Judywebb’s Weblog


Love the Lord Your God
April 8, 2008, 10:53 pm
Filed under: Readings for Worship

Listen, O People of God! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.

And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart,

(monologue 1)

My heart is beating so fast, full of passion, life, zeal, desire. For what, for who? Is it your compassion Lord that moves me to serve others, to weep with those who weep and to rejoice with those who are full of joy? Is it your heart O God that makes me more concerned with how I can bless you and others than how I can be blessed myself. Lord, is my heart a place where you dwell? Is it a place where you can take my self centered passions and transform them to reflect your desire? Honestly Lord, before I knew you, I was all about me. Pride, fear, self preservation were the ugly jewels in my heart. My heart was guarded and protected by my own devices. I had it under lock and key. It had been broken so many times. But in the brokenness Lord, you made a home, you made a dwelling place in my heart. You have filled it with love and joy, peace and passion, and hope, God you have given me hope. O God let me love you with all my heart

Listen, O People of God! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.

And you must love the Lord your God with all your soul

Monologue 2

The breath of life in me. My will, my identity. It seems like it belongs to me. It is the depth of my being. I don’t even understand it. I can’t grasp the concept of who I am, even what I am. O the mystery of being body, and soul– intimately connected, intertwined, yet even when my body fails, my soul will live on– I will still be me. O God let me love you with all that I am. With every breath of life within me let me be a praise to you. Let my will be transformed by you. Let me love you with all my soul.

Listen, O People of God! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.

And you must love the Lord your God with all your strength,

Monologue 3

muscle, flesh, bone, joints, body. The work of my hands is a joy to you. The sweat of my brow to you is a pleasing fragrance. My determination to work hard, to protect, to provide, is something you have placed inside of me. There is a strength inside of me which does not even seem like me. On my own, to be honest I often feel more weak than I do strong. I feel more like a failure than a champion. But you have promised, that even in my weakness your strength is made perfect in me. That strength that brings tenderness to my wife when she is hurting, or that faces up to a hard situations instead of running away. That is strength. It is your strength, Lord and with your strength in me I will love you.

Listen, O People of God! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.

And you must love the Lord your God with all your mind

Monologue 4

Numbers, thoughts, names, grocery lists, News casts, my mind is filled with so many things. All day long thoughts make their way through my mind. Some linger, they become a concern, an obsession even. Some just pass right through on their way to somewhere else. From the moment I wake up in the morning to the moment I close my eyes my mind is working– planning, problem solving, fretting, wondering. Even in sleep my mind goes crazy with dreams about trains, cars, streets on fire. My mind is a busy place. O God, do you have a place in the busyness of my mind. If you whispered to me in the midst of all those screaming thoughts would I hear you? Could it ever be Lord, that your voice would be the loudest thought I hear in my mind. Could it be Lord that your written word would so fill my mind that in the questions of life I would naturally think the truth of your word instead of relying on the wisdom of man. Oh God, Your Word is the truth eternal. Speak a Word over me to quiet the static of the world. Let me ponder the truth of your word with intelligence and diligence. Let me love you with all of my mind.



Easter
April 8, 2008, 10:43 pm
Filed under: Readings for Worship | Tags: ,

Imagine with me, life in the garden. God walked in the cool of the evening

Man and woman by his side, sweet fellowship

surrender to the heart of God

How God must have enjoyed those walks with Adam and his dear wife,

the fruit of His love, his masterpiece

Can you see God showing Adam the fruit of the garden

Hear his joyful explanation– Adam these trees bear delicious fruit, enjoy them, they are for you. I made them for your pleasure. But Adam, do not eat the fruit of this one tree. It will bring you death.

Can you even utter the word death when you are surrounded by such life.

Everywhere you look things are growing

They are humming with the newness of birth, joyful creatures praising their creator

Life, worship, joy, perfection, beauty, not death, please not death

In the fullness of time Adam’s wife yielded to the serpents trickery

She was deceived and believed a slimy snake instead of Her loving creator God

Death came to Adam, and his wife whom he called Eve.

Death was given an open door to lay it’s ice cold talons into the souls of men

They were evicted from the garden, and from those cool evenings of walking with the Lord

It was in that garden that Jesus began his first steps toward the cross

God loved them, even in their rebellion

They were fruitful and multiplied in the harsh land of their exile

God blessed them with sons and daughters

and yet they continued to walk in rebellion

He taught them how to offer sacrifices for the forgiveness of their sins

They would come, offer their gift, and go about life only to fall again.

God chose a man, Abraham and made a great people through him.

They would be called Israel, the one who struggles with God.

God blessed them, and for a time they walked in the ways of the Lord

They followed, but then they were enticed by the pagans around them.

God sent his prophets to warn them, to call them back to Him, to repentance and life, but they rejected the prophets, they killed and ridiculed the ones who spoke in the name of the Lord.

And God kept reaching out, but the people chose death

It was in the garden that Jesus began his first steps toward the cross

and in God’s longing to restore a fallen people,

the road to the cross was forged by His own loving hand

And so God’s son came to Earth and walked once again in the cool of the evening

He had a sweet fellowship with those who followed him

He loved them, healed them, taught them, nurtured them

God came near in Jesus Christ, to call a people back, to ransom them from death

How the crowds surrounded Jesus

They wanted something from him

They were drawn to him like children are to candy

They could not get enough

He even tried to escape from them a few times to get a moment to think and rest, but they found him,

so often they found him.

Jesus, they would cry out, heal me

Jesus, touch me,

Jesus, if only I could get close enough to just touch the hem of your robe

Jesus, his name, his smile, his strong voice,

Oh the comfort, and majesty, and authority in His voice.

The people rallied around him and his disciples were the body guards

What a day it was when Jesus entered Jerusalem on the donkey’s back

All the crowds shouting out “hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord”

They were throwing down palm branches and even their own clothes to give him a King’s welcome

Jesus went to work. He had to teach them as much as possible in this week

Time was running out

He spoke to them in so many parables. He cleared out the temple of evil things

Boy was he making the pharisees angry, they had enough of Jesus

They would put an end to it.

Jesus ate the passover meal with his disciples

Those were sacred moments, Jesus lifting the unleavened bread and saying “this is my body”, lifting up the cup of redemption and saying “this is my blood”.

Jesus getting up to wash his disciples feet

Jesus dipping his bread and handing it to Judas, the one who would betray him

Jesus tenderly leading his disciples through the last true passover feast, for soon Jesus would be killed as a perfect passover lamb

After dinner they went to another garden,

this one felt much different than the garden Jesus made at the beginning.

Tonight Jesus was in true agony

His friends slept and Jesus wept and pleaded before the Father,
“If there is any other way, please take this cup from me.”
But peace came to Jesus, He trusted His Father

The soldiers came for Jesus

The next hours were a blur of crooked trials and greedy pharisees

Jesus was taken before the people for judgment

The people who called out to him Hosanna were now calling out “crucify him”

Jesus, beaten, torn, and bloodied, carried his cross up a road that was in his mind from the very beginning

It had to come to this, Only Jesus could save the people from their sins

The cross

nails, nakedness, pain, despair

He called out to God “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”

A moment of God turning his back on the Son

The sins of the world buried the Christ from the sight of God

Darkness on the earth

God mourns, the Son cries out, perfect fellowship broken in time and space

And then a sigh “it is finished” The curtain of the temple torn from top to bottom

“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit”

And the Son of God hangs lifeless on the cross

A tomb could not hold the Son of God

The story does not end with a Roman execution

It begins again with an empty grave.

Jesus, in full victory, dressed in white, fully alive

Jesus offering a doubting Thomas the chance to touch his scars

Jesus cooking a breakfast meal for old friends
The icy cold talons of death that found their grip in the first garden have now been broken

He rose again in body, soul, mind, and spirit.

He rose again to his exalted place at the right hand of God

He rose again to offer life abundant to each of us

He has gone to prepare a place for me, and for you

Come, believe, and receive this precious salvation