Tag Archive: Trust


Promises

Carvings on a church in Munich, Germany

Carvings on a church in Munich, Germany

You didn’t promise everything would be easy,
Nor to shield us from all pain.
You didn’t promise we’d be wealthy or famous,
If only we just believed.

Instead you promised to be with us,
even until the end of the age.
Instead you promised that nothing could ever
remove us from your hand.

Instead you promised to forgive us,
time and time and time again.
Instead you promised to wrap and hold us,
comforted in your loving arms.

Instead you promised to make us new,
capable of truly amazing things.
Instead you promised to challenge us to follow
and stretch ourselves in your love.

So may we sink softly into your promises, trusting,
with all our heart and our soul,
with all of our strength and our mind.
And let the adventure begin!

© 2012. Annabelle Peake Markey. All rights reserved.

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“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.

Transformative Moments

Into The Light

“Do you want to be transformed by me?”
You ask, already knowing the answer.
My heart leaps and shouts, “yes!,”
But, sadly, my reasonable mind begins to whirl.

“What would I have to change about myself?
Would I lose myself – my personality – completely –
Be someone I’m really not and regret it?
Would I have to stop having fun or being lighthearted?”

You smile. You knew this would happen.
“Do not be afraid,” you reassure me,
And I know in an instant I am a fool
For fearing that which I’ve been thirsting after.

“You will have to change for sure,
And it will be difficult and challenging,
But you will not be losing your personality,
Rather becoming closer to who you really are.

You were created to share love, joy and laughter,
To be with others in happiness and sorrow,
To give certain gifts to the world,
and to see the gifts others have been given.

And I am working in and through you,
In order to bless creation and work good in the world,
Though sometimes it may be hard for you to see,
Or nearly inconceivable for you to believe.

But do not be afraid, beloved child of mine,
Be gentle and see yourself as I see you.
I am here and if you want to be transformed,
Know that it will happen, but not overnight.

I will work through the simplest of things –
In silence, in the words and faces of others,
In music and art, in prayer and in nature,
In struggles and celebrations, sadness and hope.

To see what I am about, keep your heart open.
Listen to that still small voice that tugs,
Quietly and persistently at your innermost being,
Even though the world would try to drown it out.

Revel in the ways in which I will surprise you,
And share with others what you have experienced
So that you might hear what I’m doing in them.
Trust one another and trust me.”

You smile and stand there patiently,
Not rushing or hurrying me to an answer.
My heart aches and I know that all you say is true.
I open my mouth to speak, slowly uttering:

“I just don’t know how to let go.
All I can do right now is sit with you.”
Your smile broadens – I almost cannot believe it.
“Yes, dear one, that is more than enough.”

© 2011. Annabelle Peake. All rights reserved.

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

Hosanna, Hosanna!

I am absolutely in love with “Hosanna” by the Soweto Gospel Choir!

Here are the lyrics:

Let the weak say, “I am strong”
Let the poor say, “I am rich”
Let the blind say, “I can see”
what the Lord has done in me (Repeat 3x)

Hosanna, hosanna
To the Lamb that was slain
Hosanna, hosanna
Jesus died and rose again
Hosanna, hosanna
To the Lamb that was slain
Hosanna, hosanna

Jesus died and rose again (Repeat 5x)

It’s simplicity, sweeping dynamics and incredible harmonies really convey the beautiful message of the Gospel.  In the midst of a stressful and hectic semester, I’ve found rest and calm in the lyrics and tune of this song.  In times of stress or great pressure, what brings you peace?

This song reminds me that God is already at work in the world, changing the lives of people by bringing hope and peace through the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  The Lord is busy at work in people, making the weak strong, the poor rich and the blind able to see what God is doing.  Lest we think, “oh, that doesn’t include me,” let’s not forget that the words “weak,” “poor” and “blind” can also pertain to our faith lives.  After all, how many times do we struggle with doubts or trusting God, or forget to make time with the One who created and cares for us?  How often do we miss what God through the Holy Spirit is up to because we’re looking at the world not through God’s eyes or the eyes of faith, but with human ones?

This song is a reminder that God is already transforming us and that the kingdom of God has already been initiated.  And for that, we can say “Hosanna, Hosanna!”

Let us pray…Gracious Lord, we give thanks for the gift of your Son Jesus Christ and for your beautiful work in the world.  Strengthen us by your Spirit to be a part of this work and move in our hearts that we might be filled with love for you and our neighbors.   May we at all times and all places give glory and praise to you, shouting and singing “Hosanna” with all of creation.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

© 2010. Annabelle Peake. All rights reserved.

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