Chapel Thanksgivings: Embraced


by Lance Crumley

In the desert of my soul
It’s a wasteland;
A void;
Empty Space;
Existence struggles:
Locked in place;
Life hangs by a thread…

Then it comes:
The rain,
The Word;

Beauty and fragrance abounds!
It fills and envelops!

What once was
Is no longer;
My soul is embraced;
I give thanks!

The glory is God’s
and God’s alone;
Rain down,
Rain down!

Ponder Nothing Earthly Minded

“In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us,
and we have seen his glory,
glory as of the only Son from the Father,
full of grace and truth.”
   – from John 1


The magnitude of these words cannot be overstated.
This is the focal point of the whole Bible;
This is the most unfathomable truth ever penned;
This is God’s Christmas gift to the world;
This is mankind’s only, sure hope:
“The Word became flesh . . .”The more we know God, the more incredible this is:
He is Yahweh, the great “I Am”
He created heaven and earth;
Before Him angels cry “Holy, holy, holy.”
His shekinah glory hovered over the temple
He spoke through the prophets, saying:
“Be still and know that I am God;”
“I will not share my glory with another.”
“I am God and not a man;”
“To whom will you compare me?”

And when the Word, who was with God, and is God
became flesh and dwelt among us,
The Father spoke from heaven saying,
“This is my beloved Son; listen to Him!”

Therefore . . .

Let all mortal flesh keep silence,

And with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly minded,
For with blessing in his hand
Christ our God to earth descendeth,
Our full homage to demand.
King of kings, yet born of Mary,
As of old on earth he stood,
Lord of Lords in human vesture,
In the body and the blood
He will give to all the faithful
His own self for heavenly food.
Rank on rank the host of heaven
Spreads its vanguard on the way,
As the light of light descendeth
From the realms of endless day,
That the powers of hell may vanish
As the darkness clears away.
At his feet the six winged seraph;
Cherubim sleepless eye,
Veil their faces to the presence,
As with ceaseless voice the cry,
“Alleluia, alleluia!
Alleluia, Lord most high!”
~Pastor Bert Hitchcock

To the Ends of the World

Did they not hear?  Of course they did: 
Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.’

Romans 10:18

You, reading this, especially those of you who believe in the name of Christ and his power to break the bondage of sin; you are proof that these words are true. The word of God and the message of his mercy in Christ has surely come “to the ends of the earth”, for it has come to rest with you.  (It would seem God has no trouble with publicity—even the heavens speak a good word that is louder than sound.)

And that Word has not finished moving yet.  It is still making itself known, achieving the purpose for which it was sent (Is. 55:11).

You who have heard this word may be familiar with it, may have heard repeatedly, “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.”  You have been set free, adopted, grafted in. This belief is familiar; this language is not strange to you.

Oh, but do not let yourself forget this! God’s kindness to us is twofold: not only did he choose to speak that Word, he has taken pains to relay it to the farthest edges of the world, even to you and me.

~ Breanna Siebring