Monday, March 22, 2021

Special Reminder as We Step into Holy Week and Finish Lent: There is Good News of Great Joy to Resist Our Darkest Hours

Life even at its most monotonous and backbreaking and heartnumbing has the Kingdom buried in it the way a field has treasure buried in it, Jesus said. Joy is a mystery because it can happen anywhere, anytime, even under the most unpromising circumstances, even in the midst of suffering, with tears in its eyes. + Frederick Buechner, Secrets in the Dark


Good News of Great Joy Will Resist Even Our Darkest Hours 

| 1 Nehemiah 8:1-12 | Good News of Great Joy is World-Restoring Redemption

Struggling and rejoicing are not two chronological steps, one following the other, but two concurrent movements, one fluid with the other. As the cold can move you deeper toward the fire, struggling can move you deeper toward God, who warms you with joy. + Ann Voskamp, The Greatest Gift

| 2 | Luke 2:8-20 | Good News of Great Joy is History-Altering Resistance

Joy is an act of resistance against all the forces of despair: violence, war, debt, death ... all of the things that can cause us to think life in this world is not worth living. Cultivating joy is an act of resistance to any person, event, or system that would have us believe that death has the final word on our lives. + Willie James Jennings

| 3 John 15:1-11 | Good News of Great Joy is Personally-Transforming Resurrection

Did you know joy can be chosen? The feeling is but the branches of a thing whose roots lie deep within your being. You can choose to celebrate life itself, regardless of circumstances. You can know Jesus' joy. + Paul J. Pastor, The Listening Day

O Lord! Make that possible to me by grace, which I find impossible by nature. + Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ

By Audrey Assad
2013 A.D.

Humble and human, 
Willing to bend You are
Fashioned of flesh
And the fire of life You are.
Not to proud to wear our skin,
To know this weary world we're in,
Humble, humble Jesus.

Humble in sorrow,
You gladly carried Your cross
Never refusing Your life
To the weakest of us.
Not too proud to bear our sin,
To feel this brokenness we're in,
Humble, humble Jesus.

We bow our knees,
We must decrease,
You must increase,
We lift You high.

Humble in greatness,
Born in the likeness of man.
Name above all names,
Holding our world in Your hands.
Not too proud to dwell with us,
To live in us, to die for us,
Humble, humble Jesus.

Humble, You are humble.
Make me humble like You.
We lift You high.

By Horatio G. Spafford, Bethel Music
1876 A.D., 2014 A.D.

Grander earth has quaked before
Moved by the sound of His voice.
Seas that are shaken and stirred
Can be calmed and broken for my regard.

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You.
Through it all, through it all
It is well.

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
It is well, It is well.

Far be it from me to not believe
Even when my eyes can't see,
And this mountain that's in front of me
Will be thrown into the midst of the sea.

So let go my soul and trust in Him!
The waves and wind still know His name!

It is well it is well with my soul!

By Martin Luther
1529 A.D.

  1. A mighty fortress is our God, 
  2. A bulwark never failing;
    Our helper He, amid the flood
    Of mortal ills prevailing:
    For still our ancient foe
    Doth seek to work us woe;
    His craft and pow’r are great,
    And armed with cruel hate,
    On earth is not his equal.
  3. Did we in our own strength confide,
    Our striving would be losing,
    Were not the right Man on our side,
    The Man of God’s own choosing:
    Dost ask who that may be?
    Christ Jesus, it is He;
    Lord Sabaoth, His Name,
    From age to age the same,
    And He must win the battle.
  4. And though this world with devils filled,
    Should threaten to undo us,
    We will not fear for God hath willed
    His Truth to triumph through us;
    The Prince of Darkness grim,
    We tremble not for him;
    His rage we can endure,
    For lo, his doom is sure,
    One little word shall fell him.
  5. That word above all earthly pow’rs,
    No thanks to them, abideth;
    The Spirit and the gifts are ours
    Through Him Who with us sideth;
    Let goods and kindred go,
    This mortal life also;
    The body they may kill:
    God’s Truth abideth still,
    His Kingdom is forever.


May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. + Romans 15:13

Soli Jesu gloria.

+ Sully

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