Tag Archives: cross

Daily Thought: Blessed is the king …

Today’s Daily Thought on BBC Radio Solent draws a parallel between the events in Alabama 53 years ago and Jerusalem around 2,000 years past.

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Civil Rights Movement Co-Founder Dr. Ralph David Abernathy and his wife Mrs. Juanita Abernathy follow with Dr and Mrs Martin Luther King as the Abernathy children join the front line, leading the Selma to Montgomery march.

It’s exactly 53 years ago today that Dr Martin Luther King led nearly 25,000 people to the steps of the state capital of Montgomery, Alabama, to highlight black grievances. This five-day march had started in Selma and closed a month of civil rights protests.

The BBC report described troops surrounding the capital and army helicopters hovering overhead as Dr King addressed the protesters.

He described the trek as one of the greatest marches in the history of America and said the aim was not to humiliate and defeat white people, but to win friendship and understanding. Dr King tried to present a petition of black grievances, but Governor George Wallace refused to meet the delegation.

During this Holy Week, we mark a parallel event towards the end of Jesus’s ministry on earth. He didn’t march with 25,000 people but entered the capital Jerusalem to cheers and acclamation sitting on a donkey.

The crowd waved palm branches and greeted him as a king and Saviour while Jewish religious leaders watched on in horror.

The scale of Dr King’s support on the Selma march almost certainly hastened his assassination. The crowds in Jerusalem chanting “blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” definitely spurred on those who were out to have Jesus arrested and tried.

And, despite all the crowds, Jesus soon finds out that the road to the cross is one he has to travel alone.

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That the world may belong …

It’s Resurrection Day, the morning we celebrate the fact that the tomb was empty. Despite all the attempts of the authorities to silence Jesus and his message of overwhelming love and hope, he had broken death’s stronghold.

On Easter morning hope was reborn. As first light dawned it became clear that darkness would not have the final word and the cross – that foul instrument of torture – became a symbol of rebirth.

Here is a hymn that reminds us of all the ways the cross still stands to call the Church to action in the world for the good of others.

It is sung to the tune for Great is thy Faithfulness.

God of our sunrise and light of the morning,
dawn on our worship, renew us today.
Come by your Spirit and fill with your passion,
set us on fire with the Gospel we pray.
 
Chorus
We are your people, the Church you have chosen.
We are a gift to the weak and the strong.
We are the shape of your love for all people.
Help us to live that the world may belong.
 
Jesus your cross is the hope of the hopeless,
guide of the blind and the staff of the lame.
Here, as the nations are grieving and limping,
Give us compassion to live for your name.
 
Jesus your cross is the world’s consolation,
object of pain yet the strength of the weak.
Here, as we struggle for peace and for meaning
Jesus we ask for your courage to speak.
 
Jesus your cross is the birthplace of justice,
cloth for the naked, refreshment for thirst.
Here, as we seek ways to live out the Gospel,
May we repent of our need to be first.
 
Jesus your cross is the mystery that beckons:
drawing us close till we see face to face,
sharing your love with the world in its turmoil,
blessing with your uncontrollable grace.
Copyright © Gareth Hill Publishing/Song Solutions CopyCare, 14 Horsted Square, Uckfield, TN22 1QG www.songsolutions.org

A Maundy Thursday hymn

2016-02-09 17.02.20.jpgOn St Patrick’s day, here is a Maundy Thursday hymn that can be sung to the tune St Patrick. I’m posting it early for those who may be planning their Holy Week services already.

What quality of love is this

that washes a betrayer’s feet?

What kind of majesty, a king

who kneels before a friend’s deceit?

It is a love for those, like me

who know of grace but choose to sin;

a love that waits until I must

return to Calvary again.

 

What quality of ruler, this

who lays aside his royal right?

What kind of power which takes a towel

and stoops to lift our blinkered sight?

This is the ruler of all realms

and yet the one who calls me friend;

the one who, knowing what would come,

still chose to love me to the end.

 

What quality of Saviour comes

to bring salvation by his death?

What kind of battle-plan to hang

forsaken, beaten and bereft?

This is the Saviour who, for me,

endured the cross with all its shame;

who, dying for a world, can still

remember and call out my name.

Copyright © Gareth Hill Publishing/Song Solutions CopyCare, 14 Horsted Square, Uckfield, TN22 1QG www.songsolutions.org