Hits just keep coming from that site I use

in silence
you watched,
you waited,
you yearned

until your heart
could break no more

so you came to us . . .

in a stable
where no one noticed you;

by a well
where you welcomed the outsider;

on a hillside
where you fed hungry souls;

on a cross
when you died for us

in love,
you came to us.

in silence
we watch,
we wait, we yearn.

come, Lord Jesus,
that we might rejoice
once again.
Amen.

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I realized today on my break walk that I am hitting a lot of change all at once. The best possible sorts of change, but change nonetheless.

I turned 25 today. I am now a quarter of a century old.

I got accepted to graduate school yesterday. This signals the eventual return to papers, reading lists, exams, and academic inquiry. This time it’s all focused around theology–the subject that kept me excited enough to drop 6 hours in the library while being happy about it.

I get to spend Christmas with my best friend this year. It’s the first time that I’ve been away from Bellingham for Christmas. I’m very excited.

There’s so much happening that’s wonderful. So much that I’ve waited for, so much that I couldn’t possibly have expected God to grant me. His faithfulness and love is really amazing.

I find that all I can really do is to receive all this with the awe, excitement, and humility that it deserves.

My friend Michael described the sensation as “overflowing”. That’s a pretty accurate description.

When it feels like you’re having a river poured into your open hands…all you can do is receive and share.

 

This Just in…God is good…still.

I just got a call from the Director of Admissions at Duke Divinity School. I was accepted to be a part of the Fall 2012 class. They are giving me a substantial scholarship. 75% of tuition covered each year.

Thanks to everyone who edited my essays, talked to me, encouraged me, and helped me out in the process!

God is good.

Man oh man…Is He ever.

Today’s Hymn

This was today’s hymn on my prayer/scripture thing. Wow:

Comfort my people, comfort,’ says your God,
‘Speak to the heart of those who cannot feel
The measure of my tenderness for them,
Or understand my eagerness to heal.’

Into your arms subsiding, loving God,
We found our darkness losing all its fears,
As death became a womb of waking life
And joy was watered by our bitter tears.

Against your gentle breast we laid our heads;
Your arms were tightly round us, so secure,
Until the hurt that brought us running home
Became a blessing, making faith more sure.

Too immature in love to live in peace,
Too weak to struggle on alone, we curled
As wounded children in your lap, until
You set us on our feet to face the world.

You ask us now to voice your tenderness;
To touch hard hearts that spare no love at all;
To show the weak how strong love makes them be.
We hear, and we must heed, your yearning call.

The Elephant in many Rooms

It seems to me that many of us Christians are born, raised, and taught with a giant elephant in the room.

That elephant would be sexuality.

Most Christians don’t hear anything about it growing up or if they do it’s an entirely negative frame of reference that only shifts dramatically once the word marriage is attached to it.

I’m unsure how young adults who grow up without healthy conversation regarding sexuality are going to be able to participate in a healthy expression of it.

I’m convinced that our methods of discourse and teaching surrounding this subject need to shift dramatically.

Here’s an article I enjoy:

http://theotherjournal.com/2006/04/02/christians-caught-between-the-sheets-how-%E2%80%98abstinence-only%E2%80%99-ideology-hurts-us/

What do you think?

I’m fully expecting charged responses of one sort or another. I just wanted to point at the elephant that somehow is able to be present in so many of our rooms.

 

Oremus.org = Awesome

Here was today’s prayer section of the online reader I use for prayer/scripture. I loved it and wanted to share with you:

O God, you are filled with possibility and mystery.
You hold our anxieties and our hopes. 

Your faithful forget to praise you, consumed by selfcentered busyness,
O God of stillness, come into our hearts.

Your beloved community is baffled and broken,
O God of healing, come into our churches.

Your people wander in the streets without a place to lay their head,
O God our resting place, come into our neighborhoods.

Your world is torn apart by war and conflict,
O God of Peace, come into our world.

Night and day, we wait and pray, for you, our Emmanuel. Amen.

Lord Jesus Christ,
you are for me medicine when I am sick;
you are my strength when I need help;
you are life itself when I fear death;
you are the way when I long for heaven;
you are light when all is dark;
you are my food when I need nourishment. Amen.

God of mercy and justice,
in a time of danger and confusion
you called your servant Ambrose
to bring stability to your church;
give us discipline and wisdom in our trials,
that we may affirm with courage
the faith that we believe;
through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.

Awaiting his coming in glory,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us:

– The Lord’s Prayer

May God the Son
give us grace to live
in the light of his coming as redeemer and judge. Amen.

The year in Photos was a rough year

I looked through these photos from The Atlantic:

http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2011/12/2011-the-year-in-photos-part-1-of-3/100203/

It seems to me that 2011 was a hard year for lots of folks. I wish I had some kind of clever thing to say that would lessen the darkness of things like earthquakes and tsunamis. Unfortunately, words seem a bit pointless in the face of certain things.

At this point I’m reminded of the rosary in my car. It’s mostly there for me to be reminded to pray. Other times though it reminds me of the nature of the God I worship. The One who shares in our sufferings.

By no means does it explain the sufferings away. I guess if anything it gives me hope knowing that there is One who knows and shares the burdens we bear. That we are not alone in grief, loss, and tragedy may be the one comforting thing that I am able to say about all this.

God is with us.