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Harmony of Grace

Image Source:  张 学欢 Why did I decide to start this blog? Why call it Harmony of Grace?  One definition for the word harmony is "living in peace and mutual understanding with others." I have always been fascinated with music and in my opinion, the musical definition of the word harmony has a more accurate depiction of the word's true meaning. In musical terms, a harmony is "a note or group of notes that compliment the notes in the melody (main tune of the song)." There are many different possible harmonies, but if played/sung correctly, they all compliment the melody and emphasize the beauty of the musical arrangement as a whole. When I had my first encounter with Jesus, the concept of harmony became much more real in my life. But how does harmony have anything to do with God's grace? I believe that God's grace can be seen in the world we live in, through various means, as a complimentary harmony to God's nature an

Lent 40 - Psalm Sunday

Psalm 118:1-2, 9-29 Today is the final day of Lent, when we usher in Holy Week tomorrow and continue to journey together with Jesus towards the cross. Today's Psalm is a song of praise in the midst of dark times. It reminds us to seek refuge in God when the world is in turmoil.  I cannot think of a more appropriate time to stamp the words of this Psalm on our hearts and declare them together as God's people.  Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Let Israel say: “His love endures forever.” It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes. All the nations surrounded me, but in the name of the Lord I cut them down. They surrounded me on every side, but in the name of the Lord I cut them down. They swarmed around me like bees, but they were consumed as quickly as burning thorns; in the name of the Lord I cut them down. I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me. The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my s

Lent 39 - Psalm Saturday

Psalm 31:9-16 We are presented with another two beautiful Psalm readings this week. The first is this extract from Psalm 31. In this Psalm, David cries out to God in a time of distress. Perhaps, if you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed about a personal situation, or the situation in our country or the world at the moment, you can declare these words with David today. Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and body with grief. My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak. Because of all my enemies, I am the utter contempt of my neighbours and an object of dread to my closest friends— those who see me on the street flee from me. I am forgotten as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery. For I hear many whispering, “Terror on every side!” They conspire against me and plot to take my life. But I trust in you, Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times

Lent 38 - Imitating Christ's Humility

Philippians 2:1-11 In our reading this morning, the apostle Paul urges followers of Jesus to display the same humility as Jesus did in his interactions with others. What does it mean to be humble? According to Paul, it means doing nothing for selfish purposes. It means valuing others above ourselves and putting the needs of others before our own. Unfortunately, these are not traits that we often see in Christians and Churches in the world today. To be charitable as a Christian today means to first satisfy our own needs and then if we have anything left, to give it away to the poor. I understand the desire to ensure that we have enough; that we are able to live comfortably; that we are able to provide an exciting future for our family and children. I have the same desires. But I can't help but think that this is not the way of Christ. Everything about Jesus' life and teaching was about lowering himself so that others could be exalted - even to the point of death on the cross.  W