He is not remote, indifferent, untouched or unscarred.
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What God offers instead is the promise that he is with us in our suffering; that he can bring good out of it life out of death, forgiveness out of sin ; and that one day he will put a stop to it and redeem it. Our wounds are hurting us; where is the balm? Lord Jesus, by thy scars we know thy grace. Shillito ended his poem with this stanza, which beautifully captures what makes the cross unique:.
Worshiping a God of wounds is a little strange, as my friend said. For some, it is grotesque and contemptible, a bizarre myth, an offense. But for others of us, what happened to Jesus on the cross is profoundly moving and life-altering — not just a historical inflection point, but something that won and keeps winning our hearts.
Stations of the Cross - Wikipedia
As individuals with wounds, flawed and fallen, we cannot help but return to the foot of the cross. The most important moment in my faith pilgrimage was when the cross became my interpretive prism. What I mean by this is that I was and remain a person with a skeptical mind and countless questions. There are parts of the Bible I still find puzzling, difficult and troubling. That is true of many more Christians than you might imagine, and of many more Christians than are willing to admit.
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In response to his fictional P. It worked for centuries and centuries, bringing out all the creativity in people, all the love and disinterestedness in people, this symbol of suffering. It is the heart of the thing. Where some see the cross as superstitious foolery or a stumbling block, others see grace and sublime love. Thou canst not die! Thou hidest Thyself only!
Thou hast chosen me for this work. I know it well! And then a voice stills all my soul, As stilled the waves of Galilee. I bore the cross, I know its weight; I drank the cup I hold for thee. God hath not promised skies always blue, Flower—strewn pathways all our lives through; God hath not promised sun without rain, Joy without sorrow, peace without pain. God hath not promised we shall not know Toil and temptation, trouble and woe; He hath not told us we shall not bear Many a burden, many a care. God hath not promised smooth roads and wide, Swift, easy travel, needing no guide; Never a mountain, rocky and steep, Never a river, turbid and deep.
But God hath promised strength for the day, Rest for the laborer, light for the way, Grace for the trials, help from above, Unfailing sympathy, undying love. Out from the mine and the darkness, Out from the damp and the mold, Out from the fiery furnace, Cometh each grain of gold, Crushed into atoms and leveled Down to the humblest dust, With never a heart to pity, With never a hand to trust.
A Collection Of Poems To Stir The Heart Of The Believer To Prayer
Under the press and the roller, Into the jaws of the mint, Stamped with the emblem of freedom With never a flaw or a dint; Oh! And stamped with the glorious image, Oh, beautiful coin of gold! I steadier step when I recall That, if I slip, Thou dost not fall. Not my opinions may I speak; If so, my witness will be weak. That only must my message be If I shall bless humanity. I am not left to seek, forsooth, In learning's page to find the Truth, But here it is beneath my hand The Word which shall forever stand. Unalterable, enduring, sure Flows the Divine Fount fresh and pure.
Knocking, knocking, who is there?
Waiting, waiting, O how fair! Knocking, knocking—what! They were looking for a king To slay their foes and lift them high; Thou cam'st, a little baby thing That made a woman cry. It seems but such a little while Since he was playing at my knee, And when I spoke to him, my eyes Would downward turn his face to see. And now, in just a few short years, O God, how short the years can be! My eyes must upward turn, for then He will be looking down on me. No time for God is soon to say no time to eat or sleep, or love or die. Take time for God, or you shall dwarf your soul. No time for God?
That day when sickness comes or trouble finds you out, And you cry out to God, will He have time for you? And when you meet Him face to face, Will He—should He—have time for you? Your sins have separated Between you and your God. No man, build he Babels ever so high, Can reach thither. Christ has come, and in Him The heavens have bended down to touch And, touching, to bless this low earth, And man and God are at one once more.
Law demands—grace gives. There is a time, I know not when, A place, I know not where, Which marks the destiny of men To heaven or despair. To cross that limit is to die, To die, as if by stealth.
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It may not pale the beaming eye, Nor quench the glowing health. The conscience may be still at ease, The spirits light and gay; That which is pleasing still may please, And care be thrust away. But on that forehead God hath set Indelibly a mark, By man unseen, for man as yet Is blind and in the dark. And still the doomed man's path below May bloom like Eden bloomed.
He did not, does not, will not know, Nor feel that he is doomed. He feels, he sees that all is well, His every fear is calmed. He lives, he dies, he wakes in hell, Not only doomed, but damned. Oh, where is that mysterious bourn, By which each path is crossed, Beyond which God himself hath sworn That he who goes is lost?
How long may men go on in sin? How long will God forbear?
Where does hope end, and where begin The confines of despair? And I made a prayer right then and there, Best prayer I ever said— The prayerest prayer I ever prayed Was standing on my head. When Jesus came to Golgotha they hanged him on a tree, they drove great nails through hands and feet, and made a Calvary; they crowned him with a crown of thorns, red were his wounds and deep, for those were crude and cruel days, and human flesh was cheap.
When Jesus came to live with us we simply passed him by, we never hurt a hair of him, we only let him die; for we had grown more tender, and we would not give him pain, we only just passed down the street and left him in the rain. Still Jesus cries, "Forgive them for they know not what they do," and still it rains the winter rain that drenches through and through; the crowds go home and leave the streets without a soul to see, and Jesus crouches 'gainst a wall and cries for Calvary.
From the spectral mist and the driving clouds, From the shifting shadows and phantom crowds From unreal words and unreal lives, Where truth with falsehood feebly strives: From the passings away, the chance and change, Flickerings, vanishings, swift and strange, I turn to my glorious rest in Thee, Who art the grand Reality. Nothing, either great or small— Nothing, sinner, no; Jesus died and paid it all, Long, long ago. Weary, working, burdened one, Wherefore toil you so?
Cease your doing; all was done Long, long ago. Better news the gospel brings, It bids me fly and gives me wings.