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The Glory and the Shame

...[Jesus] took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. Luke 9:28-31 NIV

You would think that this transfiguration of Jesus, where he is revealed in all his glory, would be the apex of his time on earth. The disciples finally see him as he really is. What is left for him to do? For us it would be enough. Nothing better or more glorious could be seen or had. This is it!

But for Jesus, this is not it. This is not the apex of his time on earth. This is not what he has come to do. In the upside-down kingdom of God, Christ’s highest point comes not in dazzling, heavenly glory but in the shame and disgrace of the cross. That which was despised he embraced and now invites us to do the same.

Can I? It is fun and exciting when the light shines brightly on me, when others applaud what I do, say and am. But what of the cross? What happens when everything seems to fall apart, when shame, reproach and disgrace colour my world black? What then? Can I believe this serves a greater purpose than bright lights and glory? Can I eschew the praise and embrace the pain? Can I believe that this is where God will do his greatest work in and through me? Am I willing?

Father, I want to fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of your throne. I know that the things I suffer and endure now can’t compare with the glory that you will reveal in me and so I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings. Let me not be ashamed, Lord, because I believe in you and am convinced that you are able to guard all that I have given you. I give you all I have. So be it.*


*Hebrews 12:2, Romans 8:18, Philippians 3:10, 1 Timothy 1:12

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In My Prayer Room

Oh God
You surround me with your love,
with memories
of who you are
of what you've done
of promises you've made
of who I want to be
of who I am because of you.

You give me hope and joy,
peace and gratitude.
You convict me
and teach me
encourage me
and remind me
of what it means to follow you.












You listen to my prayers
and grant my requests
in your time.
You give me insight
and knowledge
and words to write
to share your presence
your goodness
your love
your admonition
with others.























You expand my love
to pray for friend and foe
near and far
family and stranger
people as pins on maps
clustered and scattered
who know you and reject you
for those in need
and those too full to need.


















You draw me close
and then release me
to bring you close to others
to serve
and love
and give
all I have received.

You fill my heart with joy
that warms
and glows
and bursts
into laughter,
song
and even dance.

You wrap me in your arms
and tell me
"You are mine"
with intensity that burns
and smoul…