being made. Was the prophesy too sexy for Sunday? The story of David and Bathsheba already had enough of that in there as it was. Leaving out the rest of Nathan's prophesy might lead us to forget the sexual sins in 2 Samuel 16,
22 So they pitched a tent for Absalom upon the roof; and Absalom went in to his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.

The stories of David and his problems are powerful reminders of sin, repentance, punishment, and alas, recidivism.

Today's sermon at ECOOS was given by our deacon, Rick Hanners, who did a fine job of sticking to the Gospel (Luke 7:36-8:3). The story of Jesus' dinner at the Pharisee's house where the sinful woman washes the Lord's feet with her tears, and then dries them with her hair, has often been mis-spun by preachers who are distracted by the sensual overtones. Fortunately, the bishop's deacon stuck to his guns and spoke of sin, forgiveness, and compassion.

Freed from distraction, worship today was, like Jesus's dusty feet were for the sinful woman, Heaven on Earth. In a little "Godincidence," "In My World" was playing in my car as I drove home from church today. Here is a solo version from Justin Hayword:



The Moody Blues version was released on "Long Distance Voyager 1981." (Amazon Link)

Even though you often have to ignore a phrase or two (I struck through one below), sometimes secular love songs have amazing parallels to the love we experience with Jesus.

In my world
It's heaven on earth when you're close to me
I could see
That moment of truth when you spoke to me
In my world
It's never too late we can both be free
In my world
It's heaven on earth when you're near

If you knew
The changes I feel that you put me through
And you do
I see in your eyes that you really do
And it's true
It happened so fast that it must be true
In my world
It's heaven on earth when you're near

And I'm only just beginning
To believe what you have done
How you turned it upside down
This world of mine
And it seems while I was looking
It was right in front of me
All the time

In my world
It's heaven on earth when you're close to me
I could see
That moment of truth when you spoke to me
In my world
It's never too late we can both be free
In my world
It's heaven on earth when you're near

'Cos I'm only just beginning
To believe what you have done
How you turned it upside down
This world of mine
And it seems while I was looking
It was right in front of me
All the time

If you knew
The changes I feel that you put me through
And you do
I see in your eyes that you really do
And it's true
It happened so fast that it must be true
In my world
It's heaven on earth when you're near

As far as love songs go, when Heaven comes down to Earth, I tend to get teary eyed too.

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for the video link. I'd forgotten about that song.

    The thing that everyone forgets about David, is that while he sinned constantly, he also humbled himself and God forgave him to the point where he is called "a man after God's heart."

    God's mercies are unfathomable.

    Cheers.

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  2. I gave my sermon a little twist off the David story in order to get to the effects of lack of forgiveness on our children. In any case, the congregation got the whole enchilada, no missing verses.

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  3. Randall,

    David is a remarkable character. Anyone who claims that religion is made up has a hard time explaining why any rational, human religion maker-upper would include characters such as David in their narrative.

    Rob+,

    We are always hardest on our children aren't we? Do you have a link to your sermon?

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  4. UP----I agree.
    We are always hardest on our own children. In my case, I feel like I've done the hard work, the spade work, the tilling of the soil. My child should accept what has already been accomplished. Unfortunately, each generation needs to learn the eternal lessons for itself.

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  5. I was looking for the recording so I could fill in some of the spaces in my written text, but it must not have recorded. So I posted the notes anyway this evening. You can see it at our parish weblog at http://stjohnstulare.wordpress.com .
    Thanks for asking.

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