Monday, April 10, 2017

It is often dark at the foot of the lighthouse.

El, God, the Lord speaks,
and summons the earth to come from the east and west.
From Zion, the most beautiful of all places,
God comes in splendor.
Our God approaches and is not silent;
consuming fire goes ahead of him
and all around Him a storm rages.
He summons the heavens above,
as well as the earth, so that He might judge His people. Psalm 50:1-4

Fairest Lord Jesus, ruler of all nature,
O Thou of God and man the Son,
Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor,
Thou, my soul’s glory, joy and crown.
Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands,
Robed in the blooming garb of spring;
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer,
Who makes the woeful heart to sing.
Fair is the sunshine,
Fairer still the moonlight,
And all the twinkling starry host;
Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer
Than all the angels Heav’n can boast.
All fairest beauty, heavenly and earthly,
Wondrously, Jesus, is found in Thee;
None can be nearer, fairer or dearer,
Than Thou, my Savior, art to me.
Beautiful Savior! Lord of all the nations!
Son of God and Son of Man!
Glory and honor, praise, adoration,
Now and forever more be Thine. –German Jesuits,1677

We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. I John 5:19-20

Lord, help us become so familiar with Your word and with Your presence that thoughts of You consume our waking moments and holy fear of You brings us to worship. Then even our smallest actions will speak of You. Amen.


Yesterday afternoon the Monday night ladies gathered together to watch Scorsese’s
 Silence. Roger Ebert writes, “You want to act, or you want the movie to act, to stop the suffering, but the suffering continues until finally it doesn't. We're watching men of God being tested. Try as they might, they cannot entirely wrap their minds around the purpose of the test, and when they do grapple with it, they worry that they've arrived at the wrong conclusion. They worry that they’ve missed the point; that they're not faithful enough or smart enough to understand why this horror exists, or must exist.”

 And certainly there are no easy answers. But what struck me again and again was the gentle humility and sweet love of the Christ-followers who were consumed by thoughts of Him, and although there were many things that they did not understand, each day they were willing to pick up their daily crosses and follow Him.

One of the characters, Kichirjiro, fails the test in fear again and again, and each time he asks for and receives forgiveness.

And my heart filled with longing to be walk in this gentle humility and brokenness, willing to rest only in the belief that I am Your child and that I may know You who is true and that I am in Him who is true, the Lord Jesus Christ, and may that be enough.

And sometimes it sounds as if He is silent as we walk through the valleys of the shadow of death. But He promises that He is not silent, that He has spoken and declared what is true. And the still soft voice whispered to Rodriguez that He had been with him each step of the way.

And surely we cannot understand the horror that lies around us, whether in South Sudan and Somalia or Egypt or Syria, or in the very trailer parks from which my kiddos walk each day. And the Evil One is doing his best to wreck brokenness onto this fairest creation. But Matteo shared a video of how the Swedes responded in humility and brokenness, in the beauty of love and hope, when evil smashes through.

May even my smallest actions speak of You.
May it be so, Fairest Lord Jesus.