Sunday, August 23, 2015

Seeing through the broken down trailers with punched-in walls and dingy apartment doors.

Lord Jesus, have mercy on me.

May God be gracious to us and bless us
    and make His face shine on us—
so that Your ways may be known on earth,
    Your salvation among all nations.
Selah.                                                                         Psalm 67:1

The Jesus prayer consist of the simple words: “Lord Jesus, have mercy on me.”
Unceasing prayer is not just the unusual feat of a simple Russian peasant (The Way of the Pilgrim) but a realistic vocation for all Christians. It is certainly not a way of living that comes either automatically by simply desiring it or easily by just praying once in a while. But when we give it serious attention and develop an appropriate discipline, we will see a real transformation in our lives that will lead us closer and closer to God. Unceasing prayer as a permanent and unchangeable state of mind will never be reached. It will always require our attention and discipline. Nevertheless, we will discover that many of the disturbing thoughts that seem to distract us are being transformed into the ongoing praise of God. When we see with increasing clarity the beauty of the Father through His Son, we will discover that created things no longer distract us. On the contrary, they will speak in many ways about Him. Then we will realize that prayer is neither more nor less than the constant practice of the presence of God at all times and in all places. Henri Nouwen, Clowning in Rome
So last night City Psalms played…well, played is certainly not the right word. Maybe blew the proverbial trumpet? Calling the Church to live the gospel. To pray as if we expected answers. To live as if we believe it is true. To see each person in our path with the love of Christ.

And that is the point of it all, so that His ways will be made known on earth, His salvation among all the peoples.

The city, God, You love her so
Her sons abandoned long ago
Her daughters ravaged in the night
While we all turn our backs and hide
Break my heart in two 'til they return to You

The city, God, she hides her face
She breaks Your heart
You give her grace
She curses You in all her shame
But You pursue her all the same
Break my heart in two 'til she returns to You

You love her so

Take my heart, it is Your own
And fill my hands with seeds to sow
Reprimand my foolish pride
So I can see her with Your eyes

Break my heart in two 'til she returns to You

And right now Nicole has a couple of her students over for French toast, strawberries and cappuccino on the back porch. Because one of them asked her to please take her to church. And this little girl lives in a one-room apartment with six brothers and sisters all from different fathers. It’s a little chaotic. And one can only imagine the oooh’s and aaah’s as they look at Alan’s parrots and greenhouse and the sparkle-lit living room before they head off to Passion church to hear about the One Who Loves Her So.
Multiply this by bunches and bunches in our little city where more than half of the students in public schools fall below the poverty line.
While we all turn our backs and hide.
Take my heart, it is Your own
And fill my hands with seeds to sow.
Reprimand my foolish pride
So I can see her with Your eyes.
May I see with increasing clarity the beauty of the Father through His Son.
Lord Jesus, have mercy on me.

Lord Jesus, have mercy on us.