I did a post on Sacred Music last year — so today's is more sacred music.
I just finished listening to last weekend's sermon entitled "Other Terrorisms" preached by Keith Tonkel. He concluded his sermon by singing Itsy Bitsy Spider. I couldn't agree more that it certainly is a religious or sacred song.
Probably most of you learned this song when you were children, with hand motions to accompany the tune. It's a simple story that can rally anyone who considers the determination of the little spider. How many times do you suppose a spider has her web destroyed, but she keeps right on building it back. As people, we have the same kinds of challenges the spider has. You know what yours are, and I recognize some of mine.
Scripture for Sunday's sermon:
2 Corinthians 4:7-12 · Treasure in Jars of Clay
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.
John 12:27 · The Son of Man Must Be Lifted Up
“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour."
Luke 22:47 · Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus
While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him ...
The Sunday bulletin for this service had Keith's usual brief prose as follows concerning the scriptures:
The only people who donʼt worry are ill,” someone said with strong conviction. A counselor replied, “True. Sociopathic people donʼt worry much.”
The rest of us worry. With and without good cause. In fact, worry can become a kind of terrorism. An alternate and other kind of fear and challenge. It brings on an anxiety that causes all sorts of fear and difficulty. Why is this? Because we are human and the world is complex.
Even Jesus dealt with it – Before going into Jerusalem when things were bad there for him we read: “Now my heart is troubled.” Or in Gethsemane: “If it's possible, let this cup pass from me.”
Worry happens because life happens. And we have to deal with it. But not without help. “The power belongs to God and not to us.” Doesnʼt sound like much help, right? Unless itʼs Godʼs power working with us and in us. We can be afflicted, but not crushed, confused but not delivered into craziness. We will experience times of different types of persecution, but in such moments weʼll find that we are indeed not alone, that the Holy Spirit is indeed with us.
All too often, for one reason or another, in one way or another, we are knocked down. Thankfully, we do not need to be knocked out!
All of life is a ʻlife and deathʼ situation. But with the Life of the Resurrected One working with and through us, we can meet terror head on, and put it in its place. Easy? No. Quick? No. Once and for all time? No. Worry, anxiety, and terror may come. Now, however, such things can be met and overcome! Life is much more at work in us, than anything else!
Whatever your challenges, I encourage you to overcome them with the determination of the Itsy Bitsy Spider and keep on keeping on.