Monthly Archives: November 2011
Since we are in this season of Advent, looking back to the first arrival of Christ on earth and expecting His second, what better way to celebrate than to ask Him to come and reign? This hymn by Charles Wesley is one which I like quite a lot as it asks God to come in His entirety: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.Come, Thou almighty King,
Help us Thy name to sing,
Help us to praise!
O’er all victorious,
Come and reign over us,
Ancient of Days. Jesus, our Lord, arise,
Scatter our enemies, And make them fall;
Let Thine almighty aid Our sure defense be made,
Souls on Thee be stayed; Lord, hear our call. Come, Thou incarnate Word,
Gird on Thy mighty sword, Our prayer attend!
Come, and Thy people bless, And give Thy Word success,
Spirit of holiness, On us descend! Come, holy Comforter,
Thy sacred witness bear
In this glad hour.
Thou, who almighty art,
Now rule in every heart
And ne’er from us depart,
Spirit of Power! To the great One in Three
Eternal praises be
Thy sovereign majesty
May we in glory see
And to eternity
Love and adore! - Charles Wesley
I know it’s somewhat lame just to post YouTube videos on one’s blog, but sometimes I don’t have much time for anything else! Anyway, this is a song which has been one of my favorites over the last couple of weeks as my family has gone through the loss of a cousin and niece. Though whoever posted the video didn’t get all the words exactly right, it is still quite profound.
This whole Black Friday thing we experienced the other day got me to thinking about some of the contrasting situations we find in our world. First, I googled “Black Friday” in Google images and here are some of the pictures I got:
It’s all pretty standard – the long lines, the full carts, the masses of people jostling for all kinds of goods, from clothing to electronics. It’s a common way of life here in the West and we’re pretty used to it.
Well, then I wanted to find a contrasting situation, one where people are completely destitute, devoid of any livelihood at all. So, I googled “Famine,” since it seems we always have so many of those going on, and here’s what I found:
Now, I know we see and hear about all these types of things every day, but sometimes I think we forget about the rest of the world in which we live. It’s easy for us to use such pictures to play with people’s emotions, to get them to donate or pray or stop living their lives of lasciviousness or whatever. We use the people in these pictures as tools, objects used for our own purposes. I hope I am not doing that here. These people in areas of famine are just as human as you and I. They are just as human as the folks in the previous pictures who live completely different lives. We live in a world of great contrasts.
But, we as believers are called to make disciples of all of these types of people. We are called to show no partiality to any of them (James 2:1-13). We are called to give up everything we have in order to follow Jesus into the fields of the world (Mt. 19:21). Some of these fields brim over with wealth, others are dried up with poverty. Though wealth may be more comfortable and poverty seem more romantic, it is not the amount of money or goods which count. It is the attitude in which one goes. As it says in Micah 6:8, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” We must show kindness to the poor and mercy to the rich, seeking to meet the needs of each, whatever they may be. It’s complicated. It’s ugly and gross. It’s the way of the Master.
Seeing as how today is the first Sunday of Advent, I’ll do something a little different and give the daily prayer from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer. Advent is one of my favorite seasons of the church year as we look back to Christ’s first coming and eagerly await His second.Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which Thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when He shall come again in His glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through Him who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The longer I follow Christ, the more I’ve begun to understand how Jesus is really the only one and the only thing that we really need. I’ve always thought there had to be other things: food, water, sleep, etc. But, He is the one who provides these things, so He really comes before any of them. At times, when I am cast upon Him, I wonder how I could have ever sought after anything else. Of course, I forget Him quite quickly and must learn once again of His all-sufficiency. I’m looking forward to the day when I stop forgetting!Jesus, Jesus, only Jesus,
Can my heartfelt longing still.
Lo, I pledge myself to Jesus
What He wills alone to will.
For my heart, which He hath filled,
Ever cries, Lord, as Thou wilt. One there is for Whom I’m living,
Whom I love most tenderly;
Unto Jesus I am giving
What in love He gave to me.
Jesus’ blood hides all my guilt;
Lord, oh, lead me as Thou wilt. What to me may seem a treasure
But displeasing is to Thee,
Oh, remove such harmful pleasure;
Give instead what profits me.
Let my heart by Thee be stilled;
Make me Thine, Lord, as Thou wilt. Let me earnestly endeavor
Thy good pleasure to fulfill;
In me, through me, with me, ever,
Lord, accomplish Thou Thy will.
In Thy holy image built,
Let me die, Lord, as Thou wilt. Jesus, constant be my praises,
For Thou unto me didst bring
Thine own self and all Thy graces
That I joyfully may sing;
Be it unto me, my Shield,
As Thou wilt, Lord, as Thou wilt. With my voice to Thee uplifted, I would praise Thy wondrous love. May my thankful heart be gifted With sweet music from above, Lauding Thee, whose blood was spilt, Saying ever: As Thou wilt. -Ludamilia Elisabeth