Godly Interruptions
~ Luke 7: 11 - 17 ~


Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it
stood still. He said, "Young man, I say to you, get up!" (Luke 7:14)


    I know, I know. You're as busy as you can possibly be today, and tomorrow looks even busier. The last thing in the world you need is an interruption to derail you from your agenda. 
    I've lived there. Some days I feel like I'm still living there. But lately, I've been praying about how to embrace the interruptions. And sure enough, God seems to delight in answering that prayer ... with interruptions. But here's one thing I've learned: the interruption can be where God does some of His most spectacular work.
    If you haven't already, familiarize yourself again with the story in Luke 7: 11 - 17. Jesus is having what appears to be a fairly busy day. He's surrounded by His disciples and a large crowd. By all appearances, He's on His way to minister in a town called Nain.
    Then, the interruption occurs. He's met by a funeral procession at the town gate. The dead person being carried out is the only son of a widow. We don't know his age, precisely, but Jesus eventually calls him "young man." Could it have been a child?
    "When the Lord saw [the mother], his heart went out to her ..." (verse 13). The Greek word employed here by Luke is splagchnizomai, meaning "to feel
deeply, to yearn, to have compassion and pity." It's as if Jesus was thinking, "This isn't the way it's supposed to be." Then He does an astounding thing.
He walks up, touches the coffin, commands the young man to rise, and a resurrection occurs! Now understand this: no self-respecting Jew would ever - I mean ever - touch a coffin that contains a dead person. To do so would be total defilement. Yet, that's what Jesus does; He touches (haptomai: to connect or bind, to apply oneself to) and new life emerges.
    Look, I know you're busy. And much of that busy-ness probably centers on the work of your church. But can I challenge you to embrace today's interruptions? To "apply yourself" to some person or situation?
    Who knows, new life just might occur.
                                                                                                      - Excerpted from "In Spirit and In Truth"


I love the way the Psalms run the gamut of emotion. Nothing is held back! From joyful outbursts of praise to quiet expressions of worship; from moments of high celebration to seasons of somber reflection. It's all there, and I'm grateful for the honest, and sometimes painful, renderings we find in this ancient hymn book.

ACCLAMATION AND PRAISE takes its cues from Psalm 95 and Psalm 96. You're probably familiar with these passages and they, too, provide us with the expressive dynamics of worship. This is an energetic piece, and I loved taking the opportunity to try to compose this exhortation to worship in an appropriate setting. It begins and ends in a sort of bombastic fashion, but the middle section ("Come, let us bow down in worship ...") offers a quiet, more reflective segment. It's scored for SSATB choir, piano and solo trumpet. Conquering the moderate rhythmic challenges and the brief meter change will be more than worth your effort. And I really do believe that! 

All in all, I'm really pleased with the way this one turned out. I hope you are, too.

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