Friday, July 1, 2016

Friday's Weekly Rap Up - June 29, 2016 - "Penelope Judd" - Shai Linne

Shai Linne - "Penelope Judd" - Lyrics

It's been a while since my last Friday's Weekly Rap Up. So, back to it.

This past month at Sojourn Heights has been dedicated to the teaching of Romans 5 from our church planting residents. These are men who are being trained to become pastors, and hope to plant churches within different neighborhoods here in Houston.

This past week, Tony Villatoro, a resident who will be planting Sojourn Spring Branch in the coming months, covered Romans 5:15-19. (Listen to the sermon here.) This is a passage of scripture that informs us that the free gift of Christ and his grace is much more than we could ever expect. In the previous week, Carlos Rebollar, another Sojourn church planting resident, covered the previous three verses of Romans 5:12-14, reminding us that as humans we are sinful in nature. Often times we don't recognize or admit this, so we're apt to distance ourselves from Christ, thinking we don't need his work. But, like a visit to the doctor, an accurate diagnosis of our hearts produces a gratitude in our hearts.

So, after the darkness and gloom of the truths in verses 12-14, we're reminded of the beauty of God's grace to us in verses 15-19. The common theme between these verses is that Adam, the first man, sinned, producing God's judgement, but that Christ, the Second Adam, brought justification, or righteousness to our souls.

Tony ended his teaching with verses 18 and 19, reminding us that we must trust in Christ's obedience for our justification, or our right standing before God. It is only in his authority that he allows us to enter his palace, where we are made righteous. That's weighty stuff, but remember, we're trusting in Christ's work, not our own here; it's not a duty, it's grace.

As I listened to Tony, I was reminded yet again of one of my favorite rap songs. It's called "Penelope Judd" by Shai Linne. It's a children's story. But, like CS Lewis says, "A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest." So, take a listen to "Penelope Judd". We're reminded of our human, sinful nature (verse 1). That's what we see in the town of Mud. We're then reminded of the fact that our sinful nature was not how God intended us to live (verse 2).

It's in verse 3 that we see what Tony was talking about, and what verses 18 and 19 of Romans 5 addresses: we're made righteous through Christ, not anything that we do.

The next thing she knew, the Prince Himself was at the door
He looked at her, smiled and said, “There’s room for one more”
He reached out and touched her- instantly she was clean
Wearing the brightest robe that she had ever seen
If the Mud kids had seen it, they would have gone blind
“Where’d you get it?”, she asked. He said, “Actually, it’s mine”
Shai closes with this chorus:
Long ago, laid aside my crown
Became a Mud kid, traveled to your town
They kicked me out, didn’t want me around
But those who love me get to share my crown
One act of obedience allows is to receive God's grace, which is much more than we could have ever expected. It's certainly much more than I could have ever expected.