WHAT A DAY! It is a very personal day for me as I had the opportunity and privilege to baptize my son Maxwell today! I can remember the day, actually the week that Maxwell asked Christ into his life. We were doing our morning devotions as a family and the subject matter was Christ’s sacrifice so that we can have everlasting life with Him. The terminology that was used was “asking Jesus into your heart”…well for an 8 year old that is scary. Max asked about it, he was very curious and understood what Jesus did, but he was a frightened with the thought of having Jesus in his heart. His response was that it would hurt. Becky and I both wanted him to pray so badly that morning, but we knew he wasn’t ready. We then spent the rest of the week explaining to him further that it wouldn’t hurt to invite Jesus in your life! One week later Max was ready and in our kitchen standing in a circle holding hands as a family we had the opportunity to lead Maxwell to Christ together! Now Becky and I could have stopped there and thought “awesome, both our children are believers in Christ, we can check that off our list!” But that is not the case as parents, yes Lauren and Maxwell are believers in Christ…NOW starts the journey of becoming developing followers of Christ. You see we as parents have a responsibility to help that journey along, especially in its beginning! And so another journey begins for my son today, and that includes the body of Christ as they too take part in this journey with Max!
I guess what I want to remind you of today as a parent, but not just to parents, but to grandparents, friends, church members we all have a part in the spiritual journey of one another! We all need to encourage, help, and walk along side each other as we strive as developing followers of Christ!
WHAT A DAY! To spend time focusing the worship on the challenge as we sing “this is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior, All the day long!” God is our hope, He deserves our worship all day long, every day! “Sing like never before, Oh my soul!” “And on that day when my strength is failing, the end draws near and my time has come, still my soul will sing your praise unending! Ten thousand years and then forever more!”
WHAT A DAY! What a day that will be when we find ourselves before the Savior! Before the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob! We ended the morning of worship focusing on the return of Christ, but also being challenged that our worship must happen ALL THE TIME, in everything that we do and say! I have included the story behind the song “Days of Elijah” because it helps you understand more clearly that as followers of Christ, when we make that decision, we have decided to live a life of worship, worshipping God each and every moment!
Robin Mark, the author and composer of “Days of Elijah” explains this incredible song as “generally and principally a song of ‘hope.’” At a young age Robin Mark was very influence by the Old Testament people and their stories…how these stories can be used to teach and represent the character of God.
I quote: “So, in essence, it was not written as a prophetic song, or to reflect Biblical prophecy as such—it was written using the ‘foreshadowing’ (to be a sign of something to come) events and peoples of the Scriptures as representatives of the days we now live in”.
While watching current events on television Robin was moved by the truth that God “was very much in control and that the days we are living in are special times when He requires Christians to be filled with integrity and to stand up for Him just like Elijah did, particularly with the prophets of Baal.
‘These are Elijah’ days!’” Elijah felt alone and isolated in his culture, but God told him to stand up and speak for Him! We also need to be a holy and just people, thus the reference to the “days of your servant Moses”, meaning that righteousness and right living is important in all our attitudes and works. Remember we live under grace and not law, but the righteousness that comes by faith can be no less than the moral law that Moses brought direct from God. Our righteousness is in Christ and in Christ is the fulfillment of the Law.
“Days of great trial, of famine, darkness and sword” is a reflection of the apparent times in which we live when still thousands of people die every day from starvation, malnutrition, war, and disease!
The second verse refers to the restoration of unity. Unity of the body of believers, this is what Jesus prayed for—“that they may be one even as I and the Father are one…” by the reference to Ezekiel’s prophetic vision of the valley of the dry bones becoming flesh and being knit together.
Robin says “There are lots of interpretations of this picture, but one of a united church rising up in unity and purpose, is a powerful call on us in these day.”
Think about that for us here! Especially for us here at First B…a UNITED CHURCH…IMAGINE THE IMPACT WE CAN HAVE UNITED IN THIS COMMUNITY!!!! AND WORLD!!!!!
When the song refers to David “rebuilding the temple of praise” he is referring to the fact that David was used by God to introduce a revised form of worship, praise, and thanksgiving. First, David’s little tent which he pitched around the Ark of the Covenant, the presence of God, and then the temple that Solomon built. This worship, unlike the Mosaic Tabernacle, involved many people being able to come into God’s presence and worship Him openly. Praise and worship before the presence of God just like David enjoyed!
Finally the “days of the harvest” points towards what the purpose of the Christian is to do, to go into ALL the world and make disciples of all nations!
The song culminates with the words “There’s no god like Jehovah” which Robin did not explain, but I think you can look at the body of the song and take what he said earlier in his explanation: “God is still in control today as He was then…I look at it as a point in the song where proclamation is merited and there is no god like the God of the Old Testament, New Testament, the same God as today!
SO HERE ARE THE THEMES OF THE VERSES:
DECLARATION…RIGHTEOUSNESS…UNITY… AND WORSHIP!
The chorus is the ultimate declaration of hope…Christ’s return!
Theologians and Bible commentators believe that Israel never properly celebrated this particular 50th year jubilee, and that it will only be properly celebrated when Christ returns. Robin says “The might be true, but I reckon that a Jubilee is an apt description of what happens when Christ comes into anyone’s life at any time; debts are cancelled and a captive is set free!
Now, if that doesn’t convince you that God used Robin Mark to write this incredible song…consider the fact that he wrote it in 30 minutes between the two services, in the kitchen of his church, and the congregation sang it during the second service.
Robin concluded his remarks on the song with this: “I believe I wrote what God was telling me to write and He seems to have used the song in many ways for many people.”
A SONG OF HOPE…
FOR OUR TIME, FOR US HERE…
A HOPE THAT WE CAN DECLARE…
A HOPE THAT WE LIVE RIGHTEOUS LIVES…
A HOPE THAT WE COMMIT TO UNITY BOTH HERE AS A FAMILY AND WITH FELLOW FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST…
A HOPE THAT WE WORSHIP GOD…NO MATTER WHAT THE STYLE OR PREFERENCE…
WE MOVE BEYOND THAT AND REALIZE THAT ALL THAT WE DO IS DONE AS WORSHIP!