HT: Samuel Metzger, The New Presbyterian Church, Pompano Beach, FL
This is a marvelous way to commemorate Holy Week: On Wednesday, April 20, 2011, at the mid-point in Holy Week, Soli Deo Gloria will launch the Chicago Bach Project with Johann Sebastian Bach’s brilliant and profoundly moving St. Matthew Passion. SDG’s Artistic Director, John Nelson, will conduct a distinguished roster of soloists, the Chicago Bach Choir & Orchestra, and Anima – Young Singers of Greater Chicago in this “Great Passion,” as the St. Matthew is known. Get tickets here.
Irish songsters Keith and Kristin Getty (In Christ Alone, The Power of the Cross) are offering free downloads in time for Passion Week rehearsals. These are terrific songs that can be adapted easily for your group or team, regardless of size or ability: ++++ The Power of the Cross Recorded by both Heather Headley and Kristyn Getty, this hymn takes us from Gethsemene to Calvary, reminding us what it meant for Christ to suffer. Download FREE MP3 | Download FREE PDF +++ Come, People of the Risen King An up-tempo call to worship, perfect for your band on Easter Sunday. Download FREE MP3 | Download FREE PDF From Keith & Kristin: “These PDFs are freely copyable for churches with a CCLI license. Please forward to your worship team and volunteers so that they can download the MP3s also.” Consider bookmarking their site – www.gettymusic.com – as a reliable resource for planning.
He is risen, indeed. And, by faith, so are we. Music: Come Awake by Matt Maher
Here’s a song that’s been haunting me this Lenten Season. It’s an old hymn from the 1904-05 Welsh revival, with lyrics that match the beauty of the melody. Stream here. Here is love, vast as the ocean, Lovingkindness as the flood, When the Prince of Life, our Ransom, Shed for us His precious blood. Who His love will not remember? Who can cease to sing His praise? He can never be forgotten, Throughout Heav’n’s eternal days. On the mount of crucifixion, Fountains opened deep and wide; Through the floodgates of God’s mercy Flowed a vast and gracious tide. Grace and love, like mighty rivers, Poured incessant from above, And Heav’n’s peace and perfect justice Kissed a guilty world in love. Let me all Thy love accepting, Love Thee, ever all my days; Let me seek Thy kingdom only And my life be to Thy praise; Thou alone shalt be my glory, Nothing in the world I see. Thou hast cleansed and sanctified me, Thou Thyself hast set me free. In Thy truth Thou dost direct me By Thy Spirit through Thy Word; And Thy grace my need is meeting, As I trust in Thee, my Lord. Of Thy fullness Thou art pouring Thy great love and power on me, Without measure, full and boundless, Drawing out my heart to Thee. Here’s a lovely version of the hymn performed by Robin Mark: Lyric courtesy of Cyberhymnal
Here’s a helpful new song by Michael Bleeker of the Village Church in Texas. Free chord chart and Mp3 downloads are a nice bonus. This would work well anytime during Lent or for a focus on Communion. In My Place – Training Video from The Village Church on Vimeo.
By Mary Karr From the far star points of his pinned extremities, cold inched in—black ice and squid ink— till the hung flesh was empty. Lonely in that void even for pain, he missed his splintered feet, the human stare buried in his face. He ached for two hands made of meat he could reach to the end of. In the corpse’s core, the stone fist of his heart began to bang on the stiff chest’s door, and breath spilled back into that battered shape. Now it’s your limbs he comes to fill, as warm water shatters at birth, rivering every way.
Scene from the Passion of Jesus, as Matthew describes it: Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came up to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.” And when he went out to the entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” And again he denied it with an oath: “I do not know the man.” After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you.” Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately the rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly. Art by Wayne Forte Hat tip: Imago Fidei (Christianity Today)
St. Helen’s Bishopgate Church of London (England) does a good job of explaining the basics of the celebration of Passion Week and Easter in a series of short films on their website. Take-away quote: “Some people think Christianity is all about making us feel guilty…(when it really is) all about a release from that guilt.”