The Convert

Lazarus

By G. K. Chesterton

After one moment when I bowed my head

And the whole world turned over and came upright,

And I came out where the old road shone white.

I walked the ways and heard what all men said,

Forests of tongues, like autumn leaves unshed,

Being not unlovable but strange and light;

Old riddles and new creeds, not in despite

But softly, as men smile about the dead

The sages have a hundred maps to give

That trace their crawling cosmos like a tree,

They rattle reason out through many a sieve

That stores the sand and lets the gold go free:

And all these things are less than dust to me

Because my name is Lazarus and I live.

Hymn – Lead me Lord

Blessed are the poor in spirit
Longing for their Lord
For God’s coming kingdom shall be theirs
Blessed are the sorrowing
For they shall be consoled
And the meek shall come to rule the worldLead me, Lord, lead me, Lord
By the light of truth
To seek and to find the narrow way
Be my way, be my truth
Be my life, my Lord
And lead me, Lord, today

Blessed are the merciful, for mercy shall be theirs
And the pure in heart shall see their God
Blest are they whose hunger only holiness can fill
For I say they shall be satisfied

Lead me, Lord, lead me, Lord
By the light of truth
To seek and to find the narrow way
Be my way, be my truth
Be my life, my Lord
And lead me, Lord, today
And lead me, Lord, today

Hymn – Christ Be Our Light

1. Longing for light, we wait in darkness.

Longing for truth, we turn to you.

Make us your own, your holy people,

light for the world to see.

Refrain

Christ, be our light! Shine in our hearts.

Shine through the darkness.

Christ, be our light!

Shine in your church gathered today.

2. Longing for peace, our world is troubled.

Longing for hope, many despair.

Your word alone has pow’r to save us.

Make us your living voice.

3. Longing for food, many are hungry.

Longing for water, many still thirst.

Make us your bread, broken for others,

shared until all are fed.

4. Longing for shelter, many are homeless.

Longing for warmth, many are cold.

Make us your building, sheltering others,

walls made of living stone.

5. Many the gifts, many the people,

many the hearts that yearn to belong.

Let us be servants to one another,

making your kingdom come.

This hymn always reminds me of Father Becker – a holy and devout priest. I miss him.

At the Church of the Nativity

 –Bryce A. Taylor

Upstanding persons surely find it odd,

The way these pilgrims crawl to Bethlehem.

How baffling is the foolishness of God.

Two thousand years have passed, and still they plod,

Hoping a cave might shed some light on them.

Enlightened persons surely find it odd.

The virgin queen, derided as a fraud,

Wore sweat drops for her regal diadem.

How vulgar is the foolishness of God.

His manger had been mangled; partly gnawed

By oxen, partly damp from donkey phlegm.

Hygienic persons surely find it odd.

Naked he came, no robe, no crown, no rod:

A stone to be rejected, yet a gem.

How coarse and rare, the foolishness of God.

Infinite glory chose for its facade

The  poverty that kings and courts condemn.

Upstanding persons surely find it odd.

How beautiful, the foolishness of God.

“from First Things magazine January 2013”

Magnificat hymn – December 19,2019

The moon with borrowed light gives witness to the sun,

Discretely fading with the night when morning has begun.

John’s borrowed light was drawn from heaven’s vibrant rays,

His life a witness to the dawn of Christ’s approaching blaze.

The clouds of sin yet mask Earth’s tangled, stubbly ground,

And O how many hearts still ask where God’s clear path is found.

For borrowed light we pray so we may be a sign

That points to Christ, the truth, the way, the life, the light divine.

 

 

Magnificat hymn – looking for the right road

Sung to the tune of “I heart the Voice of Jesus say”
We strive with all our strength and soul
To do what life requires,
And somehow while we’re on the way
Fulfill our hearts’ desires.
And often as the days speed on
Too hard our small hearts beat.
Be still, my soul, the Spirit sighs,
Go sit at Jesus’ feet.
There is a road we see too well,
Its features fill our eyes;
A quieter path not far away
We barely recognize.
And we must find our way on both,
Or life is incomplete.
Be still, my soul, the Spirit sighs,
Go sit at Jesus’ feet.
The many things we hope to do,
The wholeness God bestows,
The center that unites the two
Are closer than one knows.
There is in us a holy ground
Where prayer and labor meet.
Be still, my soul,the Spirit sighs,
Go sit at Jesus’ feet.

Love Letter from the Father

A reminder that you are a beloved child.

I found this somewhere, though I don’t know where.

My child,

You might not know me, but I know everything about you… Psalm 139:1I know when you sit and when you stand… Psalm 139:2
I know well all your ways… Psalm 139:3
The hairs of your head are counted… Matthew 10:29-31
After all, you were made in my image… Genesis 1:27

In me, you live, move, and have your being… Acts 17:28
Because you are my offspring… Acts 17:28
I knew you even before you existed… Jeremiah 1:4-5
I chose you when I was planning creation… Ephesians 1:11-12

You were not a mistake; in fact, all your days are written in my book… Psalm 139:15-16
I determined the exact moment of your birth, and where you would live… Psalm 17:26
You were wonderfully and marvelously made… Psalm 139:14
I formed you in your mother’s womb… Psalm 139:13
I took you from your mother’s womb on the day of your birth… Psalm 71:6

I am not distant and angry; rather, I am the complete expression of love… 1 John 4:16
It is my desire to pour out my love upon you… 1 John 3:1
Simply because you are my child and I am your Father… 1 John 3:1

I offer you more than your earthly parents could ever offer… Matthew 7:11
Because I am the perfect Father… Matthew 5:48
Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand… James 1:17
In fact, I am your provider, and I will supply everything you need… Matthew 6:31-33

My plan for your future has always been full of hope… Jeremiah 29:11
Because I love you with eternal love… Jeremiah 31:3
My designs for you are as uncountable as the grains of sand on the beach… Psalm 139:17-18

I rejoice over you with songs… Zephaniah 3:17
I will never cease to do what is good for you… Jeremiah 32:40
Because you are my most precious treasure… Exodus 19:5

I want to establish you securely, with all my heart and soul… Jeremiah 32:41
I want to show you great and wonderful things… Jeremiah 33:3

If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me… Deuteronomy 4:29
Take your delight in me, and I will grant you the desires of your heart… Psalm 37:4
After all, it was I who placed those desires in you… Philippians 2:13

I am capable of doing more for you than you can imagine… Ephesians 3:20
I am your biggest supporter… 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

I am also the Father who comforts you in all your tribulations… 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
When your heart is broken, I am close to you… Psalm 34:18
As a shepherd carries his sheep, I carry you close to my heart… Isaiah 40:11
One day, I will dry all the tears from your eyes… Revelation 21:3-4
Every sorrow and pain you may have suffered in this life, I will remove far from you… Revelation 21:3-4

I am your Father, and I love you just as I love my Son, Jesus… John 17:23
In Jesus, my love for you is revealed… John 17:26
He is the exact representation of what I am… Hebrews 1:3
He came to show you that I am with you, and not against you… Romans 8:31
And also to tell you that I am not counting your sins against you… 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled… 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
His death was the supreme expression of my love for you… 1 John 4:10
I gave up everything I loved so that I could win your love… Romans 8:31-32
If you receive the gift of my Son, Jesus, you receive me… 1 John 2:23
And nothing will be able to separate you from my love, ever again… Romans 8:38-39

Come home, and I will organize the biggest celebration that heaven has ever seen… Luke 15:7
I have always been a Father, and will always be a Father… Ephesians 3:14-15
My question is: Do you want to be my child? … John 1:12-13
I am waiting for you… Luke 15:11-32

(Source: the Holy Bible, adaptations of the verses cited)

Hymn -God calling?

God calling yet; shall I not hear?

Earth’s pleasure shall I not hold dear?

Shall life’s swift passing years all fly,

And still my soul in slumber lie?

God calling yet, and shall he knock,

And I my heart the closer lock?

He still is waiting to receive,

And shall I dare his Spirit grieve?

God call yet; I cannot stay;

My heart I yield without delay’

Vain world, farewell! from you I part,

The voice of God has reached my heart.

Hymn – In Christ Alone

In labor all creation groans

Till fear and hatred cease,

Till human hearts have understood;

In Christ alone is peace.

In labor all creation groans

Till false divisions cease,

Till differences are reconciled

In Christ who is our peace.

In labor all creation groans

God’s justice to increase.

When right in place of might prevails,

Then Christ will be our peace.

Hymn – Son of Man

The Son of Man has come to save

The lost and dark of mind.

All men and women bound in chains

In him their freedom find.

In him the blind shall come to see,

The deaf shall understand,

For Jesus guides the erring soul

With his redeeming hand.

The Son of Man has come to serve

To seek and save the lost.

Blest be the Lord whose saints reveal

The triumph of his Cross.