Monday, April 13, 2015

"God can only be revealed to the world when we love others with the love of God. When we are divided by suspicion, anger, and every other evil that destroys relationships, we obscure the love between the Father and the Son, which was given on our behalf."

"As we explore more deeply into the friendship of God, we discover to our amazement that the eternal character of God's love is that of love given, love received, and love shared. For the love of the Father "begets" the Son; the love of the Son is that of the "Begotten"; and the love of the Holy Spirit is to share and make the Father and the Son known to us, and realizable within us. To live out our relationships in the light of such transforming model is radical indeed for mere mortals."

--James Houston- The Transforming Power of Prayer

Thursday, April 02, 2015

My God, My God

MY GOD, MY GOD, why hast thou forsaken me?" As Christ speaks those words, he too is in the wilderness. He speaks them when all is lost. He speaks them when there is nothing even he can hear except for the croak of his own voice and when as far as even he can see there is no God to hear him. And in a way his words are a love song, the greatest love song of them all. In a way his words are the words we all of us must speak before we know what it means to love God as we are commanded to love him.

"My God, my God." Though God is not there for him to see or hear, he calls on him still because he can do no other. Not even the cross, not even death, not even life, can destroy his love for God. Not even God can destroy his love for God because the love he loves God with is God's love empowering him to love in return with all his heart even when his heart is all but broken.

-Frederick Buechner, originally published in A Room Called Remember

Friday, February 20, 2015

Thoughts on Lent

Thoughts on Lent (via City Church of San Francisco):

Lent is an old English word that means springtime. It was a way of speaking about a season before Easter, and over the centuries Christians have used this time of year before Easter to say, "I need springtime in my soul". It's a way to stop the cycle of spiritual status quo and to engage more fully with God and deal with those things in our lives that are out of conformity with Him. When we do that we actually find life in a story bigger than just our own. Whether you are only beginning to explore the claims of Jesus, or have been a Christian for quite some time, Lent creates space for us to reflect on the Story of Jesus and consider entering that story more deeply.

In his Pensees, Blaise Pascal put it this way, "Being unable to cure death and wretchedness people have decided in order to be happy not to think about such things." Lent counters this propensity and provides us a season as a community to take on the deep counterintuitive wisdom of Scripture. The way up is down, and the way to find joy is to honestly deal with our brokenness. As Jesus put it "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it." Lent invites us to join Christ on the way of the Cross, a spiritual journey that begins with Ash Wednesday and ends in Easter celebration.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Psalm 23 by Calvin Seerveld

The Lord God is my shepherd too. I lack nothing.
In quiet spots of soft green grass the Lord lets me settle down in peace.
My shepherd leads me out to flowing waters giving rest.
The Lord bring me back to myself.
The Lord leads me in the tracks of doing what is right for the sake of God's holy name.

Even if I have to walk through the Valley of the shadows of Death,
I will fear no evil because you are with me.
Your shepherd crook and your strong club reassure me.
You set a table for me with a meal right in front of my enemies!
You annoint my head copiously with oil.
My drinking cup is overflowing!

It's true!
Your covenantal mercy and what's creaturely good shall follow me up
all the days of my life,
and someday I shall dwell in the house of the Lord God
for as long as there are days...

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Christ Has No Body

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

Teresa of Avila

Friday, April 11, 2014

Purification

At the start of spring I open a trench
in the ground. I put into it
the winter’s accumulation of paper,
pages I do not want to read
again, useless words, fragments,
errors. And I put into it
the contents of the outhouse:
light of the sun, growth of the ground,
finished with one of their journeys.
To the sky, to the wind, then,
and to the faithful trees, I confess
my sins: that I have not been happy
enough, considering my good luck;
have listened to too much noise;
have been inattentive to wonders;
have lusted after praise.
And then upon the gathered refuse
of mind and body, I close the trench,
folding shut again the dark,
the deathless earth. Beneath that seal
the old escapes into the new.

-Wendell Berry

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

In the Silent Night

Lo, in the silent night
A child to God is born
And all is brought again
That ere was lost or lorn.

Could but thy soul, O man
Become a silent night!
God would be born in thee
And set all things aright.

-15th Century Verse