Verse of the Week ~ Revelation 8:1
“When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.”

If mysticism overemphasizes and misuses silence, is it possible that orthodoxy does the opposite?  The church must certainly be “noisy” in the reading and proclamation of the Word and in song and prayer to God.  But silence has a profound significance in God’s Word.  Habakkuk 2:20 says- “But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him.”  And Revelation 8:1 says- “When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.”  And in the end, having heard and received the rebuke of God, Job’s answer is to say- “Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you?  I lay my hand on my mouth.”  Silence connotes reverence, humility, and subjection to God and is impressively lacking in the clamor and commotion of much of modern worship.  We may use words like “reverence” and “awe,” but if we mean them in a true biblical sense, such references should be followed by timorous silence as we are made to shut our mouths by the sheer knowledge of God.


Do You Love Christ? [John 21:15-16] (2012 Question of the Year)

We Must Love Christ ~ The 2012 Question of the Year is based on John 21, where we hear Jesus ask Peter three times, “Do you love me?”  But to understand how appropriate it is for us to hear and answer this question, we need to drop back to John 13:21-30.  In this passage, we see the Gospel-writer comparing and contrasting John and Judas.  While Jesus identifies Judas as the one who would betray Him, we also see John “leaning back against Jesus.”  It’s the image of a disciple who loves his Master, and by this passage and others as well, we come to learn that love for Christ is at the heart of true discipleship.  In short, one cannot follow Christ in faithfulness unless he or she has a deep love for Christ.  At best, one’s faithfulness to Christ will be short-lived apart from a deep and deepening love for Christ.  Throughout this year, the Lord willing, we will explore why and how we must love Christ, but to start, let each of us search our hearts.  Finding a love for Christ within us, let us resolve that it should deepen.  And if apathy or neutrality toward Christ should be discovered within us, let us be convicted that such cannot be the case in one who is truly following Him.


Word of the Week


jocund (adjective) – cheerful, merry
Example: His jocund personalilty drew all to him and brightened every room in which he was to be found.
Reflection: Christians should be the most jocund people on earth, for in Christ they have the only sure basis and lasting reason for hope instead of despair.


A Poem to End By
by Stephen Rhoda

I’m thankful for the things you do
To make a house our cheerful home,
And grateful for the care you take
To serve our Savior’s kingdom. 

But not for any single act,
Nor the gathered things you do,
For the beauty of your humble heart,
For this, dear, I love you.