You are my very life —
the comfort in my sorrow,
the builder of my strength,
the motivation of my days.
You will always have pride of place in my life
to determine my thoughts, my words, my actions,
where I go and what I do.
are not a hobby —
not a god among many,
not to be chosen when I feel like it.
You are the light in my eyes,
the center of my heart,
the peace of my soul.
You are my life.
just forty days,
this season of heightened praise and sacrifice.
no grinding chariot wheels or snap of the whip
chases us into this desert,
only the simple call of the Spirit
that resounds in our hearts.
“retreat into the wilderness
within your soul,” it whispers.
“go to the barren places
where you will find the source of rushing waters
that bring newness of life in each passing day.”
yet even there we will be tempted,
if only to strengthen our resolve
to be a people all your own.
for once freed, how can we go back
to serving the lies that kept us bound
and ignorant of all that we could be.
no, let us walk into the unknown,
to follow the light of your fire in the night
and seek the place where you are.
what must it be like
to let the tragedy of death
to stand back
and watch as we experience
what they have been keeping us from
all our lives.
what a strange moment —
the sorrow and the anguish
of letting us die
and the joy of meeting,
of the first look in our eyes
when we are able to look back into theirs,
and they can finally bring us
away from this world
and into the next,
the one where we have always belonged.
This love that seemed to be wasted,
spent carelessly and forgotten like autumn leaves in the wind,
left these branches only barren enough to give more life,
and all these winter sorrows that seemed too much to bear
were quietly building up the strength in these limbs
to be laden with the weight of much fruit.
I am the sacrifice of Elijah,
a young bull laid on the altar
with water twelve jars full
poured out over, trenches catching
and brimming with all that
the saturated wood could not hold.
And Elijah watches, matches laid aside,
staying his hand from starting any flame,
so that when Your fire comes down,
engulfing my heart with a love so strong
so as to outlast any earthly trial,
he will know that it was only by Your hand.
Today I passed a man who seemed to be fishing
in an empty river bed.
The water had dropped down over centuries
and now, pooling just out of sight,
was barely trickling through the rocky dirt.
It’s been said that you are one to change
the desert into streams
and thirsty ground into springs of water.
But will you change this dead land between us
into a place verdant with the beauty of life.
When I look across this ocean of sand
and see nothing worth saving,
you tell me that generous is the man
who is merciful
and lends of himself.
And how widely yet your mercy flows,
coming to me like rain in the spring,
that waters the earth,
and showing me how to give of new life.
Come let us set things right,
and I remember that I have known
my sins to be like scarlet,
but yet you made me white as wool.
And maybe it is not so impossible
to stand on dry land,
rod in hand,
waiting for the flash of scales.
You led me up a high mountain
and I thought
that I would be able to see for miles
but instead your dark cloud descended
grey and wet and cold
this mist made me draw close to You
but still You wanted me to see more
not my path
but my heart and yours
because the more I see of you
the more I know of me
and sometimes my eyes need to see
that who I will become in You
is more important than where I will go
You knew the course of your life here on earth
before you ever set foot
every single day
You knew your fate was to suffer greatly
and be rejected
with hearts still shut against you
as you gave your last
and still you chose
you chose this life
that brought betrayal and rejection
I don’t know my fate
whether my last day will still show
and lonely days
hearts unknown and closed off
If today were the last
I would be the same as you
but I wouldn’t have it any other way
I would choose it all again
out of love for You
always by another way
your grace never leaves me unchanged
with every look in your face
my eyes are opened wider
and my heart redirected
to know your will for my life,
to journey farther and find again
the love that moves my soul
No other name takes with it the meaning–
Oh praise the name–
of wisdom – O Sapienta – oh thought of God, forming the universe and making room for every soul needed to bring this world to completion
of lord – O Adonai – leading your people through their journey, like a shepherd, along the way that only you know, that leads to life
of beginning – O Radix Jesse – when everything is ending, you bring new life to birth in us where we thought death had covered our hearts
of freedom – O Clavis David – opening the cages that keep us bound inside ourselves, unlocking our desire to follow you to God’s presence
of light – O Oriens – shining in our darkness, bringing hope in the night until we can see the glory of the day
of king – O Rex Gentium – serving with humility, uniting every race and culture in love and brotherhood, lifting us up to reign with you
of man – O Emmanuel – bringing your divinity into our humanity, coming down from heaven so that God could always be with us
This is Jesus.