Anne's First Post, Part 2
Thank you, kirnhorner2001, Adam Roe, and Dan at Necessary Roughness for your words of encouragement to my brother, Frank.
Frank on 03/08/08, posted the notice of my husband’s death; Frank said that my husband he had earned the right to rest after years of being sick. It was well into the wee hours of the morning after a long night of waiting for the last breath, and my brother misspoke. It was, of course, Christ who bestowed the right to rest on him via his sacrifice.
If works could buy our way to Glory, however, this man of mine would enter because of his simple faith in God. He was longsuffering, never complained when his life was filled with pain and suffering and discouragement. He showered the world with random acts of kindness and pointed people to live Godly lives through the gracious Godly way he traveled his road. The world was a better place for this man having been here. He was a loving father, a beloved husband and a faithful man of God.
LongEyeMoose - You said that Lutherans communicate their love for Christ through vocation, not by singing love songs.
Have you read the Psalms, dear friend? Have you not seen the admonitions to lift up to the Lord a joyful noise? To lift up Holy hands? To enter into his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise?
Jonathan Edwards wrote, “The things of religion are so great, that there can be no suitableness in the exercises of our hearts, to their nature and importance, unless they be lively and powerful. In nothing is vigor in the actings of our inclinations so requisite, as in religion, and in nothing is lukewarmness so odious.”
I refer you to 1 Cor 13:3. “…if I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, and have not love, I gain nothing.”
John Piper has written: “One thing is for sure, love cannot be equated with sacrificial action. …This is a powerful antidote to the common teaching that love is not what you feel, but what you do. The good of this popular teaching is the twofold intention to show (1) that mere warm feelings can never replace actual deeds of love (James 2:16, 1 John 3:18) and 2) that efforts of love must be made even in the absence of the joy that one might wish were present. But it is careless and inaccurate to support these 2 truths by saying that love is simply what you do, and not what you feel. …..a definition of love that takes God into account and also includes the feelings that should accompany the outward acts of love: love is the overflow of joy that gladly meets the needs of others. ….That is why a person can give his body to be burned and not have love. Love is the overflow of joy – IN GOD! It is not duty for duty’s sake or right for right’s sake. …It is first a deeply satisfying experience of the fullness of God’s grace, and then a doubly satisfying experience of sharing that grace with another person.“
Piper in his book, Desiring God, states that “the chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying him forever… now it becomes clear why it is not idolatrous and man-centered to say that our emotions are ends in themselves. It is not man-centered because the emotions of our worship are centered on God. We look away from ourselves to Him, and only then do the manifold emotions of our heart erupt in worship….He alone can satisfy the heart’s longing to be happy…..”
So LongEyeMoose , allow me to put forth to you that Jesus, the lover of our souls, desires for all of us to be in His Presence, to worship Him in spirit and in truth. If I cannot be permitted to bring forth the joy and gladness in my heart in worship, I suggest that I am no more than a lukewarm Christian that Jesus would spit out of his mouth in disgust. I refer you to Revelation 3:15,16 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
So yes, I am emotional in worship. And I do not believe I am deceived. I offer true and living worship to the King of the Universe, with every breath in me.
Hymnody, or P&W is not the issue, by the way, I believe that the condition of our hearts and the willingness to be open to hearing what God would speak to us in worship and in the reading of His Word and in the preaching of the Word is also of paramount importance, in addition to offering our sacrifice of praise to Him.
Well, my friends in Christ in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, I do appreciate your indulgence in hearing me out. I pray God’s blessings on you, and His joy.
Thank you for praying for me and my family and for Frank as he ministered to us in the homegoing of my husband. I do appreciate it.
Yours in Christ,