Tag Archive: Mercy


Die Gnade Gottes

Grösser als ich mir vorstellen kann…
Niederknie ich vor Gott…
Arm, aber in seiner Barmherzigkeit so reich…
Dankbar für das Geschenk eines Lebens in seiner Liebe zu leben…
Ewig möchte ich hier in dieser Gnade bleiben.

The Grace of God
Bigger than I can imagine
I kneel before God
Poor, but rich in His mercy
Thankful for the gift of living a life in His love
I would like to stay here in this grace forever.

© 2012. Annabelle Peake Markey. All rights reserved.

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The Importance of Expression

Grüß Gott!  That’s “hello” here in Bayern (Bavaria) 🙂 Things are going very well thus far and I’m hoping I will be able to write updates and thoughts each Sunday while I’m here in München (Munich).

On Wednesday, I began my German language course (Sprachkurs).  It’s three hours daily, Monday through Friday, and we are covering a lot.  So far, we’ve been doing some review, which is really great because it looks like I’ve forgotten quite a bit! Oh, and as a side note, please forgive me if my English is a bit weird…I’ve been speaking a gemischte (mixed) German-English (Denglisch) for a week and my brain is kind of scrambled!

In my language course, as well as where I live (Das Collegium Oecumenicum), there are students from all over the world and it’s been marvelous getting to know them over the past couple days.  It’s always interesting to hear about different countries, and I’m fascinated discussing the world situation with people from different cultures and backgrounds.  It makes for such an enlightening and rich experience.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about how our personalities – who we are as people – are tied up in the language we speak.  At home, I’m incredibly outgoing.  I love to laugh, joke and to make awful puns.  But in German, I don’t always have the right words to express myself.  Or, I might not understand someone’s words, thereby missing what they’re trying to convey.  I discussed this the other night with another student of German and we both expressed how difficult it can be to sit there and absorb when you want more than anything to join in – when you just want to be yourself with these new people you’ve just met.  So, maybe, in a foreign language, it’s hard to not only find the right words, grammar or syntax, but also to find your own voice in that language.  Finding your voice is hard enough in your native tongue!

Words!

How we use language helps us to express ourselves as individuals.  Think about it – there are certain words, phrases and inflections that people you know use (or you yourself use) that are common for that person.  These can be annoying, endearing, or maybe a bit of both, but they help you identify that person, don’t they?

Thinking about all of this, I’ve been pondering the words that I use.  The words we choose help to inform others about us and they shape others’ understandings of who we are.  So what words come out of our mouths?  Are they words that build people up, or tear them down?  Are they words that praise God?  Are they words that show that we care about others?  Are they words filled with the love, grace and mercy of Christ? Or, are they words that lash out at others in frustration and anger?  What are we expressing to the world when we speak?

The following are some helpful passages from scripture to look at and think about:

James 3:1-12 (Keeping the tongue in check)
Ephesians 4:29 (Words that build up and give grace)
Mark 7:1-23 (It is what comes from within that defiles)
Psalm 139 (God knows our words before we speak them; the psalmist praises God)
Psalm 19 (The sweetness of God’s word; our words as acceptable before God)

Appropriately enough, last night I stumbled upon this video, which a seminary classmate had pinned:

I’d love to hear your thoughts about language, words, expression, etc.!  Leave a comment if you’d like to join the conversation 🙂

© 2012. Annabelle Peake Markey. All rights reserved.

The more I know of You,
The more I realize how much I fall short.
And the more I know of Your justice,
The more I realize my guilt before You.

But the more I know of You,
The more You teach me of Your love.
And the more I am aware of Your mercy,
The more I know of Your steadfast faithfulness.

Yes, the more I know of You,
The more I know how bountiful Your grace is.
And the more I rest in Your hands,
The more I long to rely solely on You.

© 2011. Annabelle Peake Markey. All rights reserved.

Song of a Modern Day Martha

Jesus Visits Mary and Martha

“Come, sit with me a while.”
“No, I have to call this company to straighten things out.”
“Come, sit with me a while.”
“No, I have to finish the laundry and clean the house.”
“Come, sit with me a while.”
“No, I have to plan the rest of my day.”
“Come, sit with me a while.”

“Come, sit with me a while.”
“Lord, why did that phone call frustrate me so much?”
“Come, sit with me a while.”
“Lord, why didn’t I get the laundry and cleaning done?”
“Come, sit with me a while.”
“Lord, I feel like I have so much to do!”
“Come, sit with me a while.”

Worn and tired at the end of the day, carrying so much frustration, stress, and crankiness, I wondered what on earth had happened to put me in such a state. Then I realized. God had been calling gently and persistently to me all day – “Come, sit with me a while.” And what did I do? Everything on my “to-do” list – well, at least, I tried to.

Reflecting on this in quiet prayer and contemplation, again I heard God speak: “Come, sit with me a while. I’m glad you’re here.” Once I sat down, read some Scripture and entered into conversation with God, I felt so much better. I was able to examine what had happened during the day and I slowly realized that I had been ignoring God.

If I had just taken the time to pray and read like I wanted to – like God was inviting me to – I would have been refreshed and recharged. My priorities would have looked much different and I probably wouldn’t have gotten so bent out of shape about a frustrating phone call or unfinished tasks.

In silence, listening for God, I heard once again, “let go and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). “Stop worrying so much about relatively trivial things and rest in my arms.” All day long, God had been trying to get my attention – to care for me so I could go out renewed and strengthened, but I resisted, wishing instead to go my own way. Boy, am I a slow learner! In silence, I realized that I knew God was calling – I recognized God’s voice (John 10:1-10 – see below) and still I ignored it.

Now, it would be really easy to beat ourselves up once we realize what we’ve been doing and how we’ve been neglecting to spend time with God. However, God does not want us to do that. Instead, God extends to us unfathomable grace, that grace which gently and persistently seeks us out and enfolds us in the overwhelming depth of God’s love, forgiveness, faithfulness and mercy. That remarkable and beautiful grace is a gift, given freely and generously to all through Jesus’ death and resurrection. We need only to stop for a moment, to pause ever so slightly, and spend some time listening for and to what God has to say to us. Rest in that grace and know that you are loved.

© 2011. Annabelle Peake. All rights reserved.

John 10:1-10
Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. 2The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
7So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. 9I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

“Hosanna in the highest!” Even thought I’m not a Jesus Christ Superstar fan, I can’t help hearing this song in my head whenever the word “hosanna” comes up:

What is always fascinating to me about this song, and this Sunday (Sunday of the Passion/Palm Sunday), is that we quickly go from praising Christ to reading the passion story, putting ourselves in the place of the crowd. Let me explain that a bit. The song is happy and upbeat, but it has almost a menacing undertone which grows in intensity over the course of the song. Likewise, we begin waving palm branches and shouting “hosanna” to welcome Jesus to Jerusalem, but how quickly our cries turn during the liturgy to shouts of “crucify him!” I find this puzzling and powerful, sobering and also dramatic.

We hear the story of Jesus’ trial and crucifixion and I’m always amazed at how quickly the tide turns – from joy and acclamation to angry mobs and the death of the one we call Savior. Likewise, Psalm 130 (and so many of the psalms) oscillate between lament and hope, sorrow and joy:

1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.
2 Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my supplications!
3 If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
Lord, who could stand?
4 But there is forgiveness with you,
so that you may be revered.
5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
6 my soul waits for the Lord
more than those who watch for the morning,
more than those who watch for the morning.
7 O Israel, hope in the Lord!
For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
and with him is great power to redeem.
8 It is he who will redeem Israel
from all its iniquities.

This psalm is both a plea for help and forgiveness as well as a song of praise for and trust in what God can do. It flows between knowing what God could do (mark iniquities) to declaring what God does do (forgive). God’s forgiveness, mercy and redeeming love take over rather than judgment. Rather than getting what we deserve for the sins we’ve committed, no matter how large or small, we receive the gift of grace. It’s because of this that we can “revere” God. Some translations even have “fear” instead of “revere,” indicating a deep awe for God and who God is.

I’m still processing this psalm as well as Palm Sunday, but I’m happy that they’re causing me to think and that they can’t be figured out in a few days! We’re now entering Holy Week and in order to be ready for Easter, I am going to try memorizing Psalm 145, which is rather long. We’ll see how I do!

Father, grant us insight and clarity this Holy Week as we meditate on the life, death and resurrection of your precious son, Jesus. We give you thanks for his coming into the world and his dying and rising for our sake. May we take the time to listen to you and what you would teach us during this week. Draw us closer to you and fill us with your Holy Spirit that we might be renewed and strengthened for service to you and to our neighbors. In the name of Christ Jesus, AMEN.

© 2011. Annabelle Peake. All rights reserved.

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