Friday, March 5, 2010



"If one wishes to eliminate uncertainty, tension, confusion, and disorder from one's life there is no point in getting mixed up either with Yahweh or with Jesus of Nazareth."
                              Andrew Greeley

"I grew up expecting that a relationship with God would bring order, certainty, and a calm rationality to life. Instead, I have discovered that living in faith involves much dynamic tension."
                              Philip Yancey
Psalm 126
When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion
      we were like those who dreamed.
Our mouths were filled with laughter
      our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
            "The Lord has done great things for them,"
The Lord has done great things for us,
      and we are filled with joy.

Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
      like the streams in the Negev,

Those who sow in tears
      will reap with songs of joy.
He who goes out weeping
      carrying seed to sow
will return with songs of joy,
      carrying sheaves with him.
from Ezra 3
The Levites took up their places to praise the Lord...With praise and Thanksgiving they sang to the Lord:
            "He is good;
             His love to Israel endures forever."
But, many who had seen the former temple wept aloud...while many others shouted for joy. No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping....

There is much in all our lives that have us experiencing this Holy tension. There are many reasons to weep as we grieve in the midst of loss, death, brokenness, change, uncertainty, confusion, and dysfunction. And at the same time, in the other hand, we who believe hold joy that grows out of the faith given to us in the life of Christ.

On a hiking trip in the N.C. mountains I tromped through the woods, squatting down every few yards to examined the first wildflowers of the season. I marveled at the simplicity of the lesson spoken loudly through the tiny growth amidst the grey brown of the tension between winter and spring. What I saw had not been there even a week prior. What had been had died back many months before. Yet,the root remained alive, but unseen, for all the winter months. But as the days grew longer and the sun warmed the earth, at such a time as was right, the mystery of life out of death was awakened. What I saw was not what had been there last year. It was something new...... yet growing from the same root that had given life to what had come before.

We who live in the middle of this tension between what was and what will be...weep and rejoice...It is right to do both...and to do so loudly for God is good and His love endures forever.

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