We enter July – we seem to have, prayerfully, moved past the high point of the pandemic. July moves us well into the heat of summer. July offers the much anticipated “Christmas in July” specials and movies – whatever that is worth. In thinking about my article this month I did a bit of sourcing. First of all July was named after Julius Caesar in 44 bce. Its original name was Quintilis, Latin for the “fifth month,” indicating its position in the early Roman calendar. So why not just change it and name it for yourself? There is your little known fact for the day, and just maybe you can become a contestant on Jeopardy.
However I like the following meaning much better:
J – Jesus U – Unconditionally L – Loves Y – You After all, He does love you unconditionally – hopefully you have been told that before. That is the anytime, anyplace, anyway, love – and all we need to do is repent of our sin and say yes to His offer of a forever relationship and fully experience this love forever.
Yet today, in 2021, we are deciding to make everything else far more important than accepting Him, developing a relationship with Jesus, growing through prayer and study, and being actively involved in His Church. In many respects we are not living our faith.
Charles Wesley, wrote a hymn (in 1749) for us today titled: “Are We Yet Alive.”
Vs 1 And are we yet alive, And see each other's face? (coming together)
Glory and praise to Jesus give, For His redeeming grace. (grace – unconditional love)
Vs 3 What troubles have we seen, What conflicts have we passed, (pandemics)
Fightings without, and fears within, Since we assembled last.
Vs 5 Then let us make our boast Of His redeeming power,
Which saves us to the uttermost, Till we can sin no more. (Jesus perfects us and our love but we must have contact)
Vs 6 Let us take up the cross, Till we the crown obtain;
And gladly reckon all things loss, So we may Jesus gain.
The great hymn writers like Charles Wesley had a deep desire to use the power of the hymn to give us a heart-felt connection with Scripture. It would seem to me that Charles, in 1749, was trying to awaken the church to respond to verse 1 as he seeks to give glory to God for redeeming grace – being saved! And that it didn’t end, we will have the ups and downs of life, yet God is still alive, are we yet alive to be able to stand up through Jesus’ power?
So here we are in 2021, as the church, same God, same grace, different climate in the church. Scripture is not truth for many. Tithing is just a suggestion, not a command. Sunday is just another day, not a day set aside for the Lord. Are we yet alive? Or are we dying a slow death? I am not answering, just offering the question.
This newsletter has a very limited circulation, I know that; however, will you join me in a renewed effort to lift up the Lord. Remember, worship is (defined) the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity (God). Let’s come together in worship again in a post-pandemic community and show Jesus, we are yet alive!
Living for Him,