Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Morning

Easter morning beckons us to come. It beckons us to come and see that the tomb is empty. The tomb - that once very recently was filled with the body of our Lord, whom we followed and believed with all that we had. The tomb that was once very recently filled with the body of our Lord, and our sorrow and grief and pain.

Easter morning beckons us to come and see that the tomb oh-so-recently filled with death and pain and grief and all our darkness - is now empty, and the graveclothes have been neatly folded. All is well - all is alive.

Easter morning beckons us to come and to gaze upon the beauty of the tomb that is now empty, just like that night we gazed so intently at the manger.

Easter morning beckons us to come. It no longer matters that we were the ones who doubted. It no longer matters that we were the ones who denied Jesus three times. It no longer matters that we had no idea what was going on. It no longer matters that we ourselves were the ones who betrayed him and sold our Lord away with a kiss for thirty pieces of silver. It no longer matters.

It no longer matters - because it is Easter morning! It is Easter morning, and the tomb of sorrow and guilt and shame and darkness is empty. It is empty, graveclothes folded, and the stone is rolled away. Oh the light that comes streaming - flooding - in, because today is Easter morning!

Today is Easter morning, and now nothing matters but that our light has come.

Arise, oh Church, shine; for our Light has come.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Lenten Prayer. 4.11.14

Lead me to your cross, my Lord Jesus.

How do I follow you in the path of your cross, into the darkness,
and sit with you there in your suffering?

How, when you have seen me grow squeamish in following even in the light,
when you have seen me deny you not three times but three million,
when you have dismissed me to sell you off in betrayal?

How do I follow you, I a sinner, condemned, unclean?

It is to life that we have been called, to life abundantly.
And the place you offer it is on the path of pain and suffering?
Of heartache and humility and abandonment?
You offer life through the darkness of darkest suffering? Never, my Lord!

But yes; it is true. Light emerges from the shadows;
life comes only after death; glory only after suffering.
Your way is not my way, oh my God.
Your path is not my own; your thoughts are high above mine.

For who could dream of beauty coming from a seed,
of life emerging from pain,
of darkest night bursting forth into glorious day?
You, my Lord. Only you.

Ok, Lord; I will follow.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A New Way to Pray

Sometimes in prayer we feel overwhelmed by need. Too often we respond by giving our list of what we think the people or situations for which we are praying need most, when in reality they need the presence of God. Because Emmanuel, God with us, changes things. 

But God is already there. Then what?

I have lately been thinking of a new way to pray. Rather than telling God what I think should be done, I am curious to know what can happen if I instead say, "My Lord, what can I do to help Your Kingdom come in this situation?" I am curious to hear my Lord's response, knowing that I may well be asked to be the answer to my own prayer.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Presence of God. January 13, 2014

When we pray for God's presence, we think we are praying for a grandiose entrance, when what we actually get is a humble king riding in on a stolen donkey. What we get is the King of Kings born as a baby in a cattle stall.

There is nothing big or grandiose about our Savior's entrances. He has proven full well that he prefers to take the back road, the low road, the road less traveled. That's the road where all the low-lifes and screw-ups are. That's where the broken dwell, those on the fringes of society. That's where there are people hurting who need a Savior's lowly entrance. Because they are low to the ground, they can see with full vision the lowly coming of the King.

May we see with eyes like theirs. May we behold our King. In all our great and wondrous efforts, may we not miss him. His birth was first announced to shepherds, after all.


I don't think that there is ever a season in life in which God is not speaking. Indeed, there are times we feel that God is silent, and I do think God is a great listener. But it is in the times that God seems silent, that God is speaking a language we cannot yet hear, a language in which there are no words. And it is in those times that God feels most distant and most silent that God is in fact most at work.

January 6, 2014.

Precious Lord,

I can hear your voice calling. I can hear the sound, but I cannot make out the words or the direction in which you are leading me.

Give me open eyes to see and open ears to hear.

Give me open hands and ready feet, ready to follow you on this journey wherever you may lead.

Help me to hear you; help me to follow.


Waterfall. November 1, 2013

Waterfall flow over me, and cover me up,
And fill my weary soul like a cup.

Fill up my cup til it runneth over
With goodness and love, mercy and grace, generosity and wisdom.

And let it pour forth into other people, that they may share of the goodness as well.

October 15, 2013

When I talk to my Grandmom and Granddad on the phone, it makes my heart so happy. Hearing my Granddad's voice again makes me realize how long it's been since I've heard it. He complains about his back problem; meanwhile, he doesn't know that I just love hearing his voice. It's strange, he suffers yet I delight in him speaking.

Family is a powerful thing. It's indescribable, something for which words fall short. Since we have the same blood running through our veins, it's like we breathe the same air, and we can know one another on a deep level, even when it feels like we don't. It's like the rhythms of our hearts are in sync and we can sit together in total silence while the air between us speaks thousands of volumes of our kinship and love for one another. Even if that love is strangely shown or never finds words of expression.

Life is good. And family is a blessing. Let us rejoice in the God of our Creation.