Redemptive Violence

I’ve supplied for my former Sr. Pastors dozens of times, as well as preached every Wed. night to students for almost 25 years. Truth be told, preaching & teaching are my #1 passions- far more than leading music. I’ve always seen myself as a “preacher disguised as a musician.” 🙂 This is why I continue to preach/teach on Sunday evenings here at BHBC.

When I was a full-time Youth Pastor, I was able to preach a lot on Sunday mornings. However, since I transitioned into the role of a Music Pastor, I tend to be “busy” on Sunday mornings leading the music. 🙂 However, in the Spring of 2011, my Sr. Pastor, Jerry Joplin, dropped by my office and asked me if I’d like to preach that April in his absence. I stumbled across the video of that sermon last week and watched it for the very first time.

It is interesting to listen to yourself trumpet the truths of the Gospel – what Christ made available to us through His life, death & resurrection – PRIOR TO horrific tragedy in your life.
(I refer to my son, Jordan Blake Watts, at the 3:45 mark. He was in the audience.) As I listened to what I said that morning – now on the other side of my son’s suicide – I had to ask myself, “Do I still believe this?”

My RESOLUTE answer: If possible, I believe it MORE now than I did then!
“The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away,” wailed Job. “Blessed be the name of the Lord.” (1:21) God is still God. And God is still good. And, because of “redemptive violence”, Jordan is more alive than you and i have ever been! And in the presence of the Risen Christ who made it all possible.

I’ve included the link to the sermon here. It’s from April 3, 2011. Significantly – and this is no accident – the sermon (given during the Easter Season) is about the redemptive work of Christ on the cross. After Pastor Rick Warren’s son also took his life last year, Warren asked the rhetorical question, “How do we make it through what we’re going through in this life?” He answered, “The answer is Easter.” Hallelujah, Nick

“Hallelujah”

Another gorgeous rendition of Cohen’s classic…..

A friend sent this video to me. I made the mistake of viewing it while in my “local saloon” (Starbucks). By the final verse I was weeping heavily – in large part, because, due to my son’s death last May, my appreciation for Christ’s cross & resurrection has gone deeper still.

NOTE: The soloist is Catholic (made evident in her introduction) so her doctrine differs from evangelical Christianity in regard to who “mediates between God and men.” Catholicism still holds to the Old Testament office of the priest, while New Testament Christianity holds to Paul’s instruction to Timothy that there is “one mediator between God and men, the Man Jesus Christ.” (1 Timothy 2:5)

That said, this precious woman re-wrote Cohen’s hauntingly beautiful “Hallelujah” for Easter. This youtube clip now has over a million hits. The lyrics are biblically sound, her voice is absolutely beautiful, and the Children’s Choir that backs her up is the “icing the on cake.”

Enjoy, my friends! He is risen! And that changes everything. Hallelujah!