Saturday, February 25, 2017

Make us Attentive

2 Peter 1:16-21
For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain.
So we have the prophetic message more fully confirmed. You will do well to be attentive to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

Shine again
in the dark places,
O Lamp of God.

Break forth
in beauteous array,
O Dawn of Day.

Rise high
in our hearts,
O Morning Star.

Speak again
through men and women
moved by your Holy Spirit
proclaiming your Majestic Glory
in the power and coming
of our Lord Jesus Christ
of whom you spoke saying:
"This is my Son, my Beloved,
with whom I am well pleased."

Make us attentive
by your Holy Spirit
so that I am
willing and ready
from now on
to live for you,
Lord Jesus.


Some language borrowed from The Heidelberg Catechism Question 1 as quoted by:

What is your only comfort, in life and in death?That I belong--body and soul, in life and in death--not to myself but to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ, who at the cost of his own blood has fully paid for all my sins and has completely freed me from the dominion of the devil; that he protects me so well that without the will of my Father in heaven not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, that everything must fit his purpose for my salvation. Therefore, by his Holy Spirit, he also assures me of eternal life, and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Transformed in Our Midst

Matthew 17:1-9
Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

lead us up the mountain
to see you transformed
in our midst.
Right in front of our eyes
reveal your dazzling glory,
full of grace and truth,
the glory of the Father's only Son.

Open our eyes
to see the cloud of witnesses
in our midst:
Jesus, Moses and Elijah,
and also Peter, James and John,
and also each one of us
who seek to follow you.

Indeed speak again:
"This is my Son, the Beloved;
with him I am well pleased;
listen to Him!"

I am listening.
Help me
obey your word
and show your love
to my life's end.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

To the Mountain

Exodus 24:12-18
The LORD said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain, and wait there; and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction.” So Moses set out with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up into the mountain of God. To the elders he had said, “Wait here for us, until we come to you again; for Aaron and Hur are with you; whoever has a dispute may go to them.”
Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. The glory of the LORD settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the cloud. Now the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. Moses entered the cloud, and went up on the mountain. Moses was on the mountain for forty days and forty nights.

it's time for me
to ascend the mountain.
You call,
and I come
awaiting the gift
of your instruction.

While it will be
just a weekend long,
I pray
for your glory
to settle on the mountain,
for your voice
to speak clearly,
for your presence
to burn hot,
and for all who see it
to know that you alone are LORD!

You did it for Moses,
your servant.
Do it again
for your servants
who gather
on retreat this weekend
and who gather
every Sunday in worship.


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Lost in Wonder, Love and Praise

this weekend I've been with
youth from my church
on a ski trip.
Thank you for safety
for all of us.
It was my first time skiing.
It was humbling.
I felt out of control
most of the time.
The rest of the time
I was on my rear in the snow.
Today I am sore.

But during evening devotions
the question was asked:
What is something you do during which you lose all track of time?
I thought of playing the piano.
I thought of playing video games.
I thought of hiking in the woods.
I thought of walking a Labrynth.

Then a phrase came to mind:
"Lost in wonder, love, and praise"

That's what I want to do more.
While living, worshipping, praying, working, hiking, exercising, skiing, falling, getting back up, rubbing sore muscles...
I want to
get lost in wonder, love, and praise.
To lose all track of time
in awe of you, O God.

That phrase is not my creation.
It is the closing line to the hymn, Love Devine, All Love's Excelling" by Charles Wesley.

Finish, then, Thy new creation;
Pure and spotless let us be.
Let us see Thy great salvation
Perfectly restored in Thee;
Changed from glory into glory,
Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before Thee,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise.

So may it be for me
now and in the life everlasting.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Praying with Children: Wherever I May Wander

I find myself praying
the words of hymns these days.
I remember when I first heard
this hymn.
I was moved to tears.
What a comfort to know 
and sing of your presence 
wherever I wander in life...

Wherever I may wander,
Wherever I may be,
I'm certain of my Maker's love;
God's care is over me.
God made the great high mountains,
And made the wide blue sea;
God made the sky where airplanes fly;
God made the world, and me.

Throughout the whole creation
I see God's loving care
For everyone in every land,
God's children everywhere.
Wherever I may wander,
Wherever I may be,
I'm certain of my Maker's love;
God's care is over me.


The above prayer is a hymn text written by Ann B. Snow in 1959.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Praying with Children: Father, we thank thee

I often turn to the prayer
my parents taught me
when I was a child.
It continues to be my prayer:

Father, we thank thee for the night,
and for the pleasant morning light;
for rest and food and loving care,
and all that makes the day so fair.
Help us to do the things we should,
to be to others kind and good;
in all we do, in work or play,
to grow more loving every day.
The above prayer is a hymn text written by Rebecca J. Weston in 1885.

Friday, February 3, 2017

A little child shall lead them

My son leads our family
in our evening table prayer.
Often he prays his own words,
but sometimes he uses a cube with prayers written on each side.

This prayer from his cube
is my prayer today:

wash away,
All that has been wrong today; Help me every day to be,
Good and gentle,
more like Thee.

The above prayer is from a prayer cube that can be found by clicking here.