Tag Archives: trust

Lent 2019 – Day 4 – Psalm 42: 1-7

As the deer longs for the water-brooks, *
    so longs my soul for you, O God.

My soul is athirst for God, athirst for the living God; *
    when shall I come to appear before the presence of God?

My tears have been my food day and night, *
    while all day long they say to me,
    Where now is your God?”

I pour out my soul when I think on these things; *
    how I went with the multitude and led them into the
                   house of God,

With the voice of praise and thanksgiving, *
    among those who keep holy-day.

Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul? *
    and why are you so disquieted within me?

Put your trust in God; *
    for I will yet give thanks to him,
    who is the help of my countenance, and my God.

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Surely it is God who saves me

Surely it is God who saves me;
trusting him, I shall not fear.
For the Lord defends and shields me
and his saving help is near.
So rejoice as you draw water
from salvation’s living spring;
in the day of your deliverance
thank the Lord, his mercies sing.

Make his deeds known to the peoples;
tell out his exalted Name.
Praise the Lord, who has done great things;
all his works his might proclaim.
Zion, lift your voice in singing;
for with you has come to dwell,
in your very midst, the great
and Holy One of Israel.

–Words: Carl P Daw (b. 1944); paraphrase of The First Song of Isaiah
–Tune: THOMAS MERTON, by Ray W. Urwin (b. 1950)

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Rejoice!

I’ve had a pretty bad last few days. A friend of mine hurt my feelings pretty bad the day before Thanksgiving. And then I spent Thanksgiving alone, which was a first for me and, although I actually enjoyed it, it was sad not being with my family or close friends. And then over the weekend, a person I’ve been romantically interested in for a year or so, and very good friends with for almost two years, gave me some news. I knew he had been interested in another guy for quite some time. But on Sunday, he dropped a bomb on me and let me know that they had decided to get married. It really hurt. I’ve been super upset since then.

And so for the last few days, I’ve been lost in my thoughts. I couldn’t sleep. I haven’t wanted to talk to anyone. I’ve been very introspective and contemplative. I’m wondering why God is bringing me this pain right now as I approach the 1-year anniversary of my mother’s death, and as I am still so unsettled and confused after the recent presidential election. What is God trying to show me in all of this? Is God even there? Is there any hope to be found in all of this? Why does my future all of a sudden look so empty, so lonely, so sad?

In the midst of all of this, I’ve been distracted with the fact that it is the beginning of the Advent season, one of the most beautiful, meaningful, and sacred times of the year to me. Over the weekend, I set up my Christmas tree and made a homemade Advent wreath. And this past Sunday night, the first night of Advent, I attended a truly sublime Advent Lessons and Carols service at my church. The service ended with a profoundly beautiful singing of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”. Three different choirs alternated singing verses along with the church filled with around 500 people. It was uplifting and spine tingling. And since then, I’ve been singing the song in my head over and over.

Tonight, on the car ride home from work, as I was stuck in gobs of traffic, I put “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” on the stereo. I found myself meditating on the refrain:

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

And it just hit me. Why am I consuming myself with sadness, and bitterness, and hopelessness? God is with me (Emmanuel!) in the midst of all of this. In spite of all of these bad feelings, I should rejoice in knowing that God’s peace is within reach. God’s grace and love and care surround me and are within me, no matter what befalls me. I shouldn’t be sad, rather I should rejoice in knowing these things.

And peace began to wash over me. It’s amazing how God can speak to us in the most mundane of ways. I think it speaks to the wonder of who and what God is…God is with us, in the midst of our daily lives. In the stranger, in the gentle breeze that blows, in the storm clouds that thunder and rain, in the raging fire, and in the swells of the sea. God’s presence supersedes all that we experience, and all we must do is listen with our eyes and we will hear it through all of our senses.

God’s peace does, indeed, surpass all understanding. And for this, I am truly thankful.

rejoice-590

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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We rest on thee

We rest on thee, our Shield and our Defender
We go not forth alone against the foe
Strong in thy strength, safe in thy keeping tender
We rest on thee, and in thy name we go

Yes, in thy name, O captain of salvation
In thy dear name, all other names above
Jesus, our righteousness, our sure Foundation
Our Prince of Glory and our King of Love
Our Prince of Glory and our King of Love

We go in faith, our own great weakness feeling
And needing more each day thy grace to know
Yet from our hearts a song of triumph pealing
We rest on thee, and in thy name we go

We rest on thee, our Shield and our Defender
Thine is the battle, thine shall be the praise
When passing through the gates of pearly splendor
Victors, we rest with thee, through endless days
Victors, we rest with thee, through endless days

–Performed by Youngest Son, read more about his writing of this version of the hymn on his website here: http://youngestsonmusic.com/allsoulsday#we-rest-on-thee

we-rest-on-thee

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May the God of Surprises delight you

May the God of Surprises delight you, inviting you to accept gifts not yet imagined.
May the God of Transformation call you, opening you to continual renewal.
May the God of Justice confront you, daring you to see the world through God’s eyes.
May the God of Abundance affirm you, nudging you towards deeper trust.
May the God of Embrace hold you, encircling you in the hearth of God’s home.
May the God of Hopefulness bless you, encouraging you with the fruits of faith.
May the God of Welcoming invite you, drawing you nearer to the fullness of God’s expression in you.
May God Who is Present be with you, awakening you to God in all things, all people, and all moments.
May God be with you.
Amen.

By Elizabeth Eiland Figueroa (http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/19916/may-the-god-of-surprises-delight-you)

– See more at: http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/19916/may-the-god-of-surprises-delight-you#sthash.pOaKS0KN.dpuf

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Pilgrims’ Hymn

Even before we call on Your name
To ask You, O God,
When we seek for the words to glorify You,
You hear our prayer;
Unceasing love, O unceasing love,
Surpassing all we know.

Glory to the father,
and to the Son,
And to the Holy Spirit.

Even with darkness sealing us in,
We breathe Your name,
And through all the days that follow so fast,
We trust in You;
Endless Your grace, O endless Your grace,
Beyond all mortal dream.

Both now and forever,
And unto ages and ages,
Amen.

–Words by Michael Dennis Browne
–Music by Stephen Paulus (1949-2014)

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By mighty powers carefully protected

In memory of my dear friend, Maria Friederika Dunnagan (1921-2014).

By mighty powers carefully protected
we calmly wait and trust: let come what may.
God is with us, to him we are connected
mornings and nights and surely each new day.

The past still comes to torture our poor heart
the weight of evil days will not depart.
O Lord, please show our frightened souls the place
where we may learn of your redeeming grace.

By friendly powers silently surrounded
consoled and cared for in a wondrous way.
So will I live with you, when days are counted
into a New Year walk with you, I pray.

When now deep silence comes and does surround us
so let us hear the concert clear and strong.
From your great world, unseen, yet still around us
with all your children praising you in song.

–Words: translated by Maria Friederika Dunnagan, after Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945)
–Music: INTERCESSOR (by Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, 1848-1918)

bonhoeffer

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