Tag Archives: go

Go and Tell John

Go and tell JohnOne of my new favorite choral pieces is a song called “Go and Tell John.” It is based on the Scripture passage in which John the Baptist sent word from prison to Jesus through his disciples, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” (Matthew 11:2). Jesus’ response is the text of this song: Take a listen.

What I like about this song is the energy and excitement of the various voices passing on the good news that Jesus is the one who is to come. The overlapping voices and the repeating of the word tell help to capture how the message of Jesus is spreading fast from person to person.

What is the evidence to confirm the Jesus is our Messiah? The lame walk. Lepers are cleansed. And the deaf hear once again. The dead are raised up. Good news preached to the poor. And blessed is he who believes in him. This evidence is the fulfillment of the Messianic prophecy in Isaiah 29.

What I find interesting about Jesus’ response, too, is that it is personal. Go and tell JOHN. The music highlights that in the end when it crescendos on the name John. It is a reminder to us that the message of Jesus is a personal one to each one of us as well. Jesus wants the good news to come to each of us personally. Go and tell Sue, go and tell Will, go and tell Taylor.

This is not some broad statement but something for you to take to heart in your own life and your own situation. The figurative and perhaps literal blindnesses in your life will be lifted. Messages that you had been deaf to literally and figuratively will be heard. When you die, Jesus is assuring us that we will be raised to life in him. We who are poor will become rich with blessings through him.

This is definitely something to share over and over again with others and sing about again and again. Think of who you would like to “go and tell” about Jesus today!

The Pitfalls of Privatization

public private signsPrivatization is a social position that is becoming more and more prevalent in our society today. It is the philosophy of being noncommittal or uninvolved in anything other than one’s own immediate interests or lifestyle.

One of the greatest impacts of privatization on the Church has been the prevailing attitude that “Whatever you believe, keep it to yourself.” The result is that “it guts the energy out of the Great Commission and efforts to share the Gospel,” which are, of course, the main tenets of the Church (Schmidt, J. David, Choosing to Live).

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Common Denominators

In Autopsy of a Deceased Church: 12 Ways to Keep Yours Alive, Thom Rainer relates the sobering statistic that as many as 100,000 churches in America are showing signs of decline toward death.

In his study of fourteen churches that actually shuttered their doors and disbanded, Rainer came to see some common denominators present in the parishes that closed. His findings serve as a wake-up call to all churches, struggling or not.

church door lockedOne of the common denominators was that in each of the failing churches the past was the hero. Members remembered fondly the “good old days” and generally desired to do things “the way we used to.” This is not to say that nostalgia in and of itself is a bad thing. It is a good thing to remember “where we came from,” but churches need to be willing to move on and adjust to the changing needs of the congregation and the community in order to survive.

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