Thursday, February 18, 2016


Thursday, February 18, 2016


My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
    And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”   
Psalm 27:8(NLT)

Our home’s curbside appeal is often centered more around liturgical colors than HGTV’s Property Brothers.  This season has our purple-draped cross adorning the outside wall near the front door.  The cross announces this season of Lent – preparation for suffering, death, and, finally, resurrection! 

In the front yard there is a brass cross on the tombstone-shaped rock easily seen from the driveway.  (I’ve been asked more than once what – or who – is buried there; but that’s grist for another day’s devotion!).

For someone raised in a Christian tradition which did not include an emphasis on Lent, or other more formal practices of faith expression, my love of worship, including the likes of Ash Wednesday ashes, Good Friday, and the discipline of lectionary daily readings, could not have been expected. 

Why would someone raised on “free-tradition” hymns, extemporaneous prayers and sermons love unison and responsive readings, and hymns of Isaac Watts?  Why would corporate confessions and singing the Gloria Patri send chills up and down my spine?  And, further, why would I love all that enough to have the whole neighborhood look at our house and yard like the only thing missing is a steeple? 

The simple answer is that I spend a lot of time in that yard and I love the visual reminders of the Psalmist’s response to God – the God who wants us to come close; Lord, I have heard your call, and I’m coming.  Every time I come home I drive up and see that cross on the rock and think of an empty tomb. 

I’m just an average guy with the attention span of a mosquito, and I need all the visual reminders I can get.  Because, while I am average, and sinful, and my heart is, as the song-writer has it, prone to wander, Lord I feel it; prone to leave the God I love[2], I am also travelling an extraordinary journey towards an eternal home that is anything but average.  And I’m going there to serve, love, and fellowship with an unparalleled God who loves me with an everlasting love and kindness.

So Lent, for me, is all about keeping that perspective. 

All the liturgical wanderings through written prayers and sermons, call and response, and dirty foreheads in pre-spring rituals are my help in keeping close to the One who called me to be close enough to hear his heart beating-out that melodic, incomparable cadence:

I love you; love me…I love you; love me…I love you; love me.

For You Today

Can you hear it?  Can you hear the cadence of love? 

My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”  

Lent is singing!

You chew on that as you hit the Rocky Road today…and have a blessed day!

[2] Robert Robinson, 1758, Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing, The United Methodist Hymnal, 400

No comments:

Post a Comment