Awake My Soul

But when anything is exposed by the light,
it becomes visible,
for anything that becomes visible is light.
Therefore, "Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you."

Nothing but Christ

A challenging word from an old minister to a younger, through the writings of one of America’s greatest authors.

"There iss no up to a point! There is no reason or measure in what we mudst do.” His thick forefinger, woolly between the knuckles, has begun to tap emphasis on the back of a leather chair. “If Gott wants to end misery He’ll declare the Kingdom now.” Jack feels a blush begin to urn his face. “How big do you think your little friends look among the billions that God sees? In Bombay now they die in the streets every minute. You say role. I say you don’t know what your role is or you’d be home locked in prayer. There is your role: to make yourself an exemplar of faith. Thereis hwere comfort comes from: faith, not what little finagling a body can do here and there, stirring the bucket. In running back and forth you run from the duty given you by God, to make your faith powerful, so when the call comes you can go out and tell them, ‘Yes, he is dead, but you will see him again in Heaven. Yes, you suffer, but you must love your pain, because it is Christ’s pain.’ When on SUnday morning then, when we go before their faces, we must walk up not worn out with misery but full of Christ, hot"—he clenches his hairy fists- "with Christ, on fire: burn them with the force of our belief. That is why they come; why else would they pay us? Anything else we can do or say anyone can do or say. They have doctors and lawyers for that. It’s all in the Book- a thief with faith is worth all the Pharisees. Make no mistake. Now I’m serious. Make no mistake. There is nothing but Christ for us. All the rest, all this decency and busyness, is nothing. It is Devil’s work.”

John Updike, Rabbit, Run

Survival.

"As long as you live in the world, yielding to its enormous pressures to prove to yourself and to others that you are somebody and knowing from the beginning that you will lose in the end, your life can be scarcely more than a long struggle for survival.

If, however, you really want to live in the world, you cannot look to the world itself as the source of that life. The world and its strategies may help you to survive for a long time, but they cannot help you live because the world is not the source even of its own life, let alone yours.”

Henri Nouwen, Life of the Beloved

God’s Presence.

"We cannot, for example, will the presence of God. We can only allow love to draw us into it. Nor can we will the important changes that we know in the depths of our soul to be required for our wholeness. We can only allow them to be the fruit of living life in the awareness of the presence of Perfect Love."

David G. Benner, Desiring God’s Will

Perspective.

"In the twenty centuries that have followed, nothing has changed, and everything has changed. The vital mission given by Jesus to his followers is still in force. Every single teaching and instruction is still in effect. Truth doesn’t change, but the world does. Today our worldviews have been assaulted by a thousand competing influences. It is so very easy to be seduced away from God’s truth, even when we have tried to build our foundation on the rock.

As followers of Christ, we should want to embrace this view of the world. We should want to see the world as he must see it, love the world as he loves it, and live in the world as he would want us to live. We should weep for what he weeps for and treasure what he treasures. But if we are to see the world through God’s eyes we have to see through different lenses. The truth still has implications.”

Unfiinished by Richard Stearns

I know that the fact I am always searching for God, always struggling to discover the fullness of Love, always yearning for the complete Truth, tells me that I have already been given a taste of God, of Love, and of Truth. I can only look for something that I have, to some degree, already found.

How can I search for beauty and truth unless that beauty and truth are already known to me in the depth of my heart?

It seems that all of us human beings have deep inner memories of the paradise that we have lost. Maybe the word “innocence" is better than the word "paradise.”

We were innocent before we started feeling guilty;

we were in the light before we entered into the darkness;

we were at home before we started to search for a home.

Deep in the recesses of our minds and hearts there lies hidden the treasure we seek. We know its preciousness, and we know that it holds the gift we most desire: a life stronger than death.

Henri Nouwen, Life of the Beloved