Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘liberation’


Monday, October 21, 2013

120578004.0sKwzibJ[1]Psalm 32:6-7

Songs of Deliverance

Each of your servants prays to you in time of trouble; even if floods come rushing down, they will never reach him.  You are a hiding place for me, you guard me when in trouble, you surround me with songs of deliverance.

The dry wadis flood when sudden rains come upon the unsuspecting traveler.  The psalmist uses an apt metaphor for the troubles that spring on us when we are living ordinary lives in ordinary ways.  During these times God becomes a hiding place, a sanctuary, a refuge from sudden, overwhelming storms.  God guards and protects, encourages and saves.  God calls to us out of the storm, intoning the words of hymns of liberation.   What are these words that are meant to calm crushed spirits, to sooth distraught minds and bring weary bones to new life?

God says: I hear you when you pray to me out of the maelstrom that strikes you – as the storms of life always do – and I long to save you from all that threatens you. Call out to me as the flood waters rise.  Sing out my name when you feel that you are lost.  Ask me for help and I will make a way for you.  When I rebuke the rushing waters that threaten to pull you down into darkness, they will settle at once into a refreshing oasis where you can rest and renew yourself.  Do not fear the swirling waters of life, for I am with you always.  When you call, I will answer.

Jewish_National_Fund_trees_in_The_Negev[1]From Matthew 8:23-27: When He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him.  And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep.  And they came to him and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!”  He said to them, “Why are you afraid, oh you of little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm.  The men were amazed, and said, “What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?”

When we are surprised by the sudden changes that spring on us, let us call on one whom even the winds and sea obey.  And let us listen for the songs of deliverance that overcome the storm.

Enter the word maelstrom or storm into the blog search bar and reflect on how God saves and liberates us when we ask for help.

For more images of the Hatta Wadi Floods, click on the image above, or go to: http://www.pbase.com/bigrig/image/120578004

Read Full Post »

Suddenly


Monday, January 7, 2013 – Acts 12:1-19 – Suddenly

Suddenly the angel of the Lord stood by him and a light shone in the cell.

Murillo: The Liberation of St. Peter

Murillo: The Liberation of St. Peter

We linger over the story of Peter’s deliverance from the prison cell where he awaited Herod’s will.  We imagine a winged warrior who goes into combat with such peaceful ease.  We wonder if we are dreaming or if God is somehow delivering us from certain condemnation and death.

Get up quickly.

We do as the apparition commands.  Half-asleep we struggle to find our balance; we tax our senses, asking for instant and accurate input.  Is this a dream?

Put on your belt and your sandals.

The voice is real yet all is strange.  There is an urgency and yet somehow we are not frightened.   We grapple for the things of the world that we know well.  They bring us comfort although we know they do not protect us in any way. 

Put on your cloak and follow me.

Moving forward we convince ourselves that in a fleeting moment we will fully awaken to find ourselves in the well-known prison of our fear.  We touch familiar objects as if to reassure ourselves . . . knowing that they hold no help for us, understanding that full and lasting assurance lies only in this lovely and dreamy apparition that leads us forward.

They passed the first guard and then the second.

The light breeze ruffles against our sleep-wrinkled cheeks.  All seems real enough yet how is it that we slip so easily past the chains that fettered us so well and for so long?

They emerged and made their way down an alley.

It is true.  Freedom has been gained.  And with such slight effort!  Who would have thought the battle might be so easily won?

Suddenly the angel left him. 

And just as quickly as this powerful apparition appears it now evaporates; yet this new harmony lingers; fear does not pierce our newly-found armor.  This winged hand of God has brought us to a peaceful place with ease and grace.

Then he recovered his senses.

Fully awake, we realize that disaster has been averted.  Prayers have been answered.  The miracle has taken place.  We allow ourselves to dwell for a brief time in this new feeling of gift.  A wave of gratitude surges up from our feet and wings through our body.  Suddenly we want to fly to those we love to deliver the Lord’s message of freedom.

He went to the house and knocked on the gateway door.  A maid answered and was overjoyed.  She ran to tell the others of his deliverance.  They told her, “You are out of your mind”.

A detail from Murillo's Liberation of St. Peter

Detail: Murillo’s “Liberation of St. Peter”

Our news falls on disbelieving ears and yet we persist.

He continued to knock and when they opened the door they saw him and were astounded.

We fall into waiting arms as we announce the Good News for suddenly we fully know that what we have been told is true. 

He is risen.  He saves.  He conquers all. He has returned for us. 

We are loved.  Amen.

To read more about Peter’s Deliverance, visit the Expect Miracles page on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/miracles/expect-miracles/

Read Full Post »


Tuesday, December 4, 2012 – 1 Peter 2 – The Hostile World

imagesGod’s house is built with the lives of those who are rejected.  The world is hostile to those who frequent this house.  The theme of the rejected cornerstone is a familiar one, particularly at this time of year when we journey toward a celebration of Christ’s entrance into a hostile world.  Advent is a time when we await the one who frees all who are enslaved by a hostile world. 

In today’s Noontime, Peter speaks to slaves and women from his own culture, encouraging them to abide in their enslaved state, fulfilling their role as well as they might in their current culture.  In reading these passages, we are not to suppose that we need to return to this way of living; rather, we might focus on the fact that Peter speaks to these marginalized people and does not exclude them – just as we are to work to include those on the margins today.  Peter, like the other apostles, believed that Christ was returning soon to gather up the faithful to take them home to the Father.  Peter, like the other apostles, and we today are called to further the kingdom in the expectation that it exists and now and will always exist.  Through Peter, Christ calls us to live a life which demonstrates our constancy, our fidelity, our perseverance and our patience even in hostile surroundings.    He asks that we live as Christ . . . as Christians in a world which sees as alien and incongruent the idea that all are truly free

We will need to have compassion and forgiveness if we hope to be in the world but not of it.  We must do more than accept, we must intercede on behalf of those who do us harm . . . just as Jesus does.   Perhaps as a sign that we understand Jesus’ message of liberation, we might step forward this Advent and bring the presence of Christ to a hostile world. 

First written on March 9, 2010. Re-written and posted today as a Favorite.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: