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>Best Friday

2009 April 10 2 comments

> On this good, indeed the best of Fridays, we remember the darkness of the cross; the great evil of the crucifixion. Yet in this evil world that Adam made so, only thru the evil of men could our justification come.

This hymn captures the centrality of the cross to history, in fact the unimportance of all other things in comparison. And it well describes the deep love of Christ for us. It was penned by Isaac Watts, a prolific hymn writer. I was not familiar with the fourth verse.

Jesus you did not deserve the suffering you endured. We thank you that you have delivered us from death. You are our Lord and we gladly say so. Help us offer you our souls, our lives, our all!

When I survey the wondrous cross

Isaac Watts (1674–1748)

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

His dying crimson, like a robe,
Spreads o’er His body on the tree;
Then I am dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

>Walk the (grace) line

2008 November 23 1 comment

>I intermittently watched the movie Walk the Line recently. It is about Johnny Cash (1932–2003). I did not know that much about him other than he was a Christian and I have heard a few of his songs.

I am cautious about how much one can rely on a movie for biography; at times “artistic licence” seems to be a euphemism for “flagrantly disingenuous.” Nevertheless, it told of his his addiction to (prescription) drugs and possibly alcohol; and his marriage break-up due to this and possibly his infidelity.

He subsequently recovered from his addictions and also married singer June Carter. He remained married to her until her death 35 years later.

The story reminded me of a prayer by a fellow parishioner. His own marriage had dissolved many years ago following his indiscretions. He subsequently remarried. He apparently prayed a few years ago during an open prayer meeting something along the lines of, “Lord, thank you that you are a God of second chances.”

These are excellent examples of God’s grace in people’s lives. The God we serve is a God of redemption, of the returning prodigal, of mercy and goodness toward a race of sinners; a God of second chances.

As I live, declares the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live;… (Ezekiel 33)

Categories: grace, mercy, sexuality, sin