Monday, March 26, 2012

Two songs; one message.

Two new-to-us worship songs have really spoken to us lately (in two different languages, funnily enough). :)

The first song is Matt Redman's 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord), which was introduced to us by our friends at Fresh Ground: London. Some of our favorite lines are included below:

"Bless the Lord, O my soul,
O my soul,
Worship His holy name.
Sing like never before,
O my soul,
I'll worship Your holy name.

"The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning.
It's time to sing Your song again.
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me,
Let me be singing when the evening comes.

"Bless the Lord, O my soul,
O my soul,
Worship His holy name.
Sing like never before,
O my soul,
I'll worship Your holy name..."

The second song is Polish singer-songwriter Mate.o's Przyjaciela Mam, which we've been learning from our Polish friends at the Sweet Surrender coffeehouse/house church here in Kraków. The (translated) lyrics go something like this:

"Przyjaciela mam, co pociesza mnie.
Gdy o Jego ramie oprę się W Nim nadzieje mam, uleciał strach.
On najbliżej jest, zawsze troszczy się.
I have a friend that comforts me.
When I lean on His shoulder I have hope in Him—
Fear is gone. He is so close, He always cares.

"Królów Król, z nami Bóg.
Jezus, Jezus...
King of Kings, God is with us.
Jesus, Jesus..."


Friday, March 9, 2012

Who the Christians are (and are not): a description of the Early Church

The following passages are taken from the Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus (c. 175 AD).

Mathetes is Greek word that means "disciple," and possible referred to one of the Early Christian Fathers. Diognetus was the Greek recipient of this letter, one of the earliest examples of Christian apologetics.

"For Christians are not distinguished from the rest of mankind either in locality or in speech or in customs. For they dwell not somewhere in cities of their own, neither do they use some different language, nor practise an extraordinary kind of life. Nor again do they possess any invention discovered by any intelligence or study of ingenious men, nor are they masters of any human dogma as some are.

"But while they dwell in cities of Greeks and barbarians as the lot of each is cast, and follow the native customs in dress and food and the other arrangements of life, yet the constitution of their own citizenship, which they set forth, is marvellous, and confessedly contradicts expectation. They dwell in their own countries, but only as sojourners; they bear their share in all things as citizens, and they endure all hardships as strangers. Every foreign country is a fatherland to them, and every fatherland is foreign.

"They marry like all other men and they beget children; but they do not cast away their offspring. They have their meals in common, but not their wives. They find themselves in the flesh, and yet they live not after the flesh. Their existence is on earth, but their citizenship is in heaven. They obey the established laws, and they surpass the laws in their own lives.

"They love all men, and they are persecuted by all. They are ignored, and yet they are condemned. They are put to death, and yet they are endued with life. They are in beggary, and yet they make many rich. They are in want of all things, and yet they abound in all things.

"They are dishonoured, and yet they are glorified in their dishonour. They are evil spoken of, and yet they are vindicated. They are reviled, and they bless; they are insulted, and they respect. Doing good they are punished as evil-doers; being punished they rejoice, as if they were thereby quickened by life. War is waged against them as aliens by the Jews, and persecution is carried on against them by the Greeks, and yet those that hate them cannot tell the reason of their hostility.

"In a word, what the soul is in a body, this the Christians are in the world."-The Epistle to Diognetus, 5:1-6:1 (L&H, 1891)

This is who we've been. And this is who we're called to be.
It's a lot to live up to!