I made my second quick trip this week to South Mississippi. For a number of months, I have worked with various members of the Stone County Arts Council and The Old Firehouse Museum as well as folks from The Friends of Stone County Library, the Mississippi Humanities Council, and the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at USM to help bring to life for this generation of Stone Countians as well as others the life and works of Emilie Blackmore Stapp. The story of the Finkbines and Stapps go back at least as far as that of the McHenrys, and I am amazed at how much I never really knew or understood about the contributions of the people of Stone County when I was living there.
ANYWAY – I am rambling. I enjoyed both quick adventures. Steve even went with me on the earlier one this week. But what I loved most today was listening to (at the volume I chose) and singing along (probably at the top of my lungs) some of the music we are learning this spring for Easter and other times of worship.
The text of He Looked Beyond My Faults and Saw My Needs is the definition of mercy. Never Once (Did We Ever Walk Alone) reminds us of His constant presence as we both climb the hills and sink into the valleys of life. Praise His Holy Name – the arrangement in MyChoir begins with the traditional hymn Holy Holy Holy – one of my favorites and pure worship and praise – and then moves into one Beethoven’s symphonies (I do not remember the name) and the text is what David sang over and over and over during his life’s victories and trials – Praise His Holy Name (Psalms 103 et al).
And then there is The End of the Beginning. It is a story song – one person witnessing to another on an airplane – and he so wonderfully wraps the Gospel from Jesus’ birth through His death and resurrection in a way that points so clearly that the end of Christ’s earthly ministry is the beginning of life for us.
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” I John 4:10 NIV
God gave the ultimate Sacrifice – uncomfortably – to change our ultimate destiny from hell to eternal life with Him. And Christ, as fully man as He was (and is God), could have chosen the easy way and condemned us all. But.He.Did.Not. He became uncomfortable to change our destiny if we only choose to believe in Him.
Am I willing to be uncomfortable (as in come out of my comfort zone) to help others know Jesus and change their lives? Do I want others to know as I know with assurance what the “end of the beginning” is? It is a matter of life and death.