Sunday, March 31, 2013

Now the Green Blade Riseth...

This French carol is a favorite Easter hymn. 

Now the green blade riseth from the buried grain, Wheat that in dark earth many days has lain; Love lives again, that with the dead has been: Love is come again, like wheat that springeth green. 

Forth he came at Easter, like the risen grain, He that for three days in the grave had lain. Quick from the dead my risen Lord is seen: Love is come again, like wheat that springeth green. 

In the botanical realm resurrection is routine. Every spring the plant kingdom returns to life. Seeds sprout. Bulbs flower. Shrubs bloom. Barren limbs are renewed with greenery. 

Our Almighty and Eternal God, who presides so creatively over springtime, can certainly bend the rules of zoology. If your intellect struggles with this miracle, may the great blessing of Easter settle upon your soul! 

~  ~  ~  ~

Betrayal, humiliation and torture. 
The Father seems distant. 

Yet we witness the Son's determination and sense of purpose. 
The Father is not so far off. 

And there are witnesses to a resurrection! 
The Father is in control. 

Believe and be transformed! God has established a New Covenant with humanity through Jesus Christ.  

From the Son... 
We witness a message of sacrificial love. 
We receive courage in our times of weakness. 
We are forgiven our lapses and misdeeds. 
We have the promise of eternal life and a restored creation. 

The Father, the Son, their Spirit...are very, very close! Amen.

Now the Green Blade Riseth: words | music

Saturday, March 23, 2013

I need a Savior. I need Easter.

It has been over two weeks since a prayer was posted here. Of course, I've been praying, but I haven't had what you might characterize as a complete thought. It's not unusual for our prayers veer off course, right?

I've been stalled in the Old Testament, but I finally recognized the (obvious) bridge to the New Testament. It's a relief to have clarity...just in time for Holy Week. 

God Almighty, 

I've been frustrated with my Bible study during Lent. A survey of Joshua has left me in the wilderness on many mornings. 

I enjoy reading about Joshua's conquests. His humble leadership and total reliance on you inspire me, but I struggle with your wartime slaughter. And what about Achan? (Joshua 7) Even though he confessed his wrongs, he was stoned to death, and his family was set afire to appease you. Those Old Testament accounts of your searing holiness are punishing. 

...but then, I clearly recognize my need for a Savior, my need for Easter. I'm just like the ancient Hebrews and their neighbors. I have my own "foreign gods" like materialism and pride. Just like them, I have serious shortcomings with loyalty and commitment. I need Jesus. I need Easter. 

At Easter, our sin does not provoke divine wrath. 

At Easter, confession brings restoration and reconciliation. 

At Easter, death is replaced with eternal life. 

Thanks be to God. Alleluia! Amen.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

...on JOY

The priest wondered aloud if many people of faith could define Christian joy. That got me to thinking…and praying:

I sense the beneficent presence of the Creator of the Universe (in my sometimes small, less than benevolent life.)

I flirt with contentment and hope - that my needs will be met, that the glass is half-full, that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

I have an ethereal assurance - of life after death, of a restored planet, of God’s company.

I have joy! Amen.

Graphic credit