Awaiting His Arrival: From Tainted to Awed

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What then shall we say to these things?
If God is for us, who can be against us?
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all,
how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?

Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8 excerpts

 

It’s when we face for a moment
the worst our kind can do, and shudder to know
the taint in our own selves, that awe
cracks the mind’s shell and enters the heart:
not to a flower, not to a dolphin,
to no innocent form
but to this creature vainly sure
it and no other is god-like, God
(out of compassion for our ugly
failure to evolve) entrusts,
as guest, as brother,
the Word.
~Denise Levertov “On the Mystery of the Incarnation”

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Listening to Lent –Mountains Call

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  1. The love of God is greater far
    Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
    It goes beyond the highest star,
    And reaches to the lowest hell;
    The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
    God gave His Son to win;
    His erring child He reconciled,
    And pardoned from his sin.

    • Refrain:
      Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
      How measureless and strong!
      It shall forevermore endure—
      The saints’ and angels’ song.
  2. When hoary time shall pass away,
    And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,

    When men who here refuse to pray,
    On rocks and hills and mountains call,
    God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
    All measureless and strong;
    Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
    The saints’ and angels’ song.
  1. Could we with ink the ocean fill,
    And were the skies of parchment made,
    Were every stalk on earth a quill,
    And every man a scribe by trade;
    To write the love of God above
    Would drain the ocean dry;
    Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
    Though stretched from sky to sky.
    ~Frederick Lehman

 

Each photo taken of the horizon
of our farm’s surrounding mountains
and silhouetted trees,
of glowing colors and hues
in clouds and sky,
is my mere attempt to scribe
for the record
the love of God
unchangeable
strong
pure
coming from above
reaching down
to touch
even one
such as me.

Lenten Reflection–The Mystery of the Deep

photo by Josh Scholten

Here is the mystery, the secret, one might almost say the cunning, of the deep love of God: that it is bound to draw upon itself the hatred and pain and shame and anger and bitterness and rejection of the world, but to draw all those things on to itself is precisely the means chosen from all eternity by the generous, loving God, by which to rid his world of the evils which have resulted from human abuse of God-given freedom.
N.T.Wright

Inundated by the overwhelmingly bad news of the world, blasted 24/7 from cable TV, highlighted in rapidly changing headlines online, and tweeted real time from every nook and cranny, we must cling to the mystery of His magnetism for our weaknesses and flaws. He willingly pulls our evil onto Himself, out of us. Hatred and pain and shame and anger and bitterness disappear into the vortex of His love and beauty, the dusty corners of our hearts vacuumed spotless.

We are let in on a secret: He is not sullied by absorbing the dirty messes of our lives. Instead, once we are safely within His depths, He washes us forever clean.

photo by Josh Scholten