Friday, August 30, 2019

Have You Ever Thought About...

How often do we reflect on the “little things” of Scared Scripture, a word here, a phrase there, an event that at first glance doesn't seem too important? The Bible is packed with such details specifically designed to lead us to a greater understanding of God's Word.

Each of the short reflections in my latest book focuses on a detail from an all-too-familiar story in the Gospels or the Acts of the Apostles and uses that detail as a lens through which to view the story in a new way. This fresh perspective, in turn, broadens our experience of Scripture and leads us to a deeper encounter with God in His Word.

If you're interested, please click on the book cover below to link to Amazon. Thank you!

Sunday, August 18, 2019

An Old English Prayer

O beloved Lord! O good Judge!
Have mercy on me, eternal Ruler.
I know my soul with sins is grievously wounded;
Save it, Lord of heavens,
and heal it, Author of life,
because You most easily can of all physicians
of those who may be far and wide.
O, bright Lord, Creator of people!
Soften Your mind to me for goodness,
give Your mercy to Your wretched one.
He is wretched who here on earth
day and night fights for the devil
and works his will; woe to him for that pleasure,
when he those recompenses has and beholds,
but he that evil may abandon before.
He is blessed, who here on earth
day and night obeys the Lord
and always works His will; well for him of that labor,
when he those recompenses has and beholds,
if he an entirely good end accomplishes.
O, Light of lights! O Joy of life!
Grant to me, honor-blessed King,
when I ask for heaven for my soul,
eternal mercy. You are unquestionably God,
You have and You rule
alone over all earth and heavens
of wide creations. You are true Measurer,
alone over all earth-dwellers,
just as up in heavens You are Savior God.
Not any of men can praise You;
although You may unite us around wide ground,
men over world, around all middle-earth,
we can never express, nor know that truly,
how noble You are, eternal Lord.
Yet the host of angels up in heavens
wise together do not begin to say,
they cannot ever express, nor know that measurement,
how glorious You are, mighty Lord.
But it is a great wonder, Ruler of angels,
though You know it Yourself, Lord of victory,
how glorious You are, mighty and power-strong,
King of all kings, living Christ,
Creator of all worlds, Ruler of angels,
Power of all hosts, Lord Savior.
You are the noble One Who in former days
joy of all maidens beautifully brought forth
in Bethlehem that walled city for men as comfort,
for all as mercy for sons of ages,
for those who believe in the living God
and in that eternal light up in skies.
Your power is so glorious, mighty Lord,
so that not any of earth-dwellers know
the mystery of the powers of the Lord,
nor that any of the rank of angels know
the highness of the King of heavens.
I confess to You, almighty God,
that I believe in You, beloved Savior,
that You are the great One and the power-strong One
and the gracious One of all gods
and the eternal King of all creatures,
and I am the little one for You and the wretched man,
the one who sins here exceedingly often,
day and night, I do as I should not,
at times with work, at times with word,
at times with thought, grievously guilty,
treacherous enmities often and frequently.
But I implore You now, Lord of heavens,
and pray for myself to You, most excellent of sons,
that You may show mercy to me, mighty Lord,
High-king of heavens and the Holy Ghost,
and may protect me, Father almighty,
that I may be able to work Your will,
before I from this transitory life depart.
Refuse me not, Lord of glory,
but grant to me, honor-blessed King,
permit me with angels up to journey,
to sit in sky,
to praise heaven's God with holy voice
always without end. Amen.

Translated by Amy Troolin

Friday, August 2, 2019

Notes from the Hours: Peace

In today's Office of Readings, we reflect on parts of Psalm 35. One line in particular stood out to me as I prayed this familiar psalm yet again: “Great is the Lord Who delights in the peace of His servant.”

How often do we think about that? God delights in our peace. The word for “peace” in Hebrew is shalom, and it refers not just to a lack of conflict but also to a completeness, a wholeness, a soundness, a sense that everything is in its place and everything is as it should be.

This peace is what God wants for us, and He is extremely pleased when we embrace it. Notice that I say “embrace” it, for we don't get this kind of peace on our own. No matter how hard we try, no matter how many self-help techniques we practice, no matter how much we long for this peace, we cannot achieve it by ourselves. This kind of peace is a gift from God, and we can only (and must) accept it.

Yet God delights when we accept the peace He longs to give us. When we become the kind of human beings He wants us to be, whole, complete, sound, orderly, attuned to the right things in the right ways, then God rejoices with us. And we cling to Him, well aware that He is the source of this deep peace that cannot be shaken by the changes this world continually throws at us.

Lord, grant us this peace that You may delight in us and we may truly delight in You all the way to eternity. Amen.