Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘Christianity’

New Life


… the strength of His — ?

How would you finish that?

Here are my notes from Easter Sunday’s sermon.

What does this message say about God’s strength?

When you die, your body is buried.

Life’s circumstances can bury us, too.

But God comes and unburies us.

That’s the Easter story – true.

God grants us peace in Truth.

He promises to save our souls.

He removes the stone that

Seals us from our goals.

I cannot roll the stones away;

They’re too heavy for me to lift.

But Jesus, in His death & resurrection

Opens the sealed. What a gift!

In His death of pain and suffering,

Jesus took our stones of grief.

He opened The Way to joyful life –

He cleared the Path. What a relief!

Life unburied is a new creation.

Christ took the old – rolled it away.

Christ is risen – your old life’s buried.

What will you do with New Life today?

The Sounds of Silence


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THE SOUNDS OF SILENCE

 

Silence is resounding in my ears.

Silence wipes away confusion and fears.

Silence speaks as all nature rings.

Silence breaks as songbird sings.

 

Silence whispers compassion’s song –

Let’s me contemplate yesterday’s wrong.

Allows God’s grace to fill this space

Instead of wallowing in my own disgrace.

 

Silence brings new life to God’s Word.

It lets the Holy Spirit speak and be heard.

It opens my heart to name the nameless

And enter their world blameless and shameless.

 

Open my heart, Lord, in silence to know

All that You’re saying, all that You show

Through challenges booming or hugs soft and sweet.

Help me to hear You in ALL that I meet.

 

Jan Beekman

11-30-2017

What Do We Know?


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What Do We Know?

One thing I do know:
I was blind and now I see.
First sight – a new life –
Could such as this happen to me?

I claim to be sighted,
But can I really see?
What ideas or things
Are blinded to me?

Am I aware of my blindness?
Do I know what I can’t see?
The more I think I know,
The more ignorant I seem to be.

I thought I knew –
So smart, so clever and true.
But I was blind – unaware.
Might that be true, too, of you?

Jesus looked on the blind man.
He made mud with His spit.
He rubbed it on the blind eyes,
And told the man to get rid of it.

Wash it off in a river nearby.
Go and do today what I say.
What does Jesus ask us to wash,
To get rid of in our lives today?

Believe and follow!
Seeing Light is self-authenticating.
See Light through the eyes of faith.
To do less will be self-humiliating.

Obedience is the key
To seeing what God can show.
Then “I was blind, but now I see,”
Will be my song. This I know!

Amen?
Amen!

First Sunday in Advent


advent-coming

Only God knows when
The Son of Man will come.
When we least expect Him,
He will overwhelm some.

But, as Christians, we
Won’t be surprised at all.
God already is with us,
So we live expecting His call.

We can’t solve our mortality.
We can’t achieve eternal life.
We know our days are limited
As we live in both joy and strife.

Our lives are vulnerable;
We find security in routine.
But with God, no day is mundane.
We are at risk. Know what I mean?

When God is revealed in you,
You live expecting the end,
And you understand intrusion
With continuation around the bend.

God will come, so be prepared.
He’ll come to you and lift you
To life in His Kingdom.
In anticipation, know He’ll shift you.

Divine Advent; Be ready!
God will break in like a thief in the night.
He will just show up!
So, better live in His Light.

Amen?
Amen!

Outsiders


Jesus on the Cross

Jesus – simple, yet complex

Outsiders

A prophet is known
by the company he keeps.
If Jesus were a true prophet,
the right people would be His sheep.

But baaaaad people hung out
with Jesus – sinners of the worst sort.
Jesus scandalously kept company
with tax collectors, folks report.

His circle included prostitutes.
He dined with people of ill repute.
How did He respond to complainers?
Did He have a good word of refute?

No, He told the story of the lost –
Lost coins, lost sheep, lost kids.
Find the coin, search for lambs,
Be relentless finding others, Jesus bids.

But, though we’re concerned,
We have our limits, right?
Do we seek unending until we find?
No, it’s not about us and our plight.

It’s about God who searches.
It’s about our Lord who actively calls.
He needs us all …  you and me.
Invite the outsiders. Break down walls.

Amen?

Make Us One


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I take notes when I listen to the sermon in church. It helps me  internalize the message in a way that sticks. Then, I can share with my husband, Bob, whose mind wanders during sermons. We discuss it on the way home and I read my notes to him. Usually they are in poetic format. That’s how my mind holds on and interprets.

Here is my take on Rev. Jean Johnson’s message from John 17: 2-26.

MAKE US ONE

May the love I have for you
Also be in you.
May my words echo in your heart
And ring loud and true.

Each day I pray for you and yours,
For health and strength and peace.
My prayers include family and friends,
My kids, my sis, my niece.

I pray for us and our health, too,
And ask for family unity.
Jesus prayed that we be ONE –
Mend divisions between you and me.

From time’s beginnings, splits occurred –
From Adam, to disciples, to now.
Jesus asked God to make us one
Stop our bickering somehow.

Set aside our differences.
Teach us, Lord, to pray
That we can love as Jesus loved.
Make us one today.

Amen?

 

 

 

Easter Sadness


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I have heard holidays are sad times for some people. There are more suicides near the various holidays each year than at other times of the year. Have you heard that? Have you ever related to such sadness? I’m not THAT sad, but this was not a typical Happy Easter day.

I grew up in a typical American family in the center of California. At least I thought we were typical. Since then I have begun to question what is “normal” – is there such a thing as “typical”? In my world, I Love Lucy and Bugs Bunny made me laugh, Sundays were church and family time, gatherings at our house or at relatives’ homes were the norm for Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. So, when I found myself in a funk this year as Easter approached and no family was coming to gather, I should not have been surprised, right? Wrong! I was caught off guard! Where is the laughing, carefree Bugs Bunny when you need him?

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Our church hosted a potluck after church today –  Easter Sunday; designed just for folks like Bob and me whose family is a thousand or more miles away. Ham would be provided. Last night I created my favorite comfort food for the occasion- scalloped potatoes Andre’ style. I put them in the garage refrigerator for safe-keeping. I spent an hour this morning up in my sanctuary, as usual, in prayer and Bible Study, in meditation as I listened to the robins singing outside the the window. “He is risen indeed!” Shake it off, Jan! ReJOYce! It’s Easter!! Pick up your music. Pick up your Easter lily. Pick up your spirits. Get to your house of worship!

We arrived at church 45 minutes early to practice with the choir. Surely potatoes au gratin and “Up From the Grave He Arose” would lift my sagging spirits. Oh no! I forgot the potatoes where I had safely stored them in the garage refrigerator last night! A dear friend, Susan, who arrived early to work on the potluck volunteered to drive back to our house to get them. Only five minutes away, thank God! Christian friend to the rescue! God bless her. She put them in the church oven and returned to her seat in the pew just as the service started.

I perused the church bulletin. The songs were not “He Lives!” or “Hallelujah, He is Risen.” Instead, “Low in the Grave He Lay” and “In His Time” with a sermon topic, “Failure.” What? Here I am feeling low, missing family, beating myself up for forgetting to bring the potatoes, and the sermon topic is about FAILURE? I drew a sad face next to it! I was not prepared for a downer message from the pulpit! But then as the service began, we all sang, “He Has Made Me Glad!” and the choir sang, “In Christ Alone/Solid Rock.” My spirits were lifting and I paid particular attention to the words of the next song, “Hymn of Promise,” by Natalie Sleethe. The second verse especially spoke to me:

   “There’s a song in every silence, speaking word and melody;
   There’s a dawn in every darkness, bringing hope to you and me.
   From the past will come the future; what it holds a mystery,
   Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.”

What a wonderful segue into the sermon. Listen carefully, Jan. Take your sermon notes in poetry – as you usually do – and see what “Failure,” as spoken by Reverend Jean Johnson, says to you:

Silence is in Failure.
Shouts in Victory.
Resilience lies in Failure –
Lessons there for you and me.

Moral Victory or Losing?
Which lesson do you see?
Is the score the truest measure
Of a win for you and me?

Defeat: Success is gone.
Rationalization: Better now.
Reality: Acknowledgement –
There’s a future – somehow!

Failure feels miserable.
Hope seems surely gone.
But the loss is temporary.
New beginnings greet the dawn.

God doesn’t call it quits.
He fills our loss with LOVE.
His peace is ours eternal;
Ours is Victory from above.

Christ defeated death and darkness.
Shouts of VICTORY ring ever true.
His resurrection is our promise.
Hope rings eternal for me and you.

Amen? Amen!

I drew a cross next to that sad face – and on the other side of the cross, a happy face.

No need to stay in a funk! Listen to the last verse of Natalie Seethe’s “Hymn of Promise.”

“In our end is our beginning; in our time, infinity:
In our doubt there is believing; in our life, eternity.
In our death, a resurrection; at the last, a victory,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.”

Thank You, God. Thank You for Jesus… for His life, His death, and His resurrection. Thank You for the promise of Eternity. Thank you for helping me see You, the source of all life and hope, all joy and peace, all compassion and justice – alive and victorious this day and always. May my life be a witness to the new life You offer. You are new every morning. So am I! Happy Easter!

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