“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.”  Ephesians 4:26-27

What makes me angry?  When I see people treating each other badly; when I hear them speaking negatively and even slandering those whom we should be showing respect.  Anger in others makes me angry.

Anger is an emotion and in and of itself is not bad.  It’s what we do or do not do when we feel this emotion that is harmful to both ourselves and to others.

So let’s back up….

When the feeling of anger swells in our hearts and minds what do we do?

Seek the truth.    Ask, “what is the truth in this situation that is causing me to feel so angry?”  Am I expecting something unrealistic?  Am I demanding that things go MY way?

Sometimes we may not even truly understand the cause of our anger.

Here’s where a prayer to God who knows our hearts and minds can be mighty effective:

“Lord, I’m feeling put upon, neglected, hurt, embarrassed, and confused and that makes me feel angry and helpless.  Lord, You are in control.  Please help me.  If my anger is a result of my own sinfulness, please forgive me.  If my anger is because I feel helpless to change a situation, please intervene, give me wisdom, just don’t let me say or do anything that will make things worse.  Especially, Lord, protect me from the evil one who would love to take my insecurity and negative feelings and run with them (and me)–far away from You.  Lord, You are the Truth.  May I trust in You and not in my feelings.  Thank You Lord for hearing my prayer.  To You be the glory now and forever, Amen!

Witness

“Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.  For I delivered to you as of first importance that what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.  After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared also to me [Paul].”  1 Corinthians 15:1-8

Two years of study at the Seminary have concluded.  A year long internship awaits.  To be able to put into practice–relating to, serving, loving, and responding as Jesus would have me do–lies ahead.  And what a privilege it will be.  I believe what St. Paul told the church in Corinth;  Jesus died, but rose three days later…appeared to many…even to one who had been persecuting Him and the Church.  God’s love knows no bounds.  His mercy and forgiveness is for all.  History bears witness.  My heart and life, I pray will also bear witness!

Lord God, Heavenly Father, thank you for the great news of our salvation through Your Son Jesus Christ.  May we all be as bold as Paul to bear witness to the Truth–Jesus is alive!  Let the Easter story continue to be told on our lips today.  For Jesus’ sake.  Amen.

I Am Content

I am content!  My Jesus ever lives, in whom my heart is pleased.  He has fulfilled the Law of God for me, God’s wrath He has appeased.  Since He in death could perish never, I also shall not die forever.  I am content!  I am content!

I am content!  My Jesus is my head;  His member I shall be.  He bowed His head when on the cross He died with cries of agony.  Now death is brought into subjection for me by Jesus’ resurrection.  I am content!  I am content!

I am content!  My Jesus is my light, my radiant sun of grace.  His cheering rays beam blessings forth for all, sweet comfort, hope and peace.  This Easter sun has brought salvation and everlasting exultation.  I am content!  I am content!

I am content!  At length I shall be free, awakened from the dead, arising glorious evermore to be with You, my living head.  The chains that hold my body, sever;  Then shall my soul rejoice forever.  I am content!  I am content!

Hymn text by Johann J. Moller, 1600-1733

“And He [Jesus] said to them, “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead on the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”  Luke 24:46-47

A New Song

“O sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done wonderful things, His right hand and His holy arm have gained the victory for Him.  The Lord has made known His salvation;  He has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations.  He has remembered His lovingkindness and His faithfulness to the house of Israel;  All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth; break forth and sing for joy and sing praises.  Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody.  With trumpets and the sound of the horn shout joyfully before the King, the Lord.

Let the sea roar and all it contains, the world and those who dwell in it.  Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy before the Lord, for He is coming to judge the earth; He will judge the world with righteousness and the peoples with equity.”  Psalm 98

Yesterday we celebrated the joy of Easter’s truth, “He is risen, just as He said!”   When you meet challenges, experience conflict, suffer illness and disease remember, “He is risen, just as He said!”  Jesus fulfilled God’s promise to save, to redeem us from certain death because of our sins that separated us from Him.  Jesus did this by dying on the Cross and bearing the guilt of all our sins.  His Resurrection broke the power of sin, death and Satan over us.  “He is risen, just as He said!”  The Psalmist invites us to sing and shout “because He has done wonderful things!”  And so we do, today and everyday!

Ponder

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Jesus I will ponder now on Your holy passion;  with Your Spirit me endow for such meditation.  Grant that I in love and faith may the image cherish of Your suff’ring, pain and death that I may not perish.

Make me see Your great distress, anguish and affliction, bonds and stripes and wretchedness and Your crucifixion;  Make me see how scourge and rod, spear and nails did wound You, how for them You died, O God, who with thorns had crowned You.

Yet, O Lord, not thus alone make me see Your passion, but its cause to me make known and its termination.  Ah!  I also and my sin wrought Your deep affliction;  this indeed the cause has been of Your crucifixion.

Grant that I Your passion view with repentant grieving.  Let me not bring shame to You by unholy living.  How could I refuse to shun every sinful pleasure since for me God’s only Son suffered without measure?

If my sins give me alarm and my conscience grieve me, let Your cross my fear disarm; peace of conscience give me.  Help me see forgiveness won by Your holy passion.  If for me He slays His Son, God must have compassion!

Graciously my faith renew;  Help me bear my crosses, learning humbleness from You, peace mid pain and losses.  May I give You love for love!  Hear me, O my Savior, that I may in heav’n above sing Your praise forever.

Hymn text by Sigismund von Birken, 1626-1681

“What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare His own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”  Romans 8:31-32

Alas

suzie galagher

Photo by suzie gallagher

Alas! And did my Savior bleed, and did my sovereign die?  Would He devote that sacred head for such a worm as I?

Was it for crimes that I had done He groaned upon the tree?  Amazing pity, grace unknown, and love beyond degree!

Well might the sun in darkness hide and shut his glories in when God, the mighty maker, died for His own creatures’ sin.

Thus might I hide my blushing face while His dear cross appears, dissolve my heart in thankfulness, and melt mine eyes to tears.

But drops of grief can ne’er repay the debt of love I owe; here, Lord, I give myself away: ‘Tis all that I can do.

Hymn Text by Isaac Watts, 1674-1748

“For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” Colossians 1:19-20

 

Go To Dark Gethsemane

Dark Sky Elizabeth Masoner

Photo by Elisabeth Masoner

Go to dark Gethsemane, all who feel the tempter’s power; your Redeemer’s conflict see, watch with Him one bitter hour; turn not from His griefs away; learn from Jesus Christ to pray.

Follow to the judgment hall, view the Lord of life arraigned; oh, the wormwood and the gall! Oh, the pangs His soul sustained! Shun not suffering, shame or loss; learn from Him to bear the cross.

Calvary’s mournful mountain climb; there, adoring at His feet, mark that miracle of time, God’s own sacrifice complete.  “It is finished!” hear Him cry; Learn from Jesus Christ to die.

Early hasten to the tomb where they laid His breathless clay; all is solitude and gloom.  Who has taken Him away?  Christ is risen!  He meets our eyes.  Savior, teach us so to rise.

Hymn text by James Montgomery

“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me.  Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”  Luke 22:40