The foolish road

The way of the cross doesn’t make sense. Not to this world. Not to culturalized Christianity. But the way of the cross is exactly what we need.

Reading for today:

Psalm 45, 47, 48
Gen. 37:12-24
I Cor. 1:20-31
Mark 1:14-28

This hymn was sung in the church we attended the past Sunday. The words have tumbled through my spirit ever since.

Bless now, O God, the journey that all your people make,
the path through noise and silence, the way of give and take.
The trail is found in desert and winds the mountain round,
then leads beside still waters, the road where faith is found.

Bless sojourners and pilgrims who share this winding way;
your hope burns through the terrors, you love sustains the day.
We yearn for holy freedom while often we are bound;
together we are seeking the road where faith is found.

Divine eternal lover, you meet us on the road.
We wait for lands of promise where milk and honey flow,
but waiting not for places, you meet us all around.
Our covenant is written on roads, as faith is found.

Words: Sylvia Dunstan (1955-1993)

The second verse is something I carry this week. We often walk in bondage and just don’t recognize it. We think we have freedom, yet we are bound. The way of the cross will lead us to true freedom. This is my longing prayer for the day.

Mossy steps

Advent Reading — He is our strong deliverer

The Sunday we announced our resignation as pastors of Heights Church, the Lord had me share from Acts 16 when Paul came to Troas. He had been trying to get into new territory to preach the gospel and a couple of times the Spirit kept him from heading in particular directions. Finally, he came to Troas and it was there the Lord showed him what was next.  Continue reading “Advent Reading — He is our strong deliverer”

Psalms and prayer

To pray is to first listen. Prayer is about giving attention.

Eugene Peterson notes in As Kingfishers Catch Fire that there are five books of Psalms and each book has a concluding thought. Five books in one. Five conclusions.

We realize our Hebrew ancestors wisely arranged this book of prayers to protect us from presumptuous prayer. Presumptuous prayer speaks to God without first listening to him. Presumptuous prayers obsessively, anxiously, or pretentiously multiply human words to God with, at best, a distracted, indifferent, or fitful interest in God’s words to us. But God speaks to us before we speak to him. If we pray without first listening, we pray out of context. — Eugene Peterson

prayer mary