Awaiting His Arrival: From Fearful to Unafraid

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“Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.
 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.”
Luke 1:30, 38

 

As if until that moment
nothing real
had happened since Creation

As if outside the world were empty
so that she and he were all
there was — he mover, she moved upon

As if her submission were the most
dynamic of all works: as if
no one had ever said Yes like that

As if one day the sun had no place
in all the universe to pour its gold
but her small room
~Luci Shaw “Virgin”

 

and she
looked up at him, their looks so merged in one
the world outside grew vacant, suddenly,
and all things being seen, endured and done
were crowded into them: just she and he
eye and its pasture, visions and its view,
here at the point and at this point alone:-
see, this arouses fear. Such fear both knew.
~Rainer Maria Rilke from “Annunciation to Mary”

Listening to Lent — Sometimes We Fall

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Weak and wounded sinner
Lost and left to die
O, raise your head, for love is passing by
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus and live!

Now your burden’s lifted
And carried far away
And precious blood has washed away the stain, so
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus and live!

And like a newborn baby
Don’t be afraid to crawl
And remember when you walk
Sometimes we fall…so
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus and live!

Sometimes the way is lonely
And steep and filled with pain
So if your sky is dark and pours the rain, then
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus and live!

O, and when the love spills over
And music fills the night
And when you can’t contain your joy inside, then
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus and live!

And with your final heartbeat
Kiss the world goodbye
Then go in peace, and laugh on Glory’s side, and
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus and live!
~Chris Rice

Sometimes we fall.
Sometimes we fall hard.
We don’t want to get back up
just to fail again.
But we must,
and we will.
We’re picked up,
dusted off,
and ready to try
another day.

With a Final Heartbeat

hibiscus3Weak and wounded sinner
Lost and left to die
O, raise your head for love is passing by

Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus and live

Now your burden’s lifted
And carried far away
And precious blood has washed away the stain

So sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus and live

And like a new born baby
Don’t be afraid to crawl
And remember when you walk sometimes we fall

So fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus and live

Sometimes the way is lonely
And steep and filled with pain
So if your sky is dark and pours the rain

Then cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus and live

Ohh, and when the love spills over
And music fills the night
And when you can’t contain your joy inside

Then dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus and live

And with your final heartbeat
Kiss the world goodbye
Then go in peace, and laugh on glory’s side

And fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus and live

Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus and live
~Chris Rice “Untitled Hymn”  (click link to hear this hymn which was sung at Linda’s funeral)

Our little church family lost one of its own last weekend.  Linda wasn’t in her usual seat last Sunday morning, which was notable.  When a family member later couldn’t reach her on the phone,  it was discovered she had slept all the way to heaven sometime in the night.

Hers had been a final heartbeat that only God knew would happen, and when.

We miss our sister in Christ and she was missed again this morning as we sang and prayed and heard God’s Word to us; we miss her gentle smile and her ready willingness to help whenever needed.  We miss her dedication to a Savior who, by His grace,  reshaped her life from self to selfless service and sacrifice.   We miss her love and caring for the rest of us who worshiped alongside her.

Yet we are comforted by what she has left behind: the flower gardens around our church that Linda tended faithfully for years, the crocus and tulip bulbs we know will come up next spring as they will continue to do, to remind us of renewal and resurrection.  Linda got down on her knees to work the soil to create beauty, falling on her knees in gratitude for forgiveness she had known and been shown.  She cried, she sang, she danced, and now, now she has flown to Jesus long before we were ready for her to leave.

We raise our tearful faces to see her love passing by.

Go in peace, Linda.  You have found joy on glory’s side.

queenannes

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