The relentless march of an invisible foe – imposing its will – has taken captive nation after nation with relative ease. It cares not for its victims – showing no mercy. It strikes at will. And it’s a fearful thing to fight an invisible foe. Where do we strike? How do we attack? But enough about that – how do we defend ourselves? Hiding seems to be the plan as we wait for it to march right on by, but its march is slow and relentless. How long will it be? Will it find me?
My only hope is God my King – the Lord of armies. He will defend me for He has fought the fight for my life. His warrior is Jesus, and he won. And this invisible foe? My life belongs to my King.
This is a liturgy of repentance that I wrote for our Lenten worship service tonight. The text for preaching is Psalm 121 as I talk about God’s promise of everlasting keeping. Just think about this: You a sinner – are kept by God – through faith in Jesus Christ. Wow, oh Wow! God is awesome!
I am known by You, for You formed me. I am known by You, for You knit me together. I am known by You, for You choose me before I knew myself. I am known. I am known by You, for You breathed life into my being. I am known by You – you know my – everything. You know my sin. My failings are known by You. My shortcomings – they too – are known by You. Everything – everything is known by You. And yet – You keep me. Through Jesus Christ You are my shade at my right hand. Through Jesus Christ You are my Rock and Salvation. Through Jesus Christ You keep my going out and coming in. Through Jesus Christ You keep my life. My life, oh God, You keep it. You are my keeper. My loving keeper. The sinner that I am – and You keep me. Oh God, I am unworthy to be kept. I am unworthy to be treasured by You. I am unworthy of anything but condemnation. Oh God, if I am kept by You, I want to honor and worship You. I want to glorify You. I want to serve You. And thus, I confess my shortcoming – my sin – my unworthiness. Oh Lord, my God, hear my cry: I repent…
To You be the glory, forever and ever, To You be the glory forever. What a joy it is to proclaim Your story. For You have made it my own. You saved this miserable wreck of a sinner, You redeemed this long lost life. You rescued this life from the grips of death. You rewrote my future story. To You be the glory, forever and ever, To You be the glory forever. Through Jesus my Lord I stand on the Rock, Through Jesus my Lord I am saved. You have washed and cleaned my sin-stained clothing, You have crushed the Deceiver’s head. You have snatched me from the lion’s mouth. You have secured my life in Yours. To You be the glory, forever and ever. To You be the glory forever. I will worship Your name through Christ my Lord. To You be the glory forever.
The following poem to dedicated to a mystery woman and her child. I don’t know who she is, but she showed up at our church door recently. Our Ring doorbell caught the encounter as she left a note. When I finally saw the footage, she was gone. The note was a series of prayer requests about her son and some stuff about her family. She left no name or contact information so I have no way to follow up with her. All I can do is pray and I invite you to do the same. I can’t tell you much but that’s alright – God knows her and I pray that she knows that as well.
And so, as I think about this woman and her son – praying for them – God placed this poem on my heart. I dedicate this to her and to the glory of God.
I don’t know where you are. I don’t know where you’ve been. And you may never, ever come this way again. Miles may separate us. Circumstances may keep us apart, But know that you are never, ever far from my heart. You seem to be in such pain. Lost with no where to turn. Oh how I wish you would someday return. God brought you to our door. He lead you by the hand. Oh how I want you to know His love firsthand. I know you may never read this. But this is what I am feeling. I will pray that God will grant you necessary healing. So wherever you are. And wherever you go. I pray that its the peace of Christ you will someday know.
2 Peter 1:16–17 (ESV) ~ 16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,”
To see this mountain is to see “majestic glory”. But that is almost sacrilegious to say, For this is only part of the story. For if this mountain is majestic, You are more so, For You are the Creator of the heavens and the earth, Thus it is glory to You I want to bestow. You are my Father – My Lord and King, You are my Savior and Shepherd. New Life You certainly bring. You are holy and awesome. You declared Jesus to be Your Son, He died and rose again, And he will never be outdone. From You is borne New Life Thus You are the Majestic Glory. I sing aloud and praise Your name, For You are my complete story.
The light shining in the darkness. The anchor in the chaos. The lifeline in the quicksand. You are my God and Rock. Peace in the midst of turmoil. Mercy in my suffering. Compassion when all seems lost. You are my God and Hope. When the wind and the waves rage. When the lion lurks in the shadows. When the enemy fires his arrows. You are my God and Shield. I know I am never alone. For You are my loving Father. Being Your precious child. I praise You through Christ my Lord.
“my little children, for whom I am again in anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you.” [Galatians 4:19]
Oh my flock, how I want you to know. How I want you to grow. And therefore it is the Word I seek to bestow. For you see, I am a shepherd, called to help you comprehend, called to feed and to tend. To show it is Christ who your broken life will mend. He is the One I want you to know, and thus He is the one in whom I want you to grow. Oh my flock, His heart is amazing to behold, and thus I may often get very bold, for it’s His Truth that I don’t want to go untold. And thus I echo the anguish of Paul’s heart, And thus I will never stop until I impart, God’s Word, that others from Him will never be apart.