Psalm 107

(music to come once I figure out what the chorus sounds like)

—-
Let those redeemed by Jesus tell their story
And give Him thanks for all that He has done
From every nation we will sing His glory
Praise the Father, Spirit, and the risen Son

In desert wastes we wandered lost and hungry
In deep distress we cried and found no way
But you brought us into your holy city
And for Your mercy we give thanks

(chorus)
For Your steadfast love and Your faithfulness
For Your wondrous works to Your children
To You, oh Lord, we will bring our praise
To You, oh Lord, all the glory

In death’s dark chambers we were slaves to evil
In sin’s rebellion, chains of sorrow bound
But in your love you broke the gates of prison
With humble hearts we will come bow down

Sick with sin’s black poison, we had long been dying
And there was no cure for us to save our souls
Until You came down and gave Your broken body
And Your blood for food and drink, and made us whole

In the storm of chaos and of deep distresses
All our ships were sinking in the rolling seas
Through all our troubles You remained our anchor
And You spoke the word and gave us Your great peace

Glory to the Father for His grace and kindness
Glory to the Son who gave Himself for us
Glory to the Spirit who dwells within us
Glory to our God, the blessed Three in One

standing stones

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about personal liturgies, days that we mark in our lives that are important markers of what God did in our lives. So, yes, birthdays and wedding anniversaries, and our baptismal anniversaries (I actually don’t remember when mine is–I should find that out). But also, other days–the day you found out the cancer was in remission, the day you had a conversation with someone that changed your entire life, the day you met your best friend.

For instance, I always celebrate January 5, the day I became an American citizen. I celebrate March 25, the day God brought me back from the dead.

But the thing I wonder now is, what are the rituals I could use to mark those days? Could I pull out my adoption papers every January and flip through them? Could I volunteer to help people in mental health crises on March 25? I don’t know.

What about y’all? What do you do to mark your personal liturgical calendars?

An Epiphany poem

Behold the King of glory–

His is not a story that ends in death,
For in His death, Death died
And on the third day no grave could contain Him
He is more alive than life itself because He is life

He is no tame lion
He cannot be caged by culture or category
He is not safe but He is good

He is Lamb, life laid down willingly
He is not the dragon’s victim
He defeated death from the inside out

He is both priest and sacrifice
Both king and servant
Both temple and presence in it

He is
He is

He is

And He is with us in bread and wine
In the body and blood of His broken vessels
The bride He chose before time drew its first breath

He is here

So come taste and see
His glory and His grace
His kindness and His kingdom

Come behold

Linkage

  • Remember the point I made about Sherlock in my last post? S.D. Kelly parses it out and says it much better than I could’ve in this article over at Christ and Pop Culture. (Spoilers for season 4, so don’t go there if you haven’t watched it yet.)
  • Also, the editors at CaPC, with whom I am internet-friendly, would probably like it if I asked you to pitch in $5 a month and sponsor them so they can keep doing what they’re doing over there.
  • I recently rediscovered Mockingbird after having forgotten about it for a while, and man oh man are they making some great content over there.
  • The Atlantic ran a piece last week about conservative Christians that have gotten pushback from their employers due to their stance re: our current federal administration.
  • We already have “Nevertheless, She Persisted” t-shirts. $5 from each purchase goes to the Malala Fund, which is pretty cool. (There are also “I’m trying to do some good in the world” shirts if you want to be less of a walking political meme.)

Random stuff I’m thinking about

  • Thesis: Sherlock is primarily about the community Sherlock lives in, which is centered on his friendship with John Watson, but the show works better when that’s left to run in the background, instead of being explicitly spelled out for the audience.
  • I don’t want to let politics take over my mental and emotional life, but dang it, that is hard to do in these days. But here’s the thing: I am finding that the actions of our current administration, while important to me, are still very much abstract. I don’t know any refugees (although I do know and work with quite a few immigrants and people arriving here under less than great circumstances). I know one Muslim guy, and he’s from a country that’s not on the travel ban list. I didn’t go to public school after fifth grade. I am, as usual, praying for a more open and hospitable life that lets in actual people, not just ideas.
  • And I want that to be true of all kinds of people, including ones that might not necessarily let me in, either. That’s the work we have.
  • This may seem obvious, but it is just now becoming obvious to me that God’s promises are true for me now, even in my flawed and sinful state. So, for example, my body is the Holy Spirit’s temple now; He is not waiting to indwell me until my body looks a certain way or until I get my act together, and also, His presence ought to make a difference in how I treat this body and how I use it.
  • And the same is true for us, the Church, collectively–so, for example, the same Spirit that is at work in me is at work in you, too, and somehow through Him working we are representing Jesus to one another. That is a weird and wonderful mystery.
  • I mean, that’s all pretty basic Christianity, but I’m just now getting it, like a light got turned on.