The first Sunday in Lent:
one draped in rough burlap and royal purple,
the other rising from a crown of thorns.
He died for us on one:
"For the joy set before him he endured the cross."
He calls us to the other:
"Take up your cross and follow me."
Yes, it's the first Sunday in Lent, and for some odd reason, the tech guys have not showed up for the service with the sound system or the overhead projector that we use in the middle school auditorium. The worship pastor hurries a few miles away to the church office to run off song sheets. This is old style for those of us who have been in church for decades. No microphones, no amplifiers, so we all move to the front rows and -- unplugged -- worship God, who is power enough. The liturgy, fortunately, is printed in the bulletin: responsive readings, prayers, notes to ponder later. The traditional mixes with the contemporary, but all are timeless words, eternal words, everlasting praise.
Open up the skies of mercy
Rain down the cleansing flood
Healing waters rise around us
Hear our cries, Lord, let them rise
It's your kindness lord
That leads us to repentance
Your favor Lord, is our desire
It's your beauty Lord
That makes us stand in silence
Your love, Your love
Is better than life.
We can feel Your mercy falling
You are turning our hearts back again
Hear our praises rise to heaven
Draw us near, Lord, meet us here.
You did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, "Abba! Father!" is is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. (Romans 8:15-17)
Then Jesus got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” (Matthew 8:23-27)
During the season of Lent, we prepare our hearts for the remembrance and celebration of our Savior's passion, death, and resurrection. It is a time for reflection, repentance, and renewal. It is a time for mercy and healing. It is a time of looking to the One who soothed the angry sea and can bring peace to our chaotic lives.
comfort you with his love,
create in you a new spirit,
crown you with salvation,
call you to
take up your
you with his
You can read my first Lent post here: Dry Souls, Muddy Wells, Living Water and Lent (Advocating for the Vulnerable #10)
I took the photo of the crosses at Lake Baldwin Church with my iPod on Sunday morning and then edited it with Picasa. It will be my submission to the Sweet Shot Tuesday photo project tomorrow morning. You can see my current photo collection here: Sweet Shot 2013.
I will also link to the following blogs this week...