Today in my Youth Sunday School class we did a study on John 2 where Jesus basically went into the temple, took up whips against the money changers and vendors while clearing them out, and then foreshadowed His own death and resurrection to the Jewish leaders, all the while identifying his very body as a Temple. This led to a great monologue concerning the temple being where God comes to commune with His people, and that in every covenant era He has provided such a place; from the mobile tent-temple of the wilderness-wandering Isrealites, to the majestic temple of Soloman’s day, to the more humble post-exile temple of Ezra-Nehamiah’s day that Jesus Himself walked in- all of which served as a point of contact between a Holy God and sinful man, and how the ultimate tangible source of communion between God and Man is Christ Himself, and his life of obedience and substitutionary death on a Roman cross as the focal point of our communion with God just as the physical temple was for the nation of Israel in times past.

Interestingly enough, Pator Mike preached on Hebrews 1:10-14 which touches on the eternalness of Christ and quotes from Psalm 102 with its super cool Old Testament language about created things lackings the same eternal nature of the Creator:

 “In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. But you remain the same and your years will never end.” (vs. 25-28) You’ll have to go read the whole thing for yourself, its pretty long and I only give highlights.

At the moment I am also pouring over one of our church’s old Hymnbooks which was cast aside for a newer hymnal years ago, and realizing though I don’t recognize many of these older hymns; I wish I did! The staggering amount of Psalter Psalms and Isaac Watts hymns makes me look at our newer hymnbbook with a bit more scorn than before. The songwriting and theological lyricism is superb in many of these older, more unfamiliar hymns. Check this out:

Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure, By the cross are sanctified;

Peace is there that knows no measure, Joys that through all time abide.

-In the Cross of Christ I Glory, John Bowring 1849

“Evermore for human failure, By His passion we can plead;

God has borne all mortal anguish, Surely He will know our need.”

-Cross of Jesus, Cross of Sorrow, William J. S. Simpson 1886

Wow, that is great stuff. It made me whip out ye ol’ acoustic guitar and rework some new tunes to a couple just for the sake of being able to sing them, since I have no idea how they are supposed to sound. If they stick in my memory beyond this week, maybe I’ll write some piano music out for them, though I know it will mean letting our church pianist give them a try in private for my own amusement, and then shelving them back in obscurity and disuse (is that a word?). I sincerely hope that in the future my church can use my re-written hymns for worship (for the sake of quality worship lyrics and not for my sake), but for the time being we seem to stumble through anything the congregation hasn’t already sung for decades when we try it so……..yeah.