Friday, April 24, 2009

Tie me down, Lord!

I presume most of us are well familiar with Romans 12:1, which reads: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is you reasonable service.” (NKJV)

Or as the New Living Translation (NLT) puts it, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice – the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask?”

We sing songs with such lyrics as “Make my life a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to You.”

The band, Casting Crowns, in their song, “Lifesong” has a verse that says: "Lord I give my life, a living sacrifice, to reach a world in need, to be your hands and feet.”

Darryl Evans' song “I Lay Me Down” has a line that says, “I lay me down, a living sacrifice to you.”

Craig Wallis, a worship leader with Vineyard Fellowship (I think), in his song, “Sacrifice” says, “I will be a living sacrifice, pure and holy in your eyes.”

Though I could probably mention many more, I think you get the idea. The words are much easier to sing than they are to actually live out. The reason being, it has often been said, is that “The problem with living sacrifices is that they seem to want to climb down from the altar.” Maybe that's true only in my life.... but I suspect that's not the case.

With these thoughts of presenting ourselves to God as living sacrifices, I point you to a line from Psalm 118:27, which reads in the NKJV, “Bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.” Read that again. “Bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.”

Now, the next time you sing a song about your life being a living sacrifice, and if you really mean it, take a moment to pause and pray... “Tie me down, Lord!”

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Prayer of St. Hippolytus of Rome

Easter Prayer of St Hippolytus of Rome (AD 190-236)

Christ is Risen: The world below lies desolate
Christ is Risen: The spirits of evil are fallen
Christ is Risen: The angels of God are rejoicing
Christ is Risen: The tombs of the dead are empty
Christ is Risen indeed from the dead, the first of the sleepers,
Glory and power are his forever and ever!

May all the blessings of His Resurrection be upon you!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Prayer of a US Senate Chaplain

I stumbled across a little gem in a thrift store this past week week. What I found was an autographed book of prayers that were offered by U.S. Senate Chaplain, Rev. Frederick Brown Harris between the years 1942 and 1946 - the WWII years. These prayers were offered before before the opening of the daily Senate sessions. Here is a little snippet of one of his prayers that was offered during Lent. I though it would be good as we are now in Passion Week.

“Our Father God... In these solemn and searching days of the Passion, help us to take time to be holy. We would turn from the tragic, troubled world without to the inner kingdom of our own hearts, knowing that there are the issues of life and that as a man thinketh in his own heart so is he. We would dim all lesser lights that the light within may shine with new radiance, In that light we would see ourselves, stained by selfishness, warped by prejudice, blinded by pride, duped by false lights that fail. Grant unto us the grace of penitence that we would not grow insensible to our need of forgiveness, from one another and from Thee. In the crises of our times join us with those who across the waste and wilderness of human need, preparing the way of the Lord, throw up a highway for our God. Amen"
- Chaplain Rev. Frederick Brown Harris, April 16, 1943

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Stations of the Cross Video

Looking forward to Holy Week I had planned on posting a specific video based on the Stations of the Cross. When I went to retrieve it for the posting I discovered that the embedding had been removed, which simply means, I am unable to post the actual video here. I will, however, post the link. Please click on it and check it out.

This is from a church in California called Storyteller Church. This church (and there are several in California) is geared toward reaching the artist community. They are made up of actors, dancers, singers, musicians, storytellers, performers of all kinds, as well as painters and sketch artists, etc. If you are an artistic type you would feel at home here. It sounds like a great idea.

In the video, you will see a sketch artist's rendition of the Passion of Christ. Though done simply with pencil or charcoal, the pictures are very moving with Selah's "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross" playing in the background. I hope you are blessed by it as you enter Holy Week and approach Good Friday.