Tag Archive: Savior


“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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The Savior Calls

Beautiful Christ, my Savior and Lord,
I hear your voice in the crisp fall air,
Calling softly, “Come and follow,
I have sought you with love and care.

I bore the world’s sin and sorrow –
I walked a path no one else could trod,
that you might have life to the full,
and spend it in the love and peace of God.

Though you turned away from me,
and quickly followed your own ways,
I’ve been always by your side –
I’ve walked with you all your days.

I ask you now to turn and see,
My pierced hand outstretched to you,
Take it and trust that I’m still here,
Forgiving, patient, steadfast, and true.”

© 2010. Annabelle Peake. All rights reserved.

Fall Foliage At The Maryland Renaissance Festival

That may seem like an odd question, but surprisingly enough, someone has already laid out a possible answer by designing a mock Facebook page for Jesus! This page centers around the events leading up to the Crucifixion.

However, whether or not we agree with this page or find is amusing is not what I’d like to focus on. I’ve been thinking about what Jesus’ Facebook page would look like post-Resurrection and post-Ascension, i.e. today. As I thought about this, I imagined what Jesus’ “friend” box would look like. The numbers would be in the billions, a high number to be sure, but, after all, Jesus would have sent friend invites to all the world’s population. His friend box would be overflowing with people of every skin color and culture – the rich, the poor, people with scruffy clothes or piercings and tattoos, and people who would never be caught dead in sweatpants! What a beautiful array of photos that would be…

And what would Jesus’ status updates look like? I’m imagining that he could update from anywhere (mobile updates?!) and that perhaps the statuses would be along the following lines:

“Jesus is comforting a scared teenage mother.”
“Jesus is going out tonight to help a tired commuter reach home safely.”
“Jesus is heading out for a walk with his father.”
“Jesus has gone to the hills for some alone time.”
“Jesus can’t believe iTunes doesn’t carry the music of the angelic host! Boo 😦 Looks like “The Temptations” will have to do!”
“Jesus has his arm around a man who feels he has lost everything and has nowhere to turn.”
“Jesus is super excited and happy because someone put their neighbor’s needs ahead of their own! :-)”
“Jesus is weeping as he watches the evening news.”
“Jesus wants to encourage his friends to remain hopeful even when things are difficult.”
“Jesus is loving listening to the neighborhood kids play kickball!”
“Jesus wants to remind everyone that there’s going to be a community meal on Sunday – please bring some bread and wine to share! Look forward to seeing you there!”

We could ponder the possibilities all day long, but I really wonder what our comments and responses would look like. What would we have to say to Christ’s status updates? How could we respond to the Lord and Savior who has made himself so available and vulnerable for our sake? Maybe we couldn’t even respond with words. Maybe all we could do is go out and take after Christ – to do the same things he’s doing. Isn’t that our task and vocation (calling) as disciples of Christ?

Would we be reminded more often to follow Christ if he was on Facebook and we saw him on the update roll every day? Who knows? I just think it’s amazing to try to get a handle on all the places Jesus is present and all the things he’s doing right now. All I have to say to that is, “Annabelle Peake likes this.”

© 2010. Annabelle Peake. All rights reserved.

A Most Beautiful Sight

A poem I wrote on the Metro one day in May…

I have wondered at the peaks of Alps,
Viewed from the sky high above.
I have marveled at breath-taking cathedrals,
Built from blocks of stone and love.

I have stood before the mysterious Sphinx,
Staring back into his regal eyes.
I have hiked at night the Black Forest,
Darker than the darkest of all the dyes.

These wonders that I’ve seen,
I count as blessings from on high,
but I ponder what I’ll see,
In the moment after I die.

When I encounter the One
I’ve longed for, face-to-face,
What “on earth” will I do
Consumed by overwhelming grace?

Will I kneel as a servant of a liege
As in days of yore?
Or will I run to meet Him,
Unable to fight the allure?

Or will I cast down my eyes,
Unable to meet His gaze,
Thinking of all those many times,
I failed to follow in His ways?

Or instead, will I rest
In His loving embrace,
Knowing that I have indeed
Finished the greatest race?

Do I dare reach out and touch
The scars upon His hands,
Feeling at once that which freed me
From these iron bands?

Do I speak or stand in awe,
At last without remark?
Or do I burst forth in all my joy,
Singing like a lark?

The answer is, “I do not know”
Nor shall I e’er while I’m here,
Instead, I shall await a glimpse,
Of Him, where in this life He should appear.

In the face of the man begging,
Too poor to buy something to eat.
In the weary face of a woman on the Metro,
Who waits to sit and rest her feet.

In the laughter and smile of a child,
There does His joy shine through.
Among the poor, the weak, the broken-hearted –
They are His unlikely crew.

Yes, it is not only in the Kingdom to come
That we can glance upon our King.
It is also in the everyday,
Every mundane and earthy thing.

Though I await eagerly that day,
When my precious Savior I behold,
It is my most fervent prayer,
That I may serve, be I young or old.

That I might look for Christ in those,
I encounter along my way,
Seeking to act well my part
In this divinely-appointed play.

© 2009. Annabelle Peake. All rights reserved.

Sun Streaming Through St. Peter's Basilica in Rome

Sun Streaming Through St. Peter's Basilica in Rome

“Wayfaring Stranger”

I thought to kick this off, I’d post the lyrics to “Wayfaring Stranger,” one of my favorite songs and the inspiration for the subtitle of my musings:

I am a poor wayfaring stranger
While journeying through this world of woe
Yet there’s no sickness toil nor danger
In that bright land to which I go
 
I’m going there to see my father
I’m going there no more to roam
I’m only going over Jordan
I’m only going over home
 
I know dark clouds will gather over me
I know my way my way is rough and steep
Yet beautiful fields lie just before me
And God’s redeemed their vigils keep
 
I’m going there to see my father
I’m going there no more to roam
I’m only going over Jordan
I’m only going over home
 
I’m going there oh to see my mother
I’m going there no more to roam
I’m only going over Jordan
I’m only going over home

I want to wear that crown of glory
When I get home to that good land
Well I want to shout salvation’s story
In concert with the blood-washed band

I’m going there to see my Savior
Oh I’m going there no more to roam
I’m only going over Jordan
I’m only going over home

Not only is the song hauntingly beautiful, but it serves as a reminder to focus on the joy and grace of God’s blessings and promises rather than on earthly pain and sorrow.

Lyrics may be slightly different, but this will give you the idea!:

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