Sunday, April 11, 2010

Church II

I have come with one purpose
To capture for myself a bride 
By my life she is lovely 
By my death she’s justified 

I have always been her husband 
Though many lovers she has known 
So with water I will wash her 
And by my word alone 

So when you hear the sound of the water 
You will know you’re not alone 

‘Cause I haven’t come for only you
But for my people to pursue
You cannot care for me with no regard for her
If you love me you will love the Church

I have long pursued her 
As a harlot and a whore 
But she will feast upon me 
She will drink and thirst no more 

So when you taste my flesh and my blood 
You will know you’re not alone 

There is none that can replace her 
Though there are many who will try 
And though some may be her bridesmaids 
They can never be my bride

This song is by Derek Webb. He is a member of Caedmon's Call and also does side projects on his own. Caedmon's Call is one of my favorite bands and his solo stuff is also very good. I love the lyrics to his songs (and Caedmon's Call's songs) because they are so rich and have so many poetic allusions to biblical stories and/or doctrine. This one in particular I really like because of the bridge lyrics:

   So when you hear the sound of the water 
   You will know you’re not alone 
   So when you taste my flesh and my blood 
   You will know you’re not alone 

Seeing baptism and taking the Eucharist, among many other spiritual signs and symbols they represent, reminds me of the greater covenant community that Christians are a part of. The Eucharist is a covenant meal, which is an act of covenantal ratification much like the meal shared by the elders of Israel before God in Exodus 24. It proclaims Christ, seals the benefits of union to Christ in believers, spiritually nourishes the believer, and pledges the believer’s fidelity to Christ and His body. (I wrote a paper called "Covenant-Renewing Worship" that speaks some about this.) Baptism is a covenant sign that brings the children of believers, or new believers, into the covenant community so when you "hear" the water you know that you are not alone. 

Last week at church we had two baptisms: the baby of a member couple of the church and a believer's baptism of a young woman who had grown up Muslim (nominal Muslim, but Muslim none-the-less). Seeing both of those really encouraged me. When the baby was baptized I thought, "This is a lucky child because he will grow up in a covenant family that will love and support him." When the believer was baptized I thought, "She is now one of my own." I do not know her personally but she is now a professed Christian and part of the covenant community of the Church and just knowing that another has been brought into the Kingdom is encouraging. They were both encouraging because, like the song says, seeing them reminded me that I am not alone. Like John Wesley says, "Everyone who belongs to Jesus belongs to everyone who belongs to Jesus" (whether we like it or not). 

By His Grace,

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