The Word…

The Word

Isaac Wimberly

If there are words for Him, then I don’t have them.
You see my brain has not yet reached the point.
Where it could form a thought that could adequately
describe the greatness of my God
And my lungs have not yet developed the ability to,
release a breathe with enough agility to
breathe out the greatness of His love
And my voice, you see my voice is so inhibited
Restrained by human limits,
that’s hard to even send the praise up
You see if there are words for Him,
I don’t have them.

 

My God, His grace is remarkable
Mercies are innumerable
Strength is impenetrable
He is honourable, accountable
Favourable, He’s unsearchable yet knowable
Indefinable yet approachable
Indescribable yet personal
He is beyond comprehension
Further than imagination
Constant through generations
King of every nation
But if there are words for Him,
Then I don’t have them.

 

You see my words are few
In trying to capture the one true God
Using my vocabulary would never do
But I use words as an expression,
An expression of worship to a Saviour
A Saviour who is both worthy and deserving of my praise
So I use words.

 

My heart extols the Lord. Blesses His name forever.
He has won my heart, Captured my mind
And has bound them both together
He is defeated me in my rebellion
Conquered me in my sin
He has welcomed me into His presence
Completely invited me in
He has made Himself the object of my sight
Flooding me with mercies in the morning
Drowning me with grace in the night.
But if there are words for Him,
Then I don’t have them.

 

But what I do have is, good news
For my God knew that man-made words
Would never do, the words are just tools
That we use to point to the truth
So He sent His son Jesus Christ
As The Word, living proof
He is the image of the invisible God
The first born of all creation
For by Him all things were created
Giving nothingness formation
And by His words He sustains
In the power of His name
For He is before all things
And over all things He reigns
Holy is His name.

 

So praise Him for His life
The way he persevered in strife
The humble son of God becoming the perfect sacrifice
Praise Him for His death
That He willingly stood in our place
That He lovingly endured the grave
That He battled our enemy
And on the third day rose in Victory
He is everything that was promised
Praised as the risen King
Lift your voice and sing
For one day He will return for us
And we will finally be united with our Saviour
For eternity, eternity.

 

So it’s not just words that I proclaim
For my words point to The Word
And The Word has a name
Hope has a name
Joy has a name
Peace has a name
Love has a name
And that name is Jesus Christ
Praise His name FOREVER!

Share your best…

“A farmer, whose corn always took the first prize at the State Fair, had the habit of sharing his best corn seed with all the farmers in the neighbourhood.
When asked why, he said, it is really a matter of self-interest. The wind picks up the pollen and carries it from field to field. So if my neighbours grow inferior corn the cross-pollination brings down the quality of my own corn. That is why I am concerned that they plant only the very best”.
We will soon be offering our prayers of thanksgiving for harvest. However we do realise that, though God has given his best to the world and has blessed the earth with abundance, the selfishness and the greed of the few has caused havoc in our society. It has to do with our forgetfulness about God’s fair ways in blessing not the few but all His creation.
I like one of the confessions that people are asked to make on Harvest thanksgiving:

We confess to you
Our lack of care for the world you have given us
We confess to you
Our selfishness in not sharing the earth’s bounty fairly
We confess to you
Our failure to protect resources for others

We are heading for a global problem in the disparity between rich and poor. The consolidation of wealth in a few people’s hands is socially divisive. We are faced with unsatisfied, angry and frustrated people. There are multiple concomitant effects of poverty in our society. Poverty leads people to resort to abnormal behaviour to meet their essential needs in the society.  Mahatma Gandhi (an Indian freedom fighter) said: “The Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.”
For a peaceful world the interest of 99% of people being dominated by the rich 1% has to come to an end. Austerity measures may discomfort those who are in the habit of holding back the good for their own interest. A habit of sharing their best with others will create a just world. The gap between rich and poor is growing rapidly in the UK.
The British poor are much better off in absolute terms than the poor in most Third World countries, but they are worse off than those in other Western nations. The poorest fifth of Britons have an average per capita income 32 per cent lower than their equivalents in the US and 44 per cent lower than in the Netherlands.    (Independent 10th August).
Harvest thanksgiving is a time for us to make confession of our sins and the sins of the society in the misuse of God’s creation. We confess,

God our Father, we are sorry
For the times when we have used your gifts carelessly and acted ungratefully
We belong to a people who are full and satisfied
But ignore the cry of the hungry
We are thoughtless
And do not care enough for the world you have made
We store up goods for ourselves alone
As if there were no God and no heaven
Father, in your mercy
Forgive us

Let this Harvest Thanksgiving create in us a desire to share our best resources with others so that all those who are our neighbours may benefit from our blessings. Let us pray that God may grow in us the fruit of His Spirit in order to build God’s just kingdom on this earth. For the Harvest of the Spirit of God in us is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness and Self-control.

With much love
Arun

Getting older…

Autumn. A lovely season. Perhaps one of special resonance for many of us, being that we can be said to be in the ‘Autumn’ years of our lives. And Autumn of course drifts seamlessly into Winter – maybe that season is the more applicable! So, apologies to all the ‘bright young things’ – I seem to be having a little muse on getting older!

Funny, isn’t it, that in childhood one longs to be older. Four and three-quarters, for instance, is proudly the age stated by our granddaughter. Every month counts! Whereas in adulthood, we may want to ‘knock off’ even a few years.

Plus or Minus – getting older? A bit of both. On the debit side: the old bones can ache and creak a bit; the teeth may live in a jar overnight; technology may baffle and frustrate; and the only sport left to us may be hunting for our glasses! On the credit side: we no longer have to go to work; when our (grand) children become tiresome and exhausting we can hand them back to their parents; we get a bus pass; and we do find that ‘a nice cup of tea’ solves (or at least eases) most things.

Aside from this flippancy, every time and age of our lives has its ups and downs. What of our Christian lives? When one is a Christian, life is one joyous, happy-clappy reverie – is this the truth? Obviously not. God didn’t promise us skies ever-blue. In fact sometimes as a Christian, we find that extra challenges are put before us. What ‘the world’ doesn’t understand, it sometimes mocks and belittles. That’s a tough one!

But back to the early days – the Spring of our Christian life. There is joy, excitement and anticipation of what is to come. As Autumn and Winter come around, have we perhaps lost some of the joy? Some of the excitement and anticipation? Do we really believe that ‘all things work together for good for those who love the Lord?’ Or do we just let biblical truths wash over us – merely words?

I know that at times I can feel far away from God. I can feel that I am just drifting along in my Christian life. Maybe you’ve felt that too? God knows us, understands us, and above all wants us to have a joy, a comfort, and a peace in Him. He never drifts away from us or tires of helping us. We need not be ashamed or embarrassed about feeling a bit adrift from Him. We just need to come before His throne, in contrition and humility, and He will restore us to the person He created us to be. Nothing in our life is too big for Him. Nothing in our life is too small for Him. If it troubles us, it troubles Him too.

So in closing, may I suggest that whether age-wise or emotion-wise we feel that we are in Spring / Summer or Autumn / Winter, God is always there for us. Each season of our life has its blessings. Yes, and even in those black ‘seasons’ there can be blessings to be found.

My prayer for us all is that God will give us open and wise hearts, to see His goodness and His blessings in all things and in all Seasons.
Until Next Time, Much love,

Linda.

Where are you ?

Were you ever asked the question ‘Where are you?’ Who asked you this question? Was it your wife/husband, children/parent, friends/neighbour? This question gets intense when those who love you can’t locate you in your usual place. This question highlights relationship. However when you are found to be in the wrong place or trapped in bad surroundings their obvious reaction will be one of anger or disappointment followed by love and a resolve to protect you and to get you back again to the safe space.

The Trinity in the Christian faith is a story of a Father who lost His children and His sacred family. In our Bible in the Book of Genesis (3:8-15) we learn of a tragic breakdown of a wonderful godly family in Adam and Eve. When God came to meet His children He found that they had moved from the safe space He had given them. Out of a concern-filled anxiety God shouted loudly ‘Where are you’ Adam and Eve, my children?  The answer was “we are hiding because we are naked and we feel ashamed to come in front of you.”  God’s family was corrupted. Another strong power, called Evil or Satan or the Devil, successfully uprooted this lovely family from their safe, holy and desirable space and led them into dangerous place. This story sets in motion God’s resolve to fight this Devil on earth and to bring His family back home.

The story of the Trinity begins with this messy and broken love relationship between God and the Devil. In this story we learn that it has been a long drawn-out battle where God has to progressively fight the devil as God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. This battle culminated on the Cross of Jesus. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son Jesus Christ, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. And this unending love leads further to the Gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church. There is an ongoing battle against the powers and principalities of this world. The difference is that today the battle against evil has to be fought by the believers in the Church.

During the Sundays after Trinity a call to confession is made. In the story of the fall of God’s family, Eve said that she was beguiled by the Devil and Adam said that he was beguiled by Eve.  Neither of them were willing to accept their fall and own it.  Rather they blamed each other.  Instead of blaming each other and hiding themselves they should have cried out like the Psalmist (Psalm 130) ‘Where are you O God’? The Psalmist recalls his human vulnerability and cries out;

Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;

Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
    to my cry for mercy.

If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
    Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
    so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
    and in his word I put my hope.
I wait for the Lord
    more than watchmen wait for the morning,
    more than watchmen wait for the morning.

The Trinity offers believers the assurance of God’s unconditional love and forgiveness if only we confess our sins. God’s grace through the gift of the Holy Spirit offers hope to God’s children to reconcile with God and also an opportunity to mend broken relationships and the healing of our body, mind and soul. St. Paul’s understanding of the Trinity is helpful for us in realising how important we have become after being redeemed by Jesus Christ and after being nurtured by the Holy Spirit. We are a new creation. The old Adam and Eve in us is dead with Jesus on the Cross.

The Trinity gives new meaning to our life. Paul in 2 Corinthians speaks about Christian life as a plain pottery jar which holds a candle. Our lives may look very ordinary, but we contain the light of Christ. The same God who said at creation ‘let there be light’, has now placed the light of Christ in our hearts. Paul speaks about a confident relationship with his creator (2 Corinthians 4: 13-5:1). The only aspect of Paul’s earthly life which will also be with him in heaven is the Spirit of God within him. The Spirit is God’s down-payment and guarantee – the sign and promise of eternal life.

During the Sundays of the Trinity season we will realise that God has enabled His children (us) to respond to the question ‘Where are you?’ not as old Adam and Eve, filled with Sin and Guilt and Curse and Punishment. Rather as a new creation a new Adam and Eve filled with Grace and Mercy and protected and owned by Unconditional Love and Redemption through Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

With much love

Arun

 

 

Give us this day…

Bread features very prominently in our daily lives. A simple sandwich or a slice with salad, toast for breakfast or just a mid-morning snack! Most of us would say that we could not imagine life without bread.

But all over the world there are many, many people who do not even have anything even as simple as a piece of bread to eat  –  and even in this country of ours, rich as it is, there are many who struggle to make ends meet in living day to day!

The period of austerity (are we emerging from it?) which we have experienced in this country over the past few years has given rise to ‘Food Banks’ which have done much wonderful work in giving basic foodstuffs to those who cannot afford to feed their families properly. Those of us who are well off are able to give of their generosity in stocking the food banks and in doing so prevent many less fortunate people from starvation.

Just imagine for a moment the many people who are starving for want of bread. Their hunger and their desperate need for food! They will all suffer a deprived and hopeless life with no real opportunity for change.

Jesus had quite a lot to say about bread too. He famously said “I am the bread of life” which meant that to follow him was to receive nourishment for our souls; He also said “no man lives by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God!” He was not diminishing the physical requirement for nourishment, but was in fact emphasising a more important kind of ‘bread’ which builds us up and makes us spiritually strong. That ‘bread’ is His word, found in the pages of the Bible, and if we wish to be fully healthy and ready for His service we need to feed ourselves on that word day by day! I’m sure nobody would be likely to miss out on their daily nourishment of bread (food) so why do we so often leave the more important bread of life  –  our Bibles  –  unopened and ignored?

The words of the Lord’s Prayer “Give us this day our daily bread” take on a whole new meaning when we look at it in the light of the provision which God has given us in his Holy word. We eat bread to live, but only when we take in the daily bread of God’s word will we begin to REALLY live!

As we begin to read into God’s words we find Him teaching and enlightening us more and more. The pleasure of a daily conversation with our Father in Heaven through scripture just cannot be underestimated. The alternative is that of going hungry and perhaps starving ourselves too much!

God Bless

Peter