Posts Tagged ‘God is truth’

Isaiah 43Promises of Redemption and Restoration

Palm Sunday, March 25, 2018

A Favorite from February 21, 2008. 

We sing this hymn so often that these words of Isaiah are familiar to us . . . and they are so beautiful.

I have called you by name; you are mine.

Dear God in Heaven, we so many times feel so alone or abandoned.  We think we have done what you have asked, but somehow things just are not working out.  We feel as though we are sinking to the bottom of the sea.

When you pass through the water, I will be with you; in the rivers you shall not drown.

Dear God on Earth, we so many times know that we are called and, wanting to be good servants, we want to obey but we are frightened or anxious.  We feel as though we are burning alive.

When you walk through fire, you will not be burned; the flames shall not consume you.

Dear God who dwells within, we so many times feel so apart from you as we do the work you have asked of us.  We feel isolated and misunderstood.  We want to come home to you.

I give . . . your ransom because you are precious in my eyes and glorious, and because I love you.

Dear God who made us, we wander here on earth and long for the serenity and beauty of your Holy City on a Hill.  We want to hear you clearly, we want to see you distinctly.  We long to be with you.

I will say to the north; Give them up! and to the south: Hold not back!  Bring back my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth: Everyone who is named as mine, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.  Lead out the people who are blind though they have eyes, who are deaf though they have ears.

Dear God who is tender, kind and loving, we are many times afraid to stand when you say stand, to sit when you say sit, to be still when you say be still, to speak when you say speak.  We want to trust.  We want to be authentic.  We want to embody integrity.

Let them produce witnesses to prove themselves right, that one may hear and say, “It is true!”  You are my witnesses, says the Lord, my servants whom I have chosen to know and believe in me and understand that it is I. 

Dear God who is glorious, awesome, and all-knowing, we do not know how to begin, we do not know where to go.

Remember not the events of the past, the things of long ago consider not; see, I am doing something new!  Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?  In the desert I make a way, in the wasteland rivers.  Wild beasts honor me, jackals and ostriches, for I put water in the wasteland for my chosen people to drink, the people who I formed for myself, that they might announce my praise.

Dear God who walks among us, you have shown us The Way, the Truth and the Light.  We will follow you.  We will enter the desert to meet you . . . for we know that is where you are.  We will sojourn among the jackals and the ostriches . . . for we know that is where you are.  We will walk beside the humble . . . for we know that is where you are.

Fear not, I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine.


Find the hymn “Be Not Afraid” by John Michael Talbot, with video clips from the 1998 film The Prince of Egypt, at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MI49peWG2d0 

David Haas’ hymn “You Are Mine” is at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sgm9lkTNQmc 

Image from: https://rickandlindareed.com/2014/12/12/do-not-be-afraid/ 

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John 14:16: Seek Connection

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Jesus says: I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, who will stay with you forever. (GNT)

God the Creator says:  I know that on many days you feel disconnected and ungrounded; but my Spirit lives in you to bring you home to me. I know that you spend nights feeling alone or even abandoned; but my Spirit is with you always. Do I not promise this to you in your exodus journeys that bring you out of enslavement to dangerous ways of life or thinking?

Jesus says: I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. (NRSV)

God the Creator says: Do I not, in the person of my son during the great Discourse on the evening before my human death, promise that I will be with you always?

Jesus says: I will ask the Father, and he will give you another comforting Counselor like me, the Spirit of Truth, to be with you forever. (CJB)

God the Creator says: Do I not promise to abide in you every morning at your rising, every noonday when you pause to rest in me, and every evening when you lie down to rest?

Jesus says: I will talk to the Father, and he’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. (MSG)

God the Creator says: You can rely on me. You can believe in me. You can stand firm on my shoulders. I speak the truth of my love to you when I tell you that I have been with you since before your inception; and I am with you through endless time and space. Rest peacefully in me. Always.

When we use the scripture links and the drop-down menus to explore this verse, we find new connections with the Creator, with Christ, and with the Holy Spirit. To discover how the Spirit helps us to understand Scripture, click on the image above of visit: https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/topical-studies/the-holy-spirit-the-word-of-god-and-you.html 

Tomorrow, seek participation as we begin the season of Advent.

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John 1:5: The Crack in Everythingrafter-lights

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out. (GNT)

Canadian singer, songwriter-poet Leonard Cohen died last week and with his death came a remembrance of the haunting lyric of Anthem, from his 1992 CD entitled The Future. The verses speak to anyone anywhere on the political-social spectrum who worries about the state the planet’s diverse societies, or who has concern for planet Earth herself. Written in the key of Bb Minor, the song gives courage to those who strive for perfect peace, those who seek union in our diversity, those who tire from the struggle for justice. As the refrain repeats, Cohen reminds us that when despair comes upon us – as it always will during our tumultuous lives – we must celebrate what there is to celebrate, we must put aside the notion that our sacrifice earns us the reward we demand, and we must remember that light always pierces all false perfection to reveal the eternal truth that cannot be denied.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in. 

My dad was fond of telling us, when we brought injustice to his attention, that the truth always comes out in the end. This was his way of reminding us that ultimately, and always, God is in charge. Even when we cannot make sense of what happens around us. Even when we see nothing but disaster. Even when we feel nothing but fear.

The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out. (MSG)

My dad also liked to remind us, when we brought evil to his attention, that we need to “let God worry about the other guy”. Do what you know you need to do, and don’t think you are God. Even when it looks as though humanity is bent on thwarting God’s economy. Even when society is determined to destroy itself. Even in the face of horrific evil.

And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (DRA)

crackWe know that corruption is present everywhere; and we must always do what we are called to do to stand against it. We know that darkness always seeks to overcome light and we must always nurture the light where we find it. And we know that the ignorance of darkness cannot overcome the knowing of God’s presence.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not defeated it. (ERV)

And so when we worry, when we strain against reality, when we forget that there are cracks in the everything to allow the light in, we might also remember the words of John the Beloved Apostle writing about the Christ.

Everything was created through him;
    nothing—not one thing!—
    came into being without him.
What came into existence was Life,
    and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
    the darkness couldn’t put it out.

We remember that there is a crack in everything.

When we compare different translations of these verses, we discover that in God’s great design, there is a crack in everything . . . so that God’s  light might get in. 

To learn about Leonard Cohen, visit his official site at: https://www.leonardcohen.com/

Cohen’s Anthem can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCS_MwkWzes or click on the lyric above.

For Jennifer Dukes Lee’s reflection on Cohen’s verses and scripture, visit: http://jenniferdukeslee.com/what-your-broken-places-are-for/

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