Sunday, August 10, 2014

waiting

My children crawl on me, fight over who sits by me.
I make room, as much room as I can, on my lap in in my arms.
Let the little children come. 

The first hymn begins.
I kiss a little forehead before I sing,
but then I find it difficult to sing.

They are on my mind:
The child-martyrs halfway across the world.

The church sings a hymn about a God mighty to save.
I wonder why God doesn't stop these things.
why His goodness is so hard to see,
why it seems like He is silent.

Like He's above all this. 

What would I do if it were me?
If my neck, or these necks were threatened?

I look inside for an answer.
It's not pretty, what I feel, what I fear:
Would I cower, and beg, and cling to life above everything else?
Would lies, shame, fear, rage, and hate overtake me?
I think... yes.
I am so weak, and I will be overcome. 
Unless... God.

Unless He's not above all this, but right in it,
like He said.
Unless He is truly Immanuel, God with us,
God who has traveled through death 
into new life,
for us.

What if faith is a gift,
and so is the courage to stand strong?
What if this world is crumbling,
and will continue to crumble,
until it is made new when His kingdom comes?
What if I can't hide from that or stop it,
but only wait,
wait,
for God to do what He said He will do?

What if faith comes by hearing, by His Word,
and what if that Word lives?
We who cling to it, we also shall live.


His Word is here, for us, 
Jesus, for us,
body and blood and Bible,
giving us life.

Life, right now, and life everlasting.
I breathe it in, 
and it fills me,
through my ears and into my heart.

My heart beats with a new strength,
the kind that won't run out,
because it doesn't come from me.

We wait, but we are not still in our waiting.
We speak and we give and we pray,
we grieve,
for those children, and our own.

We look straight on,
at the bloody mess, 
and we make pies, tie shoes, and keep living
and we pray and we wait.

We remember the cross,
the death that could not hold our Lord,
and as we dwell under the shadow of death,
we wait.

We cling to His Word,
and His Word clings to us,
and we wait.


And we wait.

--------------



Despised and scorned, they sojourned here;
But now, how glorious they appear!
Those martyrs stand a priestly band,
God’s throne forever near.
So oft, in troubled days gone by,
In anguish they would weep and sigh.
At home above the God of Love
For aye their tears shall dry.
They now enjoy their Sabbath rest,
The paschal banquet of the blest;
The Lamb, their Lord, at festal board
Himself is Host and Guest.
(LSB 656 v.2)

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been...

Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

“Therefore they are before the throne of God,
and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.
They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore;
the sun shall not strike them,
nor any scorching heat.
For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd,
and he will guide them to springs of living water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

(Rev. 6:9-11, 7:13-17)



On persecution in Iraq- repent, remember!

Anglican vicar: "Child I baptized cut in half by ISIS"
Iraq: six things you can actually do to help




Come Lord Jesus.


(Who out there is waiting with me?)

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