Have mercy on me, Father, according to Your loving kindness. According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions (they are so many that I lost count.) I am in need of a thorough washing from iniquity and a complete cleansing from my sin. Lord, I am confronted by the gravity of my misdeeds, and my sin continually stares me in the face. Against You, and You only, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in Your sight. Your holiness demands a righteous judgement, and no one can reasonably claim my sentence unjust. I plead guilty to every charge You lay against me, Lord, but I plead that You remember that I was born in iniquity – conceived in sin. My most base nature is contrary to Your desire for truth in the inward parts. But You have taught me wisdom in the depths of my heart – the conviction of conscience that cannot be shaken.
Father, say the word, and I will be free of the heavy weight of guilt hanging over my head. Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow – free of the shame and filth that clothes me. Let Your love that shines forth within Your verdict bring joy and gladness to my soul, that the pain I suffer because of my punishment be overrun with rejoicing.
Faithful and benevolent Father, listen to my prayer this day, that I may be filled with the knowledge of Your will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. Cause me to walk worthily of You, Lord, pleasing You in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing steadily in my knowledge of You. My Lord and God, strengthen me with all power, according to the might of Your glory, that I may be able to endure and persevere with joy and thanksgiving. Grant me comfort in the knowledge, that it is You, Father, who has made me fit to be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light, delivered me out of the power of darkness, and translated me into the Kingdom of the Son of Your love, in whom I have my redemption, the forgiveness of all my sins.
It is the sound of tears falling,
Steadily, uncontrollably, but consciously;
It is a weeping, not just on the outside, and not just of grief.
It is a mixture of broken pieces,
Inside out and nothing left to hide – emptied out;
Every shard a testimony of grace and gratitude long sought.
A day dedicated to love –
Sometimes I can’t tell if it’s for the abuse of love or its celebration.
The Love I know is blood-red and disfigured,
Lacking the sweetness of chocolates and the beauty of red roses.
The Love I know is naked and priceless,
Its value hidden in virtue, not in the price-tags of fancy red dresses.
The mysteries of divine irony:
That an ancient symbol of shame
In one day became the ultimate symbol of hope;
The price was a life so pure that shame fled.
The crying cross that weeps blood,
Lamenting at the silence of the Saints –
Silent in comfort, but powerfully verbal in persecution –
Blood-marked men wrung through the wheels of suffering
Their robes made white by a thorough washing in Blood.
On rocky shores I pitched my tent
She stayed the waves, she clasped the earth
Vicars were made of men, faint but helped
Light abounds in this mystic cove
Life and dignity fill my pews
My Holy Orders were regal
And Hades’ gates could not prevail.
I’m unqualified to write about fatherhood,
I have enough trouble just being a son;
Yet the thought is one that weighs heavily on the mind…
I realise I’m caught in a cycle where sons become fathers:
How would it feel to have a son today,
Who treats me like I treated my father yesterday,
And treats his son tomorrow like I treat him today – blessing or curse?
Take me to the Place where the saints gather,
To the convention of the just made perfect;
Where the clouds of glory settle and tongues of fire dance;
To the atmosphere so pure that I come undone to be refined.
It is where David dances and Solomon sits to be taught;
A place whose gates Sampson’s strength does not qualify him to guard.
Worship is me – good ol’ me, lying late and rising early
Thinking and writing about worship at the break of dawn;
It is you reading my words and reflecting on the nature
Of the worship you’ve offered and desire to offer.
The setting is a long stretch of road
Strewn with pearls and diamonds and rubies.
It smells of freshly baked dainties and ripened fruits;
Bright as the noonday sun and straight as a ray of light
With inscriptions engraved at every step:
Beauty for ashes; No more tears;