A Vertical Moment

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Who We Are: Looking Vertically

When God changed someone’s name, He did it purposefully and meaningfully. Abram became Abraham. Sarai became Sarah. Saul became Paul. In the same way, we’ve changed our name to Vertical Church, and we’re doing it purposefully and meaningfully. Today kicks off a series designed to more fully explore the “Who We Are” statement that summarizes who we’re trusting God to help us be.
We’re a community of men, women, teenagers and children who are looking VERTICALLY to know how to live in this primarily here-and-now culture.
It all begins with the fact that we’re a community because we worship and serve and work together. We need each other. We look vertically – to our mighty, sovereign, triune God – because He is our first love, our primary relationship. Jesus said the greatest commandment was to love God above everything (Matt. 22:36-39). Apart from Him, we can’t do anything (John 15:5).
Our culture fosters the immediate. The here-and-now. We look up and look to God; He is the Creator and Initiator. He sent His Son Jesus to save us; He sends His Spirit to abide in us and teach us how to live. It’s only when we are equipped by God’s word (2 Tim. 3:16) and filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18) that our other relationships will be eternally impacted. Father, help us look vertically so we can exalt Your Name and live authentic lives of faith in Jesus.

Posted by Joan S. with 0 Comments

Eli, Eli, Lema Sabachthani?

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”   Matthew 27:46

This would have been familiar to the crowd watching the public mutilation of the Spotless Lamb of God. Some of them, filled with such a pure and concentrated evil, were enjoying his torture. Some were in a dream-like state of horror as their supposed Messiah was left hanging, drowning internally in his own blood. But they all recognized these words: "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani." The words were the first line of a spiritual song that many first century Jews would have been familiar with; in our Bible it is called Psalm 22.

The Psalm later says: "All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads; 'He trusts in the LORD; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him!' (vv. 7-8) ... For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet- I can count all my bones- they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots. " (vv. 16-18)

Imagine one of us, in our last moment, simply saying, "amazing grace, how sweet the sound." Instantly the rest of the lyrics are called to mind; by saying this you would saying more than just those six words.

So what did Jesus want his hearers to know? He wanted them to know that he WAS prophesied of, that the scriptures DID point toward Him, and that his death was no accident. His failure was not really failure at all.

And Psalm 22 says, as a glimmer of light, "I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you."  (v. 22) Suffering had come for Jesus, but praise and celebration was coming.

Posted by Grayson H. with 0 Comments

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