Listening to Lent – Through the Gloom

sunset32314Death shall not destroy my comfort,
Christ shall guide me thro’ the gloom;
Down he’ll send some heav’nly convoy,
To escort my spirit home.

(Refrain):
Oh, hallelujah! How I Love my Savior,
Oh, hallelujah! That I Do.
Oh, Hallelujah! How I love my Savior!
Mourners, you may love him too.

Jordan’s stream shall not o’erflow me,
While my Savior’s by my side;
Canaan, Canaan lies before me!
Soon I’ll cross the swelling tide.
(Refrain)

See the happy spirits waiting,
On the banks beyond the stream!
Sweet responses still repeating,
“Jesus! Jesus!” is their theme.
(Refrain)
~American Folk Hymn

There are families in despair
just down the road apiece from us:
the uncertain earth gave way and slid far,
overcoming houses and the people within.
The missing outnumber the known dead.
The searchers struggle on quicksand;
The mourners drown
in enveloping inevitability.
There is no where to turn,
no comfort to find
but that we belong,
body and soul,
to our Savior
who came to fetch us
from the muddy flow of our lives.

Listening to Lent — When the Morning Comes

sunrise226142

When the morning comes on the farthest hill
I will sing His name, I will praise Him, still.
When dark trials come and my heart is filled
With the weight of doubt, I will praise Him, still.

(Chorus)
For the Lord, our God, He is strong to save
From the arms of death, from the deepest grave,
And He gave us life in His perfect will,
And by His good grace, I will praise Him, still.

When the morning comes on the farthest hill
I will sing His name, I will praise Him, still.
When dark trials come and my heart is filled
With the weight of doubt, I will praise Him, still.

For the Lord, our God, He is strong to save
From the arms of death, from the deepest grave,
For the Lord, our God, He is strong to save
From the arms of death, from the deepest grave,
And He gave us life in His perfect will,
And by His good grace, I will praise Him, still.
~Fernando Ortega

Even when hungry,
hurting,
lonely,
ill,
doubting~

He is there, waiting to hold us fast
rescue us from the brink
and carry us home.

Listening to Lent — Mercy to the Lost

sunset319145

kyrie eleison, have mercy,
christe eleison, have mercy.

as we come before you with the needs of our world,
we confess our failures and our sin;
for our words are many yet our deeds have been few,
fan the fire of compassion once again.

when the cries of victims go unheard in the land,
and the scars of war refuse to heal,
will we stand for justice to empower the weak
till their bonds of oppression are no more?

if we love our God with all our heart, mind and strength,
and we love our neighbors as ourselves,
then this law of love will heal the nations of earth
and the glory of Christ will be revealed.

Lord, renew our vision to be Christ where we live,
to reach out in mercy to the lost;
for each cup of kindness to the least in our midst
is an offering of worship to the throne.
~Stuart Townend

And are we not all alike, all lost?
Wandering? Weeping? Wretched?
It is when we know mercy
that we become mercy,
loving where others show hate
giving where others take away
building up where others tear down.
We can be Christ where we live
because He renews in us
a new life in Him.

Listening to Lent — Such a Life

cherrymarch

cherrymarch2

Come, my Way, my Truth, my Life:
Such a way as gives us breath;
Such a truth as ends all strife,
Such a life as killeth death.

Come, my Light, my Feast, my Strength:
Such a light as shows a feast,
Such a feast as mends in length,
Such a strength as makes his guest.

Come, my Joy, my Love, my Heart:
Such a joy as none can move,
Such a love as none can part,
Such a heart as joys in love.
~George Herbert

These internal rhymes~
when there is a joining
of unexpected unity
within and among us;
when we find that moment
of knowing
all will be well
even when we ache to dying.

It is new life, new truth, new love.

Listening to Lent — Let It Freely Burn

sunset319141

Come down, O love divine, seek Thou this soul of mine,
And visit it with Thine own ardor glowing.
O Comforter, draw near, within my heart appear,
And kindle it, Thy holy flame bestowing.

O let it freely burn, til earthly passions turn
To dust and ashes in its heat consuming;
And let Thy glorious light shine ever on my sight,
And clothe me round, the while my path illuming.

Let holy charity mine outward vesture be,
And lowliness become mine inner clothing;
True lowliness of heart, which takes the humbler part,
And o’er its own shortcomings weeps with loathing.

And so the yearning strong, with which the soul will long,
Shall far out-pass the power of human telling;
For none can guess its grace, till he become the place
Wherein the Holy Spirit makes His dwelling.
~Bianco De Siena

This could be why sunrise and sunset
grabs hold of me wholly,
clothes this lowly soul in robe and slippers,
in finery lit from above.

The mistakes of the day
burned to dust in the evening fire,the hope of dawn and new beginning
illuminating the dispersed darkness.

 

Listening to Lent — Be Mindful

pastoralpond2
Spem in alium nunquam habui
Praeter in te, Deus Israel
Qui irasceris et propitius eris
et omnia peccata hominum
in tribulatione dimittis
Domine Deus
Creator caeli et terrae
respice humilitatem nostram
I have never put my hope in any other
but in You, O God of Israel
who can show both anger and graciousness,
and who absolves all the sins
of suffering man
Lord God,
Creator of Heaven and Earth
be mindful of our lowliness
~Spem in alium, Thomas Tallis
 
Mindfulness is a mantra of intentional living,
of not letting anything escape
unnoticed or unappreciated.For God to be mindful of us,
to acknowledge our humble existence
owed only and solely to Him,
He sees a rippled reflection of Himself;
we image bearers distorted
by the thrown rocks of our sin.So He came alongside us,
walked our paths,
suffering like us,
for us,
instead of us.Not only is He mindful of our lowliness,
He became the most lowly
so we can now reflect Him perfectly,
one blood,
one heart,
one mind.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iT-ZAAi4UQQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Cn7ZW8ts3Y

Listening to Lent — Unchanging Love

wwuheather

If thou but trust in God to guide thee,
and hope in God through all thy ways,
God will give strength, what e’er betide thee,
to bear thee through the evil days.
Who trusts in God’s unchanging love
builds on the rock that naught can move.

Only be still, and wait God’s leisure
in cheerful hope, with heart content
To take what e’er thy Maker’s pleasure
and all discerning love hath sent;
We know our inmost wants are known,
for we are called to be God’s own.

Sing, pray, and keep God’s ways unswerving;
so do thine own part faithfully,
And trust God’s word; though undeserving,
thou yet shalt find it true for thee.
God never yet forsook at need the soul
that trusted God in-deed.
~Georg Neumark

Trust~
a challenge for us
who are so volatile, so transient and fleeting,
to imagine an unchanging love
that lasts
through the worst storms and violent upheavals.

He of strength and hope
loves us~~
the weak, the broken, the undeserving.
He causes us to burst into bloom.