My God, My God – A Thought by Frederick Buechner

“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

Only by Dying

Stained Glass with Cross
Art by Allen (seven years old)

If death was to be truly defeated, it was only by dying himself that Jesus believed he could defeat it. If he was to reach the hearts of men, it was only by suffering his own heart to be broken on their behalf that he believed he could reach them. To heal the sick and restore sight to the blind; to preach good news to the poor and liberty to the captives; to wear himself out with his endless teaching and traveling the whole length and breadth of the land—it had not worked because it was not enough. There had to be more.

“He set his face to go to Jerusalem,” the Gospel says, and it was a journey from which he seems to have known that he would both never return and return always even unto the end of time and beyond. – Frederick Buechner

Symbol of Easter

Easter message

The symbol of Easter is the empty tomb. You can’t depict or domesticate emptiness. You can’t make it into pageants and string it with lights. It doesn’t move people to give presents to each other or sing old songs. It ebbs and flows all around us, the Eastertide. Even the great choruses of Handel’s Messiah sound a little like a handful of crickets chirping under the moon.

He rose. A few saw him briefly and talked to him. If it is true, there is nothing left to say. If it is not true, there is nothing left to say. For believers and unbelievers both, life has never been the same again. For some, neither has death. – Frederick Buechner

Hope in Front of Me

Lyrics to “Hope in Front of Me” – by Danny Gokey

 

I’ve been running through rain
That I thought would never end
Trying to make it on faith
In a struggle against the wind
I’ve seen the dark and the broken places
But I know in my soul
No matter how bad it gets
I’ll be alright

There’s hope in front of me
There’s a light, I still see it
There’s a hand still holding me
Even when I don’t believe it
I might be down but I’m not dead
There’s better days still up ahead
Even after all I’ve seen
There’s hope in front of me

There’s a place at the end of the storm
You finally find
Where the hurt and the tears and the pain
All fall behind

You open up your eyes and up ahead
There’s a big sun shining
Right then and there you realize
You’ll be alright

There’s hope in front of me
There’s a light, I still see it
There’s a hand still holding me
Even when I don’t believe it
I might be down but I’m not dead
There’s better days still up ahead
Even after all I’ve seen
There’s hope in front of me

There’s a hope still burning
I can feel it rising through the night
And my world’s still turning
I can feel your love here by my side

You’re my hope
You’re the light, I still see it
Your hands are holding me
Even when I don’t believe it
I’ve got to believe
I still have hope
You are my hope

A Morning Prayer

sunrise over a mountainCreator Spirit, who broodest everlastingly over the lands and waters of the earth, enduing them with forms and colours which no human skill can copy, give me today, I beseech Thee, the mind and heart to rejoice in Thy creation.

Forbid that I should walk through Thy beautiful world with unseeing eyes.

Forbid that the lure of the market-place should ever entirely steal my heart away from the love of the open acres and the green trees.

Forbid that under the low roof of workshop or office or study I should ever forget Thy great overarching sky.

Forbid that when all Thy creatures are greeting the morning with songs and shouts of joy, I alone should wear a dull and sullen face.

Let they energy and vigour which in Thy wisdom Thou hast infused into every living thing stir today within my being, that I may not be among Thy creatures as a sluggard and a drone.

And above all give me grace to use these beauties of earth without me and this eager stirring of life within me as a means whereby my soul may rise from creature to Creator, and from nature to nature’s God.

From John Baillie’s A Diary of Private Prayer (1949)

Taken from Reflections on the Word by Ken Gire

How Sweet the Sound – Citizen Way

Yea though I walk through the valley
I know that You are always right beside me
And I will fear no evil
You’re my rock and my strength
You comfort me
Amazing grace how sweet the sound
I hear You singing over me
I once was lost but now I’m found
And it’s beautiful
Amazing grace how sweet the sound
It covers every part of me
My soul is silent, I am found
And it’s a beautiful sound
It’s a beautiful, beautiful sound
Carry me through the waters
Where Your peace clears away all my sorrow
And nothing can separate us from Your love
Oh Your love it will always be
Amazing grace how sweet the sound
I hear You singing over me
I once was lost but now I’m found
And it’s beautiful
Amazing grace how sweet the sound
It covers every part of me
My soul is silent, I am found
And it’s a beautiful sound

Rightful Worship

a bird

“Without Him was not anything made that was made

In Him was life…” (John 1:3-4).

“No one has ever truly created anything.

No one, that is, except God. . . .

When we attach our worship to something less than God, we end up consuming and casting off the person of thing we worship in His place. And in the consuming and casting off, we reveal that the true object of our worship is self. . . .

Not only do we worship the creation in place of the Uncreated One, we convince ourselves that we are like Him in His ability to create something from nothing. We confuse stewardship with ownership, viewing ourselves as givers of life.

We take the gifts that God has given us to steward – gifts like leadership, administration, and mercy – and we use them to fuel our “creator complex,” employing them to build our own kingdoms instead of His. We look at the little kingdom we have brought into being and assert ownership over it. . . .

Al worship is owed to God, not because He demands it (although He rightly does), but because He made us. He is our origin. And anything good that we build or accomplish or “create” originates not in us but in Him.” – Jen Wilkin, None Like Him

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