“I know you. Because I made you.”
He is my Maker.
The Maker knows His own.
There is no need to hide.
I can hide from myself. (Thankfully, I do that a lot less now.)
Sometimes, I hide from others – when it feels unsafe.
But I can never hide from Him. He knows me too well.
We are in the 40-Day Fast, leading up to National Day. I am not participating this year, but have been thinking about our Jubilee next year. So I have been praying Jubilee into the lives of people I know. Whenever their faces and voices pop into my mind and heart, I try to stop. Even if it’s just a whisper. To ask the Maker to remake what is broken, recover what is lost, restore what is dead.
I pray. For starved souls in well-fed bodies. For lonely hearts in crowded places. For sluggish wills in stubborn pride. For deadened consciences in active lives. For stillness lost in deafened minds. For blindness in dazzling power and fame. For limping spirits weighed by history and unforgiveness. I cannot pray self-righteously, for at various points, I am also all these things. Redeem all our poor scripts, and weave them into Your perfect story.
“My story is important not because it is mine, God knows, but because if I tell it anything like right, the chances are you will recognize that in many ways it is also yours… it is precisely through these stories in all their particularity, as I have long believed and often said, that God makes himself known to each of us more powerfully and personally. If this is true, it means that to lose track of our stories is to be profoundly impoverished not only humanly but also spiritually.” (Telling Secrets. Frederick Buechner.)
This God is our God forever and ever; he will lead us for all time to come. (Psalm 48:14)
Encouraged by this particular bit of last Sunday’s message: “To live a ‘blameless’ life doesn’t mean sinless or being perfect. Almost every hour, we continue being sinful. We should not be discouraged. Perfection is an eschatological reality; we are still being sanctified. But ‘blameless’ does mean to live an upright life, a life that is devoted to honouring and obeying God.” (c.f. Philippians 1:9-10)
“Then again, this same self-regard may bring a man down to any kind and degree of wrongdoing. Caiaphas was brought down by it, being the supreme judge of his nation, to be an assassin and an accomplice of murderers. And it is only a question of accident and of circumstances how far that man will descend who once yields himself up to the guidance of such a disposition and tendency. We have all of us to fight against the developed selfishness which takes the form of this, that, and the other sin; and we have all of us, if we are wise, to fight against the undeveloped sin which lies in all selfishness. Remember that if you begin with laying down as the canon of your conduct, ‘It is expedient for me,’ you have got upon an inclined plane that tilts at a very sharp angle, and is very sufficiently greased, and ends away down yonder in the depths of darkness and of death, and it is only a question of time how far and how fast, how deep and irrevocable, will be your descent.” (MacLaren’s Expositions on Caiaphas, John 11)
“It is both brave and essential to listen to the various melodies that hold our lives and shape our affections, and to ask what is the guiding song behind it all. The invitation of Christ is one that will engage all of life. The fully human Incarnate Son could make no lesser request. His invitation is that of fullness of life, a diversity of loves and desires shaped and flourishing around a firm cantus firmus. In this love, all things their find their coherence; the broken fragments of lesser songs are remade, re-tuned, and restored.” (Changing Tunes, RZIM)
Thy Mercy, My God (Sandra McCracken)
Thy free grace alone, from the first to the last
Hath won my affections, and bound my soul fast
But,, through Thy free goodness, my spirits revive,
And He that first made me still keeps me alive.
Thy mercy is more than a match for my heart,
Which wonders to feel its own hardness depart;