A Common-Place Jotting: “Lord, It Belongs Not To My Care”

Common-Place or “Locus Communis” — a place to remember

Richard Baxter was a 17th-century English theologian and Reformed pastor whose fruitfulness in ministry continues to inspire the church today. Most quoted is this advice to those in ministry which, given recent high-profile scandals, can use another dusting off:

Take heed to yourselves, lest you be void of that saving grace of God which you offer to others, and be strangers to the effectual working of that gospel which you preach . . . and lest you famish yourselves while you prepare food for them.

Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor

Also a poet, Baxter summarized the manner of his preaching this way: 

I preach’d, as never sure to preach again,
And as a dying man to dying men!
O how should preachers men’s repenting crave,
Who see how near the church is to the grave?

Miraculum ad Fontes

PHOTO PROMPT © Marie Gail Stratford

Pastor Peter was all a’flutter.
There was the baby. There were the parents. There was the baptismal font.
And there was Mick Mooney, to whom he had given bottled water for the font, boasting a malicious grin.
The unopened bottle stood, tragically, on the chancel rail.
Peter prayed, opened the font.
It was filled to the brim.
Afterwards, he confessed his surprise to the happy couple.
“Oh, that was me,” the new mother said. “I just wanted to say a prayer over the font before the service began when I saw it was empty. I didn’t do wrong, did I?”

100 words; fiction
For Rochelle Wisooff-Fields' Friday Fictioneers
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A Common-Place Jotting: In Dir Ist Freude

Common-Place or “Locus Communis” — a place to remember

http://www.hymntime.com/tch

Written by Johann Lindemann in 1598, “In Dir Ist Freude” (“In Thee is Gladness”) was translated from the German by Catherine Winkworth almost three hundred years later. Winkworth was a pioneer in promoting women’s rights as well as promoting women’s higher education. Johann Lindemann was one of the signers of the Lutheran Formula of Concord, and served often as a cantor in various churches in his native Germany. The hymn is often performed using J.S. Bach’s arrangement.

In Thee is Gladness              

In thee is gladness amid all sadness,
Jesus, sunshine of my heart!
By thee are given the gifts of heaven,
thou the true redeemer art!
Our souls thou wakest, our bonds thou breakest,
who trusts thee surely hath built securely,
and stands forever: Hallelujah!
Our hearts are pining to see thy shining,
dying or living to thee are cleaving,
naught can us sever: Hallelujah!

If he is ours, we fear no powers,
nor of earth, nor sin, nor death.
He sees and blesses in worst distresses;
he can change them with a breath.
Wherefore the story, tell of his glory,
with heart and voices all heav’n rejoices
in him forever: Hallelujah!
We shout for gladness, triumph o’er sadness,
love thee and praise thee,
and still shall raise thee
glad hymns forever: Hallelujah!

Continue reading “A Common-Place Jotting: In Dir Ist Freude”

In the Church

In the church she felt only marginal comfort
A stranger alone in the pew
In the corner a man was praying
Modeling silent admonition:
“Be still, and know I am God.”*


The grace and joy that washed over her
As all sang and the gospel was proclaimed
Made her thankful for this time to worship
And that she had decided to stay.

*Psalm 46:10:”Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

Sammi's Weekend Writing Prompt #190, "marginal" 31 words
Linda's Just Jot It January, "in the corner"
Image credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-sitting-on-bench-1217250/

A Pink Welcome

When I saw the “a vendre” sign, I had to have it! Carolyn would have understood. Her pink Cadillac had been a hand-me down from her sister who’d made a name for herself in Mary Kay sales. Carolyn drove the flashy pink Cadillac just to shock her preacher and her co-parishioners. To them, being too enthusiastic about God was just as vulgar as driving a pink car! But people like me who looked like they didn’t belong in a Manhattan church understood. Now as a missionary, I knew I had to spend my last dime on this welcoming pink boat!

PHOTO PROMPT © C.E.Ayr
Genre: Fiction 
Word count: 100 
written for Rochelle's Friday Fictioneers 
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Why No Churches in Narnia?

“If Narnia’s so religious, how come you can’t find any churches there?” a writer asks.

Why indeed?

It’s a reasonable question. Given the Christian framework of Narnia, shouldn’t there be a church, or at the very least a praying figure or a hymn singer or two? And no doubt you’re sitting expectantly at the edge of your ergonomic chair for my response. Right?

 

The_chronicles_of_narnia-HD
Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Theatrical Poster, Walden Media

Continue reading “Why No Churches in Narnia?”