Christianity is not a staircase, where you have Step 1: The Gospel. Step 2: Good Works. Step 3: Going Overseas… Step 6: Marriage. Step 7: Babies.
If anything, Christianity is like an empty elevator shaft, where God reaches down, and pulls you up.
But if Christianity -were- a staircase, every step would be the Gospel. First step, the Gospel. Next step, the Gospel. The Gospel, the Gospel, the Gospel, all the way until you’re 95, and the next step would still be the Gospel."
The Rev. Eugene Kim, executive pastor and director of the Christmas concert, said the gift is an extension of the church’s mission.
“We’re just doing what the church is supposed to do,” he said. “We’re supposed to be a community that loves each other and loves others and loves God, and that worships and serves. It’s an old-fashioned idea.”
That’s my home church in Greater Boston, Highrock Arlington! I was blessed enough to sing in this choir for two years, and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. The funds raised from the concert go towards funding a part-time social worker position for families in crisis in the town of Arlington.
“When we moved into town, & bought the building, we really felt the desire to be a part of the town, & basically just do what we feel Jesus calls us to do as Christians, which is to love our neighbors.”
*youtube link here.
Where the wars and violence cease
All creation lives in peace
Let the songs of heaven rise to You alone
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
- Hebrews 11:1
This song has my heart for a number of reasons: I first learnt it at Highrock, which I now miss terribly. It paints a picture of a better reality, speaking to that longing for justice and peace that we all feel so long as we’re on this earth and have our eyes open to the struggle and suffering that occurs around us. There’s that reminder that God has us, even in times as uncertain as my own at this minute, home after some time away, yet to settle in and find my place. Finally, with my grandmother’s passing, and my Dad’s message at the memorial service of the wonderful-ness of Heaven, I’ve been thinking about it, that incredible, better place that she’s gone to.
How is it that He is the answer to so many questions? I remain amazed, and thankful.
Jeremy Lin and Landry Fields “Secret” Handshake (by TheJlin7)
This makes me smile.
“Don’t touch the chinchilla.”
“The spectacles signify our connection… Stanford and Harvard—basically geniuses.”
“It’s actually a Bible, which signifies our faith in God and our whole purpose in life.”
“I try to bring a different verse every day—
“—and I sing hymns.”
“After that, it’s a point up to God, signifying our faith, just in case you didn’t hear us the first time.”
I needed the reminder. Got to keep digging for the bottom of the barrel.
2nd: Daph gave to Open Doors USA, an organization which serves persecuted Christians worldwide. Whatever your faith background, I think we can all agree that no one should be persecuted for their choice or position of faith or non-faith, be it from their friends, family, or government.
I was in the choir last year, but somehow, I wasn’t prepared for how powerful the concert would be this year. Singing (some would say shouting) the story of Jesus 13 x 6 shows (calculated by our beloved conductor, software engineer Brian Ni) does a work in your heart, in your spirit, as you sing it. When you’re giving everything your lungs’ve got to lines like “This is our God!/Loving and reaching/Scandalous mercy and mighty to save!” and “Glory, glory, we have our Savior!,” how can it not? When you’re singing words like “despite your fears and failures/He loves you as you are…with this message from above/Child, you are loved,” how can you be unmoved?
This year, I’m celebrating Christmas knowing that God came to earth as a little baby, born to an impoverished couple in a tiny town. Not as an heir to a fortune in an important city, but in a random stable, and slept in a food trough for animals. That Jesus started life with the unseen of society, in insignificant circumstances, and went on to spend most of His ministry serving them. The Messenger sent into the darkness of this world to bring light—evidence that God loves this world, in all its ugliness and imperfection and suffering. God came here, and chose those people, and those circumstances? Of course He can meet me, and you. And of course He wants me to go and love others, whoever they are, wherever they might be.
Hadn’t realized that my fellow soloist, Hyomi, posted our performance of “Grateful” on youtube! She opens, I follow at 1:40. If she wasn’t such an awesome, generous person, on stage and off, she would’ve been a tough act to follow. ;) Thanks Hyomi! <3 This was from the Spring’11 concert.
Went back to Tufts last night for the semesterly Third Day Gospel Choir concert. It was my first time as an audience member! We all rocked out, choir and everyone else. There is something so freeing about praising God like that. Full director’s-cut details on the concert here.
I really need to get my hands on an mp3 of “Well Done.”
In an Esquire profile last year, Marianne said her former husband “was impressed easily by position, status, money” and believed “that what he says in public and how he lives don’t have to be connected”.
I wish I could say that the rest of us don’t suffer from this problem. I know I struggle with it.