3Crosses Church presents
Saturday, April 13 at 2:30 PM
Sunday, April 14 at 6:00 PM
Thursday, April 18 at 7:30 PM
Friday, April 19 at 7:30 PM
Saturday, April 20 at 2:30 PM
In person sales start Sunday March 10, 2019 after Sunday mornings services
Online sales start Monday, March 11, 2019
Where can I purchase my tickets?
Sundays, in the lobby after church services
In the Church Main Office - Monday - Friday from 9 AM - 4 PM
Online at www.3crosses.org
At the box office the day of presentations, if not sold out.
ALL TICKETS ARE GENERAL SEATING - $5.00 each
Tickets are non-refundable & non-exchangeable.
Ticket holders must be seated fifteen minutes before each performance, at which time any open seats will be made available to others.
**Due to the content of this presentation, it is not recommended for children 5 and under. Free Childcare for ages 3 months – 5 years is available by reservation only - click HERE. Childcare will be provided for all presentations.
3Crosses church - 20600 John Dr. - Castro Valley - 510-537-4690
Reflect - Repent - Renew - Remember
HE IS RISEN!!!
MATTHEW 28: 1-10
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you." So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."
Hallelujah (From Ludwig Van Beethoven's: Christ on the Mount Olives)
Words: Original German text by Franz Xaver Huber
EASTER by Edmund Spenser
MOST glorious Lord of Lyfe! that, on this day,
Didst make Thy triumph over death and sin;
And, having harrowd hell, didst bring away
Captivity thence captive, us to win:
This joyous day, deare Lord, with joy begin;
And grant that we, for whom thou diddest dye,
Being with Thy deare blood clene washt from sin,
May live for ever in felicity!
And that Thy love we weighing worthily,
May likewise love Thee for the same againe;
And for Thy sake, that all lyke deare didst buy,
With love may one another entertayne!
So let us love, deare Love, lyke as we ought,
--Love is the lesson which the Lord us taught.
You loved this world so much,
That you gave your one and only Son,
That we might be called your children too.
Lord, help us to live in the gladness and grace
Of Easter Sunday, everyday.
Let us have hearts of thankfulness
For your sacrifice.
Let us have eyes that look upon
Your grace and rejoice in our salvation.
Help us to walk in that mighty grace
And tell your good news to the world.
All for your glory do we pray, Lord,
"Christ the Lord is risen today, Sons of men and angels say. Raise your joys and triumphs high; Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply." – Charles Wesley (Hymn: "Christ The Lord Is Risen Today")
MUSIC: STABAT MATER DOLOROSA
By Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710-1736)
Click HERE to listen to the music.
Excerpt from "The Everlasting Man" by G.K. Chesterton
"They took the body down from the cross and one of the few rich men among the first Christians obtained permission to bury it in a rock tomb in his garden;
the Romans setting a military guard lest there should be some riot and attempt to recover the body. There was once more a natural symbolism in these natural proceedings; it was well that the tomb should be sealed with all the secrecy of ancient eastern sepulture and guarded by the authority of the Caesars. For in that second cavern the whole of that great and glorious humanity which we call antiquity was gathered up and covered over; and in that place it was buried. It was the end of a very great thing called human history; the history that was merely human. The mythologies and the philosophies were buried there, the gods and the heroes and the sages. In the great Roman phrase, they had lived. But as they could only live, so they could only die; and they were dead.
On the third day the friends of Christ coming at daybreak to the place found the grave empty and the stone rolled away. In varying ways they realized the new wonder; but even they hardly realized that the world had died in the night. What they were looking at was the first day of a new creation, with a new heaven and a new earth; and in a semblance of the gardener God walked again in the garden, in the cool not of the evening but the dawn."
On the Sabbath, Jesus rested.
He was in the grave.
He had finished his work.
To most people's eyes,
It looked as if it were all over.
He was dead and buried.
But only as a seed dies when it is planted in the earth,
Not to decay, but to spring to new life.
Teach us to take refuge in you when we are afraid
Teach us that death is not our end
Teach us to hope always in you
And in the resurrection, the making of all things New.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
"We live and die; Christ died and lived" – John Stott
MUSIC: John Rutter's Requiem - "Out of the Deep" – Psalm 130
Sung by the Kings College Cambridge Choir
Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is my body." And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, "Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom."
Maundy Thursday, often called Holy Thursday, is the last day of freedom Jesus had before he was arrested. Jesus ate the Last supper with his disciples. Jesus washed his disciples' feet to demonstrate humility and demonstrate the love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. After the meal, Jesus went to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane, where he stayed late into the night.
The blessings that we enjoy as Christians come at a cost. Christ's body was broken, and His blood was shed so that we could forever enjoy sweet fellowship and communion with Him. Remember the death of our Lord, and worship Him in the beauty of holiness. To know that we are all loved in such a sacrificial manner should prompt each of us to worship at the feet of Jesus.
You sent your Son into the world,
And before his hour had come,
He washed his disciples' feet.
You had given all things into his hands.
He had come from you, and was going to you,
And what did he do?
He knelt down on the floor,
And washed his friends' feet.
He was their teacher and their Lord,
Yet he washed their feet.
Lord God, help us learn from his example;
Help us to do as he has done for us.
The world will know we are his disciples
If we love one another.
Strengthen our hands and our wills for love
And for service.
Keep before our eyes the image of your Son,
Who, being God, became a Servant for our sake.
All glory be to him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
One God, now and forever.
"Jesus gave us a model for the work of the church at the Last Supper. While his disciples kept proposing more organization- Hey, let's elect officers, establish hierarchy, set standards of professionalism- Jesus quietly picked up a towel and basin of water and began to wash their feet." – Phillip Yancey
MUSIC: ST. MATTHEW PASSION BMV 244
by Johann Sebastian Bach (1727)
PART I – 1-4b Recitative - Evangelist
"There assembled themselves the high priests and the scribes together, and the elders of the people within the palace of the chief priest, whose name was Caiaphas; and there took counsel, how with stealth they might capture Jesus and put him to death. They said however: Not upon the feast, lest from it there be an uproar among the people
The ST. MATTHEW PASSION is divided in scenes or "stations" that follow the dramatic action of the Gospel account. Bach's large choral composition was written to present the Passion, as told in the Gospel of Matthew, in a vespers service on Good Friday. Bach took the Gospel text for the composition from Martin Luther's German translation of Matthew 26 and 27.
MATTHEW 26: 1-5
When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, "As you know, the Passover is two days away-and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified." Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and they schemed to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him. "But not during the festival," they said, "or there may be a riot among the people."
"If man had his way, the plan of redemption would be an endless and bloody conflict. In reality, salvation was bought not by Jesus' fist, but by His nail-pierced hands; not by muscle but by love; not by vengeance but by forgiveness; not by force but by sacrifice. Jesus Christ our Lord surrendered in order that He might win; He destroyed His enemies by dying for them and conquered death by allowing death to conquer Him."
By A.W. Tozer, Preparing for Jesus' Return: Daily Live the Blessed Hope
MUSIC: MESSIAH – by George Frideric Handel (1741)
“How Beautiful Are The Feet” Performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra–Walter Susskind & April Cantello
“How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things.”
Isaiah 52:7 (NIV)
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!"
Romans 10:14-18 (NIV)
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did:
“Their voice has gone out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.”
The gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died for our sins and rose again, eternally triumphant over his enemies, so that there is now no condemnation for those who believe, but only everlasting joy.
God calls our feet beautiful because he has sent us to proclaim this message of peace, hope and eternal life. The preaching of such a Gospel, and bringing such news, makes our feet beautiful!
Many people may not recognize the beauty of gospel messengers at the time, but God delights in those who share the message of salvation. What an incredible gift to share with those around us. God's peace towards mankind, his love for us, his gift of grace and his overwhelming mercy. We have the words that bring life and Jesus has placed His faith in us to share it.
May your feet be beautiful!
“God’s plan for enlarging His kingdom is so simple – one person telling another about the Savior. Yet we’re busy and full of excuses. Just remember, someone’s eternal destiny is at stake. The joy you’ll have when you meet that person in heaven will far exceed any discomfort you felt in sharing the gospel.”– Charles Stanley
“Live in such a way that those who know you, but don’t know God, will come to know God because they know you.”– Unknown
MUSIC: EASTER ORATORIO by J.S. Bach "Sinfonia"
Compassion alludes to kindness and sympathy, but there is something deeper, something even more profoundly powerful, in its meaning.
The origin of the word helps us grasp the true breadth and significance of compassion. In Latin 'compati' means "suffer with." Compassion means someone else's heartbreak becomes your heartbreak. Another's suffering becomes your suffering. True compassion changes the way we live.
The Bible is filled with scripture that shares of a God who has compassion for Israel. It speaks of a Savior who suffers for the world, and it encourages us to live and act compassionately.
The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, Just as in Christ God forgave you.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
PRAYER For Overcoming Indifference
Prayer for Overcoming Indifference
For the sin of silence,
For the sin of indifference,
For the secret complicity of the neutral,
For the closing of borders,
For the washing of hands,
For the crime of indifference,
For the sin of silence,
For the closing of borders.
For all that was done,
For all that was not done,
Let there be no forgetfulness before the Throne of
Let there be remembrance within the human heart;
And let there at last be forgiveness
When your children, O God,
Are free and at peace.
"No matter how low down you are; no matter what your disposition has been; you may be low in your thoughts, words, and actions; you may be selfish; your heart may be overflowing with corruption and wickedness; yet Jesus will have compassion upon you. He will speak comforting words to you; not treat you coldly or spurn you, as perhaps those of earth would, but will speak tender words, and words of love and affection and kindness. Just come at once. He is a faithful friend - a friend that sticketh closer than a brother."
-Dwight L. Moody
A STAINED GLASS WINDOW depicting Jesus preaching to a Crowd of people. It is located in the Cathedral of St. John The Baptist in downtown Charleston (1907)
ARTWORK: Cremona, Italy – The Ascension of the Lord fresco in main apse of Chiesa di San Sigismondo by Camillo Boccaccino 150501546
MUSIC: The Lark Ascending by Vaughan Williams
Based on the poem The Lark Ascending by George Meredith
ACTS 1:10 (MEV)
While they looked intently toward heaven as He ascended,
We can all just imagine what it must have looked like to see Jesus ascend into heaven. Nothing could compare with this amazing vision that was witnessed by the disciples. After His resurrection He was with them for a short time and then ascended to His throne to be with the Father. In the future as believers we can look forward to a time that we also will ascend and "meet Him in the clouds" and so shall we ever be with the Lord. This is a most comforting thought and one that each believer wants and waits for.
In this present time there is also a type of ascension that takes place in our lives. Christ is right now raising us higher and higher in our lives by His Spirit. We go from "glory to glory" as we are transformed more and more into His glorious likeness. This wonderful process never stops, and will not reach its conclusion until we are actually with our Lord. No matter where you find yourself today just remember that as Christ ascended, so will you someday, and right now you are being transformed and raised higher in Christ. Thank the Lord right now for His continued work in your life and that He never gives up on any of us!
Pastor Kevin Ledbetter – Music & Arts @3Crosses Church
2 Corinthians 3:18 (MEV)
But we all, seeing the glory of the Lord with unveiled faces, as in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord
"Renewing the mind is a little like refinishing furniture. It is two-stage process. It involves taking off the old and replacing it with the new. The old is the lies you have learned to tell or were taught by those around you; it is the attitudes and ideas that have become a part of your thinking but do not reflect reality. The new is the truth. To renew your mind is to involve yourself in the process of allowing God to bring to the surface the lies you have mistakenly accepted and replace them with truth. To the degree that you do this, your behavior will be transformed. – Charles Stanley
Music: “IF YE LOVE ME” by Thomas Tallis
performed by John Rutter and the Cambridge Singers
If ye love me,
keep my commandments,
and I will pray the Father,
and he shall give you another comforter,
that he may 'bide with you forever,
e’en the spirit of truth.
John 14:15-17 (NIV)
Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit
“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever — the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
“If I were to ask you to describe your heavenly Father, you’d give me a response. If I were to ask you to tell me what Jesus did for you, you’d likely give a cogent answers. But If I were to ask about the role of the Holy Spirit in your life…? Eyes would duck. Throats would be cleared.
John 14:7 says, “The world cannot accept him, because it does not see him or know him. But you know him, because he lives with you and he will be in you.”
What does the Spirit do? Scripture says He comforts the saved. He convicts the lost. He conveys the truth. Have you ever been convicted? Ever sensed a stab of sorrow for your actions? Understood a new truth? Then you’ve been touched by the Holy Spirit.
What do you know? He’s been working in your life already.”
Max Lucado from “A Gentle Thunder”
“I myself need Thy support, comfort, strength, holiness, that I might be a pure channel of Thy grace, and be able to do something for Thee; Give me then refreshment among Thy people, and help me not to treat excellent matter in a defective way, or bear a broken testimony to so worthy a redeemer, or be harsh in treating of Christ’s death, its design and end, from lack of warmth and fervency. And keep me in tune with Thee as I do this work.”
-An Old Puritan Prayer, taken from “The Valley of Vision”
QUOTE by John Wesley
“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can”
STAIN GLASS IMAGE
South rosette stained glass window in the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, created in 1266. The window is one of the most famous in the world.
GREGORIAN CHANT: "With Great Longing"
The Gregorian Chant Schola --Saint Meinrad Archabbey
PHOTOGRAPHY: ABBEY OF SENANGIE, Provence, France
With Great Longing
And in the joy of the Holy Spirit
We await the Holy Feast of Easter
Deny yourself and follow Christ
With fasting and revive the poor
Clothe the naked and visit the sick
Comfort those who grieve
With Great Longing
And in the joy of the Holy Spirit
We await the Holy Feast of Easter
Put nothing before the love of Christ
Do not act in anger nor bare a grudge
Do not give a false peace nor abandon charity
With Great Longing
And in the joy of the Holy Spirit
We await the holy feast of Easter
Do not return evil for good
Speak the truth with heart and tongue
Cause no hurt but bear hurt with patience
And love those who hate you
With Great Longing
And in the joy of the Holy Spirit
We await the Holy Feast of Easter
"An inner restlessness grows within us when we refuse to get alone and examine our own hearts, including our motives. As our lives begin to pick up the debris that accompanies a lot of activities and involvements, we can train ourselves to go right on, to stay active, to be busy in the Lord's work. Unless we discipline ourselves to pull back, to get alone for the hard work of self-examination in times of solitude, serenity will remain only a distant dream."
– Charles R. Swindoll, (Intimacy with the Almighty)
PSALM 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God"
PRAYER – by St. Augustine (354-430)
Lord Jesus, let me know myself and know You, and desire nothing save only You.
Let me hate myself and love You.
Let me do everything for the sake of You.
Let me humble myself and exalt You.
Let me think of nothing except You.
Let me die to myself and live in You.
Let me accept whatever happens as from You.
Let me banish self and follow You, and ever desire to follow You.
Let me fly from myself and take refuge in You,
That I may deserve to be defended by You.
Let me fear for myself.
Let me fear You, and let me be among those who are chosen by You.
Let me distrust myself and put my trust in You.
Let me be willing to obey for the sake of You.
Let me cling to nothing save only to You,
And let me be poor because of You.
Look upon me, that I may love You.
Call me that I may see You, and for ever enjoy You. Amen.
"We are a peculiar people who somehow feel that the final measure of a person's spirituality is to be gauged by their capacity to go, go, go…for God. On the contrary, our Father calls us to come apart and spend some time in solitude with him." – W. Philip Keller
"In solitude and silence you are learning to stop doing, stop producing, stop pleasing people, stop entertaining yourself, stop obsessing-stop doing anything except to simply be your self before God and be found by him."
The forty days of Lent do not include Sundays, the Lord’s Day, which is always a day of celebration rather than fast. In “Come Sunday” (most famously recorded by Mahalia Jackson in 1958), Duke Ellington captures this sense of Sunday as a day of rest and comfort for the weary and downtrodden.
Lord, dear Lord of love, God almighty
God up above, please look down and see my people through
God, dear God of love, God almighty
God above, please look down and see my people through
I believe the sun and moon will shine up in the sky
When the day is gray
I know it, just clouds passing by
He'll give peace and comfort
To every troubled mind
Come Sunday, oh come Sunday
That´s the day
Often we’ll feel weary
But he knows our every care
Go to him in secret
He will hear your every prayer
Lillies of the valley
They neither toll nor spin
And flowers bloom in spring
And Birds sing
Up from dawn till sunset
Man work hard all the day
Come Sunday, oh come Sunday
That´s the day
Genesis 2:2-3 (ESV)
And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation
Psalm 92:1-15 (ESV)
A Psalm. A Song for the Sabbath.
It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night, to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre. For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy. How great are your works, O Lord! Your thoughts are very deep….
Dear Lord, help me to make every Sabbath about you. Quiet my heart, give rest to my soul, and refocus my spirit—for true renewal comes only from you. Holy Spirit please help me to be intentional with my time and worship, and encourage me to find rest in you alone. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Sabbath ceasing means to cease not only from work itself, but also from the need to accomplish and be productive, from the worry and tension that accompany our modern criterion of efficiency, from our efforts to be in control of our lives as if we were God, from our possessiveness and our enculturation, and, finally, from the humdrum and meaninglessness that result when life is pursued without the Lord at the center of it all. —Marva J. Dawn
When your tongue is silent, you can rest in the silence of the forest. When your imagination is silent, the forest speaks to you. It tells you of its unreality and of the Reality of God. But when your mind is silent, then the forest suddenly becomes magnificently real and blazes transparently with the Reality of God.
Mahalia Jackson (1911-1972) was an American Gospel Singer. Possessing a powerful contralto voice she was referred to as “The Queen of Gospel”. She became one of the most influential gospel singers in the world and was heralded internationally as a singer and civil rights activist. “I sing God’s music because it makes me feel free” Jackson once said about her choice of gospel adding, “It gives me hope. With the blues, when you finish, you still have the blues.”
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
HYMN: O SACRED HEAD, NOW WOUNDED
The words to this hymn were penned by Bernard of Clairvaux who lived from 1091-1153. Bernard founded the Cistercian order of monks in the early 12th century. The words come from his poem Salve Mundi Salutare.
The poem had seven sections, each focusing on a different part of Jesus' body: his feet, knees, hands, side, breast, heart and head.
Paul Gerhardt, a German hymn writer from the 1600s translated the last section of the seven from Latin into German. The music was composed by Hans Leo Hassler, who wrote it for a funeral.
The hymn appears in a 1656 hymnal. John Sebastian Bach used the tune 5 times throughout St. Matthew's Passion.
This hymn is a reminder of what Christ sacrificed for us to free us from sin and give us eternal life.
O SACRED HEAD, NOW WOUNDED
O Sacred Head, now wounded
With grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded
With thorns, thine only crown:
How pale thou art with anguish,
With sore abuse and scorn!
How does that visage languish
Which once was bright as morn!
What thou, my Lord, has suffered
Was all for sinners' gain;
Mine, mine was the transgression,
But thine the deadly pain
Lo, here I fall, my Savior!
'Tis I deserve thy place;
look on with thy favor,
vouchsafe to me thy grace.
What language shall I borrow
To thank thee, dearest friend,
For this thy dying sorrow,
Thy pity without end?
O make me thine forever;
And should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never
Outlive my love for thee.
"When I consider the cross of Christ, how can anything that I do be considered sacrifice?"
"No sacrifice should be too great for Him who gave himself to us."
Musical Recording from Michael W.Smith's album - Hymns II
MUSIC: Bernstein Mass: A Simple Song (Renee Fleming – Sacred Songs)
Click HERE to listen to the music. http://www.musicandarts.3crosses.org https://vimeo.com/325564880
Bernstein Mass: A Simple Song
Sing God a simple song
Make it up as you go along
I will sing the Lord a new song
To praise Him, to bless Him, to bless the Lord.
I will sing His praises while I live
All of my days.
Blessed is the man who loves the Lord,
Blessed is the man who praises Him.
Lauda, Lauda, Laudē
And walks in His ways.
I will lift up my eyes
To the hills from whence comes my help
I will lift up my voice to the Lord
Singing Lauda, Laudē.
For the Lord is my shade,
Is the shade upon my right hand
And the sun shall not smite me by day
Nor the moon by night
Blessed is the man who loves the Lord
Lauda, Lauda, Laudē
And walks in His ways…
Psalm 121 (NIV)
1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth…
Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
"The death of Christ is not only the demonstration of God's love (John 3:16), it is also the supreme expression of Christ's own love for all who receive it as their treasure. The early witnesses who suffered most for being Christians were captured by this fact: Christ 'loved me and gave himself for me' (Galatians 2:20). They took the self-giving act of Christ's sacrifice very personally. They said, 'He loved me. He gave himself for me.'
…Surely this is the way we should understand the sufferings and death of Christ. They have to do with me. They are about Christ's love for me personally. It is my sin that cuts me off from God, not sin in general. It is my hard-heartedness and spiritual numbness that demean the worth of Christ. I am lost and perishing. When it comes to salvation, I have forfeited all claim on justice. All I can do is plead for mercy….
My heart is swayed, and I embrace the beauty and bounty of Christ as my treasure. And there flows into my heart this great reality-the love of Christ for me. So I say with those early witnesses, 'He loved me and gave himself for me.'" –
John Piper (Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came To Die)
MUSIC: Variations on a Shaker Dance from Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copeland. Performed by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra
Sydney Bertram Carter was an English poet, songwriter, folk musician, born in Camden Town, London. He is best known for the song "Lord of the Dance" (1967), set to the tune of the American Shaker song "Simple Gifts".
THE LORD OF THE DANCE by Sydney Bertram Carter (1915-2004)
I danced in the morning
When the world was begun,
And I danced on the moon
And the stars and the sun,
And I came down from heaven
And I danced on the earth,
I had my birth.
Dance then, wherever you may be,
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he,
And I'll lead you all wherever you may be,
And I'll lead you all in the dance, said he.
I danced for the scribe
And the Pharisee
They would not dance
And they would not follow me.
I danced for the fishermen,
For James and John,
They came with me
And the dance went on.
I danced on a Friday
When the sky turned black-
It's hard to dance
With the devil on your back.
They buried my body
And they thought I'd gone,
But I am the dance
And I still go on
They cut me down
And I leap up high:
I am the life
That'll never, never die;
I'll live in you
If you'll live in me –
I am the Lord
Of the Dance said he.
Let them praise His name with dancing and make music to him with timbrel and lyre.
Thank you Lord Jesus.
Thank you for calling my name, extending your hand and inviting me
not only to be with you but to partner with you in the work you are doing in the world.
Help me to love you the way you deserve to be loved, The way your Father loves you.
Like you are to him, I pray that you would be the delight of my life.
I pray that you would become my deepest hunger and my most satisfying food,
my most intense thirst and my most refreshing drink.
I know that if I just catch the slightest glimpse of your face
Or hear the most distant echo of your voice that I will love you more.
So I ask for eyes to see all that in some way reflects you
And ears to hear all that in some way speaks of you.
I pray I could love you more each day than I did the day before
Until, at last, metaphor becomes reality,
when I will see you face-to-face, fall into your arms, and dance!
"I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance, Never settle for the path of least resistance…Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance, And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance…I hope you dance." – Lee Ann Womack "I Hope You Dance"
Music: Wachet auf, ruft uns die stimme (BWV 140 - also known as Sleeper's Wake by Johann Sebastian Bach
Romans 12:1-2 (MEV)
I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service of worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
One of the important keys to a healthy spiritual life is the daily renewing of our mind and heart. Our spirit needs refreshing on a regular basis just like the like Israelites in the wilderness needed fresh manna everyday. Without this we will find ourselves growing distant from the Lord and our hearts can become cold and indifferent to Him.
This refreshing can come in many forms but primarily we need to seek His presence, reflect on His love, and meditate on His Word. The old puritans used to "practice the presence of the Lord". If we do this everyday then we will find our understanding of His love will be tangible and real in our lifes. There are times when we can grow somewhat cold in our relationship with Christ, but it is comforting to know that He wants us to be close to Him and He is always to be found when we diligently seek Him.
Do you need renewal today? You will find a God waiting for you with His arms open, ready and willing to restore a beautiful relationship with Him. What an amazing God!
Pastor Kevin Ledbetter – Music & Arts at 3Crosses
"We must know before we can love. In order to know God, we must often think of Him; and when we come to love Him, we shall then also think of Him often, for our heart will be with our treasure." – Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God
"Let us occupy ourselves entirely in knowing God. The more we know Him, the more we will desire to know Him. As love increases with knowledge, the more we know God, the more we will truly love Him. We will learn to love Him equally in times of distress or in times of great joy." – Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God
CHRIST THE REDEEMER
MUSIC: "Attende Domine" 10th Century Mozarabic Hymn - Hereford Cathedral 1982 (Roy Massey)
Hear us, O Lord, have mercy upon us: for we have sinned against thee.
To thee, Redeemer, on thy throne of glory:
lift we our weeping eyes in holy pleadings: listen, O Jesu, to our supplications.
O thou chief cornerstone, right hand of the Father:
way of salvation, gate of life celestial:
cleanse thou our sinful souls from all defilement.
God, we implore thee, in thy glory seated:
bow down and hearken to thy weeping children:
pity and pardon all our grievous trespasses.
Sins oft committed, now we lay before thee:
with true contrition, now no more we veil them:
grant us, Redeemer, loving absolution.
Innocent captive, taken unresisting:
falsely accused, and for us sinners sentenced,
save us, we pray thee, Jesu, our Redeemer.
Our Redeemer, the LORD of hosts is His name, The Holy One of Israel.
In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.
Colossians 1: 13-14
For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
"The work of redemption was accomplished by Christ in His death on the cross and has in view the payment of the price demanded by a holy God for the deliverance of the believer from the bondage and burden of sin. In redemption the sinner is set free from his condemnation and slavery to sin." – John F. Walvoord
The Art Deco statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, created by French sculptor Paul Landowski and built by the Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa, in collaboration with the French engineer Albert Caquot. A symbol of Christianity across the world, the statue has also become a cultural icon of both Rio de Janeiro and Brazil. The statue is 125 feet tall and was completed in 1931.
"REPENTANCE" by George Herbert (1593-1633)
Lord, I confess my sin is great:
Great is my sin. Oh! gently treat
With thy quick flower, thy momentary bloom;
Whose life still pressing
Is one undressing,
A steady aiming at a tomb.
Man's age is two hours' work, or three;
Each day doth round about us see.
Thus are we to delights: but we are all
To sorrows old,
If life be told
From what life feeleth, Adam's fall.
O let thy height of mercy then
Compassionate short-breathed men,
Cut me not off for my most foul transgression:
I do confess
My God, accept of my confession.
Sweeten at length this bitter bowl,
Which thou hast pour'd into my soul;
Thy wormwood turn to health, winds to fair weather;
For if thou stay,
I and this day,
As we did rise, we die together.
Ephesians 1:7-8 (NIV)
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding,
Hebrews 9:28 (NIV)
so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
John 1:9 (NIV)
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
"To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you." – C.S. Lewis
O THE DEEP, DEEP LOVE OF JESUS
Performed by Sovereign Grace (From the Album "Come Weary Saints")
This well-known hymn was written by the London merchant Samuel Trevor Francis (1834-1925). Francis had a spiritual turning point as a teenager, contemplating suicide one night on a bridge over the River Thames. Experiencing a renewal of faith, he went on to author many poems and hymns and was a preacher in addition to his merchant career.
The song compares Jesus' love to the ocean in scope, emphasizing the limitless, unchanging, and sacrificial nature of God's affections for the singer and all of humanity.
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches o'er His loved ones, died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o'er them from the throne!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, love of every love the best!
'Tis an ocean vast of blessing, 'tis a haven sweet of rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, 'tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee!
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
"God loves each of us as if there were only one of us. - Augustine