Listening to Lent — Church With Broken Wings

 

askriggchurch

Men of faith rise up and sing
Of the great and glorious King
You are strong when you feel weak
In your brokenness complete

Shout to the north and the south
Sing to the east and the west
Jesus is Savior to all
He’s Lord of heaven and earth

Rise up women of the truth
Stand and sing to broken hearts
Who can know the healing power
Of our awesome King of love

And shout to the north and the south
Sing to the east and the west
Jesus is Savior to all
He’s Lord of heaven and earth

And we will shout to the north and the south
Sing to the east and the west
Jesus is Savior to all
He’s Lord of heaven and earth

We’ve been through fire, we’ve been through pain
We’ve been refined by the power of Your name
We’ve fallen deeper in love with You
You’ve burned the truth on our lips

Shout to the north and the south
Sing to the east and the west
Jesus is Savior to all
He’s Lord of heaven and earth

And we will shout to the north and the south
Sing to the east and the west
Jesus is Savior to all
Yes, He’s Lord of heaven and earth

Rise up church with broken wings
Fill this place with songs again
Of our God who reigns on high
By his grace again we’ll fly

Shout to the north and the south
Sing to the east and the west
Jesus is Savior to all
He’s Lord of heaven and earth

Yeah, we will shout to the north and the south
Sing to the east and the west
Jesus is Savior to all
He’s Lord of heaven and earth

Yeah, we will shout to the north and the south
Sing to the east and the west
Jesus is Savior to all
He’s Lord of heaven and earth

Yes, He’s Lord of heaven and earth
Yes, He’s Lord of heaven and earth
Yes, He’s Lord of heaven and earth
~Robin Mark

There is much wrong with the church overall,
comprised as it is
with fallen people
with broken wings
determined to find flaws in each other
in doctrine, tradition, beliefs.

What is right with the church,
is who we sing to,why we sing,
whose body we are part of
despite our thoroughly motley messiness:
Our Lord of Heaven and Earth.

Listening to Lent — World Without End

rainyyard

Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor.
Exsultemus, et in ipso jucundemur.
Timeamus, et amemus Deum vivum.
Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero.

Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Simul ergo cum in unum congregamur:
Ne nos mente dividamur, caveamus.
Cessent iurgia maligna, cessent lites.
Et in medio nostri sit Christus Deus.

Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Simul quoque cum beatis videamus,
Glorianter vultum tuum, Christe Deus:
Gaudium quod est immensum, atque probum,
Saecula per infinita saeculorum. Amen.

English Translation
Where charity and love are, God is there.
Love of Christ has gathered us into one.
Let us rejoice in Him and be glad.
Let us fear, and let us love the living God.
And from a sincere heart let us love one.

Where charity and love are, God is there.
At the same time, therefore, are gathered into one:
Lest we be divided in mind, let us beware.
Let evil impulses stop, let controversy cease.
And in the midst of us be Christ our God.

Where charity and love are, God is there.
At the same time we see that with the saints also,
Thy face in glory, O Christ our God:
The joy that is immense and good, Unto the
World without end. Amen.

When I hear such powerful words
sung in unity of spirit
with diversity of voice and song,
my impulse to be divisive
is convicted, found guilty of separation
rather than blending in wholly.

May my disparate parts be gathered together
within His immense capacity for goodness,
my broken fragments glued together,
knitted whole by His loving charity,
His understanding of me as better than myself
in this world without end.

Listening to Lent — Bow and Be Simple

sunset31114
I will bow and be simple,
I will bow and be free,
I will bow and be humble,
Yea, bow like the willow tree.
I will bow, this is the token,
I will wear the easy yoke,
I will bow and will be broken,
Yea, I’ll fall upon the rock.
~Shaker Hymn
 

I am not one to yield to the wind freely.
More poplar than willow,
there is inflexibility rather than suppleness
in my rigid branches and trunk.

This means I break, and frequently,
when bending might be easier.
This means I lie in broken pieces
awaiting salvage, or the flames.

Yea, fallen in fragments upon the rock.

Hole in the Heart

photo by Josh Scholten

There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.
~ Blaise Pascal 

Everyone is created with a hole in their heart that has no murmur, doesn’t show up on scans or xrays nor is it visible in surgery.  Yet we feel it, absolutely know it is there, and are constantly reminded of being incomplete.  Billions of dollars and millions of hours are spent trying to fill that empty spot in every imaginable and unimaginable way.  Nothing we try fills it wholly.  Nothing we find fits it perfectly.  Nothing on earth can ever be sufficient.

We are born wanting, yearning and searching; we exist hungry, thirsty and needy.

Created with a hankering heart for God, we discover only He fits, fills and is sufficient.  Only a beating heart like ours can know our hollow heart’s emptiness.  His bleeding stops us from hemorrhaging all we have in futile pursuits.

The mystery if the vacuum is this:
how our desperation resolves
and misery comforted
by being made complete and whole
through His woundedness.

How is it possible that
through His pierced limbs and broken heart,
we are made holy,
our emptiness filled forever.

photo by Josh Scholten

Lenten Reflection–Better to be Broken

photo by Josh Scholten


God uses broken things.
It takes broken soil to produce a crop,
broken clouds to give rain,
broken grain to give bread,
broken bread to give strength.
It is the broken alabaster box
that gives forth perfume.
It is Peter,
weeping bitterly,
who returns to
greater power than ever.
Vance Havner

We yearn for perfection,
for flawless and faultless,
unblemished,
aiming for symmetry,
straight and smooth.

Life serves up something
far different
and our eye searches
to find the cracks,
scratches and damage,
whether it is in
a master’s still life portrait
replete with crawling flying insects
and broken blossoms,
or in the not so still life
of our next door neighbor.

In the beginning we were created
unblemished,
image bearers of perfection.
No longer.
We bear witness to brokenness
with shattered lives,
fragile minds and weakening bodies.
It is our leaks and warts
that stand out now.

To restore
the lost relationship with Him,
God provides the glue
needed to heal the broken.

He broke Himself
to mend us,
binding us to Him
forever.

Still Life With Flowers--Jan Huysum

photo by Josh Scholten