Remembering

Image: Pablo Juan, Pixabay


🖤

1. I remember the stories –
The shepherds, the star;
The stable, the manger,
The kings, from afar.

2. I remember the temple,
The questions, the joy;
My parents; their wrath –
I was only a boy.

3. I remember the wedding
At Cana, the wine
Transformed from fresh water –
My first ever sign.

4. I remember my baptism,
Miracles, feasts;
The preaching, the healing;
The scribes and the priests.

5. I remember the mountain,
The voice, and the light –
My transfiguration:
God clothed me in white.

6. I remember the colt,
The procession, the crowd;
The palms and the cloaks –
People shouting so loud!

7. I remember the supper,
The bread, and the wine;
The friendship, the sharing
With those who were mine.

8. I remember the garden,
The darkness, the fear;
The kiss of betrayal
When Judas drew near.

9. I remember the scourging –
I knew all was lost;
The robe, and the thorns,
And the weight of the cross.

10. Now all that is left
Is the blood, and the pain;
The thirst, and the dying,
As I call your name.

🖤


References

1. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them (Luke 2:6-7; NIV).

2. Three days later they finally discovered him in the Temple, sitting among the religious leaders, listening to them and asking questions (Luke 2:46; NLT).

3. This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory (John 2:11; NLT).

4. One day when the crowds were being baptised, Jesus himself was baptised. As he was praying, the heavens opened, and the Holy Spirit, in bodily form, descended on him like a dove. And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy (Luke 3:22; NLT).

The leading priests and the teachers of religious law saw these wonderful miracles and heard even the children in the Temple shouting, “Praise God for the Son of David.” But the leaders were indignant (Matthew 21:15; NLT).

5. Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them (Mark 9:2-3; NIV).

6. The next day, the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel!” (John 12:12-13; NIV).

7. He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me. In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you” (Luke 22:19-20; NIV).

8. He went on a little further and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine” (Matthew 26:39; NLT).

He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood (Luke 22:44; NLT).

9. Then Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip. The soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they put a purple robe on him. “Hail! King of the Jews!” they mocked, as they slapped him across the face (John 19:1-3; NLT).

Carrying the cross by himself, he went to the Place of the Skull…

10. …There they nailed him to the cross (John 19:17; NLT).

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? (Mark 15:34; NLT).

The dream of angels

Image: István Nemes, Pixabay


❤️

1. God is not the dream of angels,
Nor a vision,
Nor a creed.

2. God is not just wishful thinking,
Nor a longing,
Nor a need.

3. God is neither male nor female,
Storm, nor earthquake,
Fire, nor flood.

4. God is Father, Son, and Spirit,
One forever —
God is Love.

❤️


References

1. This is […] the message of the man whose eyes see clearly, the message of one who hears the words of God [and] sees a vision of the Almighty (Numbers 24:3-4; NLT).

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

3. He is not a human being (1 Samuel 15:29; NIV).

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28; NKJV).

The Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire (1 Kings 19:11-12; NLT).

I am about to cover the earth with a flood that will destroy every living thing (Genesis 6:17; NLT).

4. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; NIV).

The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! (Deuteronomy 6:4; NASB).

God is love (1 John 4:16; NLT).

My mind rises up

Image: cocoparisienne, Pixabay


1. My mind rises up
Like a kite, Lord, in prayer,
Flying, though tethered to earth —

One with the mountains,
The valleys and seas;
One with the world of my birth.

2. My heart rises up
Like a seed, Lord, in prayer,
Drifting on delicate wings —

One with the sunshine,
The breeze and the clouds;
One, Lord, with all living things. 

3. My soul rises up
Like a bird, Lord, in prayer,
Soaring to heaven above —

One with the angels,
The quick and the dead,
And one with you, Father, in love.

 

Like a holy angel

Image: Henry Tanner, Yandex


1. Like a holy angel,
Like a child of God,
Jesus, may I follow you
Along the path you trod.

2. Like a faithful servant,
Like a humble slave,
Jesus, may I follow you,
And share the price you paid.

3. Like a good disciple,
Like a loyal friend,
Jesus, may I follow you
Until life’s bitter end.

 


References

1. Angels came and took care of Jesus (Matthew 4:11; NLT).

To all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12; NLT).

“Come, follow me” Jesus said (Matthew 4:19; NIV).

Small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it (Matthew 7:14; NIV).

2. Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities (Matthew 25:21; NLT).

Whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else (Mark 10:44; NLT).

If we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering (Romans 8:17; NLT).

3. Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34; NIV).

A friend is always loyal (Proverbs 17:17; NLT).

Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23; NLT).

Jesus’ friends, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance watching (Luke 23:49; NLT).

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46; NIV).

When Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit (Matthew 27:50; NIV).

Children’s prayer



Image: Manfred Richter, Pixabay


Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children” (Matthew 19:14; NLT).

1. Guardian angel,
Hear my prayer:
May Jesus guide me
Everywhere.

2. Guardian angel,
Hear my song:
May Jesus keep me
All day long.

3. Guardian angel,
Hear my plea:
May Jesus help
And comfort me.

4. Guardian angel
Hear my call:
May Jesus bless
And save us all.

Beware that you don’t look down on any of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my heavenly Father (Matthew 18:10; NLT).

There’s always a rainbow

Image: sharonjoy 17, Pixabay


Faith is confidence in what we hope for
and assurance about what we do not see
(Hebrews 11:1; NIV).

1. There’s always a rainbow,
Though we may not notice.

2. There’s always an angel
We do not perceive.

3. Christ, also, though hidden,
Is always beside us,

4. And though we can’t see him,
We can still believe.


References

1. When I send clouds over the earth, the rainbow will appear in the clouds (Genesis 9:14; NLT).

2. Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realising it! (Hebrews 13:2; NLT).

3. As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them. But God kept them from recognising him (Luke 24:15; NLT).

I am with you always (Matthew 28:20; NLT).

4. Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe” (John 20:29; NIV).

Angel of the hour

Angels came and took care of Jesus (Matthew 4:11; NLT).

1. Angel of the hour, I thank you
For the smile you offer me,
Prompting me to recognise
That God is here in all I see.

2. Angel of the day, I thank you
For your greeting in the street,
Causing me to recollect
That God is here in all I meet.

3. Angel of the month, I thank you
For your guidance when I stray,
Urging me to trust that God
Is with me on this narrow way.

4. Angel of the year, I thank you,
For you save me when I fall,
And you rescue me from danger:
God is in you most of all.

5. Angels, I am truly thankful –
You are sent by God’s own hand,
Helping me through this long exile,
Till I reach his Promised Land.

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

3. He guides me along right paths (Psalm 23:3; NLT).

4. He rescues me (Psalm 35:9; NLT).

5. He sends his angels like the winds, his servants like flames of fire (Hebrews 1:7; NLT).

He will order his angels to protect you wherever you go (Psalm 91:11-12; NLT).

He chose the Promised Land as our inheritance (Psalm 47:4; NLT).

Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realising it! (Hebrews 13:2; NLT).

Mary’s song

My lover is mine, and I am his (Song of Songs 2:16; NLT).

1. Waves of darkness overwhelm me,
Filling me with pure delight.

2. Waves of rapture inundate me:
This, the moment we unite.

3. Waves of wonder overcome me,
Flooding me with deepest awe.

4. Waves of love, Lord, saturate me:
We are one for evermore.

References

1. How my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour! (Luke 1:47; NLT).

2. The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you (Luke 1:35; NLT).

3. Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean (Luke 1:29; NLT).

4. You have found favour with God! (Luke 1:30; NLT).

A Gethsemane experience

On the day of my mastectomy, as I waited on a trolley outside the anaesthetic room, I was suddenly overwhelmed by a profound terror of suffering and death, just as Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane. I felt completely helpless, despairing and alone, shaking uncontrollably with cold and fear. 

Then my surgeon entered the room in blue scrubs. She must have seen at once how distressed I was, because she came straight over to me, putting her arms around me and bending down to lay her head gently on my chest. She seemed like an angel of comfort and strength. I managed to whisper, through chattering teeth, “I’m so frightened!” She didn’t even speak, but held me as I sobbed helplessly. 

After a time, realising how cold I was, she moved to stand behind me, rubbing my arms to warm me, until I was pushed into an ante-room and quickly, skilfully anaesthetised. 

That evening, after the surgery, I wept again. I felt as if I had experienced something of what Christ suffered in Gethsemane, just as those gazing at a representation of Jesus on the cross occasionally undergo the pain and utter powerlessness of his crucifixion. 

Next day, however, I realised that rather than we ordinary mortals sometimes sharing what Jesus experienced, it was, in fact, he who fully shared our primeval, human terror in the face of imminent suffering and death.

Of course, there are major differences between my experience and his. I was confronting my profound fear of anaesthesia and surgery solely for my own benefit. Jesus, on the other hand, was facing betrayal, torture and death so our sins could be forgiven. I pray that I will never cease to thank him for what he faced and endured for our sake.

 

References

My heart pounds in my chest. The terror of death assaults me. Fear and trembling overwhelm me, and I can’t stop shaking (Psalm 55:4-5; NLT).

They went to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said, “Sit here while I go and pray.” He took Peter, James and John with him, and he became deeply troubled and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” He went on a little further and fell to the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting him might pass him by (Mark 14:32-5; NLT).  

Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood (Luke 22:43-4; NLT).

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace (Ephesians 1:7; NIV).

God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us (Romans 5:8, NRSV).