Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Even now there is rejoicing among His angels.

Hearken to my voice, O LORD, when I call; have mercy on me and answer me. You speak in my heart and say, “Seek my face.” Your face, LORD, will I seek. Psalm 27:10–11

I sought the LORD, and He answered me and delivered me out of all my terror.

Jesus taught us, saying: “. . . what woman with ten drachmas would not, if she lost one, light a lamp and sweep out the house and search thoroughly till she found it? And then, when she had found it, call together her friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, I have found the drachma I lost.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Luke 15:8–10

I sought the LORD, and He answered me and delivered me out of all my terror.

For He shall give his angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. They shall bear you in their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone. You shall tread upon the lion and adder; you shall trample the young lion and the serpent under your feet. Psalm 91:10–13

I sought the LORD, and He answered me and delivered me out of all my terror.

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.

Almighty God, who has promised to hear the petitions of those who ask in your Son’s Name: I beseech you mercifully to incline your ear to me who have made my prayers and supplications to you; and grant that those things which I have faithfully asked according to your will, I may effectually obtain, to the relief of my necessity, and to the setting forth of your glory; through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.

Terror is a strong word.

And I really try to whittle down the morning office to a phrase or two, to more simply mull it over throughout the day.

But yesterday as we were driving up the curvy road to Mt Lemmon and the snow, Heather gently accused me of carrying the sorrows of the world. She caught me furtively packing something away. And I have to confess that I am guilty of this, picking up little pieces of the broken bits and stashing them in the pocket of my heart until it becomes this huge massive Pilgrim’s Progress burden that indeed becomes a true terror.

Terror from all the things I cannot control.

Which is pretty much all of it.

LORD, have mercy.

And this morning He reminds me that it is His kingdom. He is come, God-With-Us.

And He will speak to my heart.

And He is the woman with the lost coin, who will stop at nothing to seek out the sinner who is each of us.

And He will bear me in His hands through this long scary day full of terrors that I cannot control.

Even me. I can’t even control myself.

But I can repent.
Turn around.
Towards Him.

And Gary’s sermon Sunday was all about repentance as being the first step of discipleship. Turning around and following Jesus. Seeking His face.

Deep change v. slow death. Small changes, slow death, mean that I want to stay in control. Deep, daily change shows true repentance, being open to new ways of seeing things. Everything.

Whether we are proud. Or filled with shame. Or wandering crookedly and making excuses. Whatever, Jesus did not come to call the righteous, but the sinner.

Perhaps God is saying to you, Get ready for something new.

Dumping out my pockets and shaking loose all of all the terrors I cannot control.

Your face, LORD, will I seek.

And on my way to some of the uncontrollable terrors that await me across from the downtown bus station, I am going to stop at the Little Chapel of the Nations at the corner of Highland and First Street and join a few folk in prayer.

May Your kingdom come, and Your will be done, on earth as in heaven.