I remember

 

Mary remembered all these things
and thought deeply about them
(Luke 2:19; GNT).

Jesus, I remember
The day God’s angel came,
The message, and the promise;
The way he said your name.

And I well remember
The day when you were born:
The pain, the blood, the darkness;
The crying out; the dawn.

Jesus, I remember
The day you were baptised:
The dove, the voice, the heavens,
And John, there, at your side.

And I well remember
The day you were transformed:
The sun, the cloud, God speaking;
Your robes, with light adorned.

Jesus, I remember
The day you were betrayed:
The bread, the wine, the sharing;
The garden where you prayed.

And I well remember
The day when you were killed:
The cross, the nails, the anguish;
Your destiny fulfilled.

Jesus, I remember
The day you rose anew:
The tears, the hopes, the doubting;
Your friends, so very few.

And I well remember
The day God took you home:
The quiet way you left us
To follow you, alone.

Jesus, I remember
The day your Spirit fell:
The tongues of fire, the jeering;
The truth you helped us tell.

So now, Lord, I look forward
To the day when you return:
For then I’ll see your face again –
No longer will I yearn.

I yearn for the Lord,
more than watchmen do for the morning
(Psalm 130:6; NET).

Something unusual (9.12.20. For A.K.)


Image: Michelle Maria, Pixabay


🌹🌹🌹

Something very unusual happened today. It was a cold, grey morning, and I set off to walk the short distance to church at about 9.30, as usual. This generally takes about 5 minutes, depending on how slow I am.

I was the first person to arrive, so I sat down to pray in the stillness, whilst waiting for mass to start at 10 o’clock. I remember checking my watch, only to find that it had stopped at 9.35, so I didn’t know the exact time.

The church was quite dark, apart from a small spotlight above the statue of Our Lady of Rushen, and a dimly-illuminated panel of the Last Supper on the front of the altar. As always, the red tabernacle flame was flickering in its glass holder.

One by one, a few people arrived quietly, the silence deepening as they settled down to pray.

Hearing the priest come out of the sacristy, I looked up, and watched as he prepared for the service by lighting the altar candles, and the first two Advent candles. These were on an ornate metal stand, next to the altar. The first took several seconds to light, but the second burned immediately.

As the second flame steadied, the priest, the stand, and a small area around them were suddenly bathed in a glowing, translucent, Marian-blue light. Time seemed to stand still. I gazed in wonder, unsure of what I was seeing. Were my eyes playing tricks on me? Was I imagining it? Could anyone else see what was happening? The effect was soft, yet bright; exquisitely beautiful, mysterious, and awesome. Overwhelmed and disturbed, I hid my face, and prayed, full of confusion. I had no sense of how long this continued, but it couldn’t have been more than a few minutes.

Then there was a click, and the main church lights came on. I looked up, but the radiant turquoise-blue light had disappeared. The little sacring-bell rang; we all stood up as the priest entered to say mass. I knew it was exactly 10am, as he is always very punctual.

After the service, I stayed in the church to pray, then walked back slowly, feeling very strange, and trying to make sense of the whole experience.

When I got home, I found an online message from a friend, which included the following sentence:

May you know the stirring of His Spirit within you,
guiding and sustaining you today.

The message had been sent at 9.44am, which must have been just around the time when the strange light appeared.

🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹

It’s Advent!


Image: Dorothée Quennesson, Pixabay


🧡

1. It’s Advent, Lord:
I wait anew,
To hear your cry,
And welcome you.

2. It’s Christmas:
And you’re born afresh
In my poor mind, heart,
Soul, and flesh.

3. It’s Easter, Lord:
You rise again,
To free me from
All sin and pain.

4. It’s Pentecost:
Each day you burn
Within me,
Till your great return.

🧡


References

1. Wait expectantly for him (Psalm 37:7; CSB).

The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord” (Isaiah 40:3; NKJV).

2. She gave birth to her first-born son (Luke 2:6; RSV).

I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God (John 3:3; NLT).

Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us (Colossians 3:11; NLT).

3. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman Soldiers to be crucified (Mark 15:15; NLT).

You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! (Mark 16:6; NLT).

He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases (Psalm 103:3; NLT).

4. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:3-4; NLT).

Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us? (Luke 24:32; NLT).

His mercies begin afresh each morning (Lamentations 3:22; NLT).

He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him (Hebrews 9:28; NLT).

In the future you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven (Matthew 26:64; NLT).

It’s always the Beginning

Image: WikiImages, Pixabay


His mercies begin afresh each morning
(Lamentations 3:22; NLT).

1. It’s always the Beginning, Lord:
Each day you make me new.

2. It’s always Advent,
While you wait for me to turn to you.

3. It’s always Christmas, Lord:
You’re born again in my poor soul.

4. It’s always Holy Week,
When you face death to make me whole.

5. It’s always Easter, Lord:
You rise again to give me faith.

6. It’s always Pentecost,
When your great Spirit gives me grace.

7. It’s always Harvest, Lord:
Each night we probe the day that’s past –

8. So it’s always Judgement Day,
Lord, may I see your face, at last?

 


References

1. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1; NLT).

He who sat upon the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:5; RSV).

2. The Lord must wait for you to come to him (Isaiah 30:18; NLT).

3. She gave birth to her first-born son (Luke 2:6; RSV).

I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God (John 3:3; NLT).

4. He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole (Isaiah 53:5; RSV).

5. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! (Mark 16:6; NLT).

I pray [that] Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith (Ephesians 3:16-17; NET).

6. You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you (Acts 1:8; NLT).

God saved you by his grace when you believed (Ephesians 2:8; NLT).

7. You must celebrate the Festival of Harvest (Exodus 34:22; NLT).

The harvest is the end of the world (Matthew 13:39; NLT).

8. As we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgement (1 John 4:17; NLT).

Now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face (1 Corinthians 13:12; NRSV).

Thank you, Lord


1. Thank you, Lord, for your creation
Of the heavens and the earth.

2. Thank you for your incarnation,
For your advent, and your birth.

3. Thank you, Lord, for your atonement,
Purchased with your final breath.

4. Thank you for your resurrection,
So we, too, can rise from death.

5. Thank you, Lord, for your ascension;
Your salvation makes us whole.

6. Thank you for your Holy Spirit,
Sent to fill each heart and soul.

7. Thank you, Lord, for your communion
With us every night and day.

8. Thank you for your constant presence,
As we walk your narrow way.


References

1. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1; NLT).

2. The Word became human and made his home among us (John 1:14; NLT).

3. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood (Romans 3:25; NIV).

4. Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25; NLT).

5. The same one who descended is the one who ascended higher than all the heavens, so that he might fill the entire universe with himself (Ephesians 4:10; NLT).

6. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you (Romans 8:11; NLT).

7. Be sure of this: I am with you always (Matthew 28:20; NLT).

8. Christ lives within you (Romans 8:10; NLT).

You are the stars

1. You are the stars in the sky, Lord;
You are the heavens and earth;

2. You are the lands, seas, and creatures;
You are our advent and birth.

3. You are the strength in our bodies;
You are our blood and our breath;

4. You are the love in our hearts, Lord,
You are our life and our death.

5. You are the One who forgives, Lord;
You are the One who makes whole;

6. You are the One who has mercy;
You are our God, and our soul.

References

1. There is […] one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all
(Ephesians 4:5-6; NLT).

2. I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5; NLT).

The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul (Genesis 2:7; WEB).

3. The Lord God is my strength (Isaiah 12:2; NLT).

There is a spirit within people, the breath of the Almighty within them (Job 32:8; NLT).

4. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them (1 John 4:16; NLT).

In him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28, NIV).

The Lord gives both death and life (1 Samuel 2:6; NLT).

5. He forgives all my sins (Psalm 103:2; NLT).

I am the Lord, who heals you (Exodus 15:27; NIV).

6. The Lord passed in front of Moses, calling out, “Yahweh! The Lord! The God of compassion and mercy! (Exodus 34:6; NLT).

My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed (John 20:28; NLT).

You are the temple of the living God (2 Corinthians 6:16; NLT).

We all share the same Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13; NLT).