Kyrie Eleison (pt. 2)

In The Message, Genesis 42:9 states, “Joseph, remembering the dreams he had dreamed of them…”  I don’t know for sure but it sounds like Joseph didn’t dwell on the dreams.  As I read this verse, I began to think that maybe he had let them go but due to the circumstances he recalled the dreams he had.

It almost sounds like the dreams he had as a teen allowed him to understand the circumstances that he was  living in many years later while serving Pharaoh.  God was there all of the time in the middle of it all.  Psalm 1:6a, “God charts the road you take.” (The Message).  There is comfort knowing that no matter where we find ourselves God is there.  He is in the middle of all we experience. 

In Psalm 23 we read that God is our Shepherd.  W. Phillip Keller states in his book A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23,

To think that God in Christ is deeply concerned about me as a particular person immediately gives great purpose and enormous meaning to my short sojourn upon this planet. (17).

Yet the staggering fact remains that Christ, the Creator of such an enormous universe of overwhelming magnitude, designs to call Himself my Shepherd and invites me to consider myself His sheep – His special object of affection and attention.  Who better could care for me? (19).

Job has always fascinated me.  I still have a difficult time grasping his life and the things that transpired.  After-all he was a man totally devotedto God.  Yet through all of the circumstances in his life there was so much pain, disappointment, heartache, and gut-wrenching questions.  At the end of all of it all Job answers God.

“I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything. Nothing and no one can upset your plans.  You asked, ‘Who is this muddying the water, ignorantly confusing the issue, second-guessing my purposes?’  I admit it. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me, made small talk about wonders way over my head.  You told me, ‘Listen, and let me do the talking. Let me ask the questions. You give the answers.’  I admit I once lived by rumors of you; now I have it all firsthand—from my own eyes and ears! I’m sorry—forgive me. I’ll never do that again, I promise!  I’ll never again live on crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumor.”  (Job 42:1-8, The Message).

Job – a man totally devoted to God – came to know God in a way he would have never known had the road he traveled not had a life changing struggle.  He got to know God firsthand through the devastation, pain, loss, and struggles he experienced in his life.

In Genesis 42:7, Joseph’s brothers bow to him – not knowing at the time that he was there brother.  His brothers sought food to take back to Canaan.  When Joseph reveals to his brothers who he is – he tells them not to despair over what they had done- that it was all in God’s plan.

“Come closer to me,” Joseph said to his brothers. They came closer. “I am Joseph your brother whom you sold into Egypt. But don’t feel badly, don’t blame yourselves for selling me. God was behind it. God sent me here ahead of you to save lives. There has been a famine in the land now for two years; the famine will continue for five more years—neither plowing nor harvesting. God sent me on ahead to pave the way and make sure there was a remnant in the land, to save your lives in an amazing act of deliverance. So you see, it wasn’t you who sent me here but God. He set me in place as a father to Pharaoh, put me in charge of his personal affairs, and made me ruler of all Egypt. (Genesis 45:4-8, The Message).

My take away from reading these chapters is that Joseph remained true to who he was in loving God.  He stayed true to the purpose for his life… despite his circumstances… despite the things that had happened to him that made him a slave in Egypt…

Ultimately, Joseph’s circumstances were the result of the road God had prepared for him to travel.  Many times we blame others, ourselves for “bad” decisions, and we blame God for the circumstances in our lives (especially when the circumstances are less than desirable). 

When I was young I thought of growing old,
of what my life would mean to me
Would I have followed down my chosen road,
or only wished what I could be

Kyrie eleison, down the road that I must travel
Kyrie eleison, through the darkness of the night
Kyrie eleison, where I’m going will you follow
Kyrie eleison, on a highway in the light

Kyrie Eleison

I want to understand more about how God has spoken to others through dreams.  As I read the Bible I am coming up with more questions.  I am reading in Genesis 37 and the chapters to follow about Joseph and the dreams he had been given as a teenager.  He was also given the opportunity to be used by God to deliver the interpretation of dreams.

As it pertains to the dream he was given, I wonder what ran through Joseph’s mind as he lived each day.  Did he know in his heart of hearts that his brothers would really bow to him?  Did he ever regret telling his brothers and father his dream?  Did he think it was going to take so long to see the fulfillment?  Should he have kept the dream to himself?  Did he prematurely speak about it?  No matter what the answers are – the dream was real and the dream became reality. 

But before the dream became reality – what was on the mind of Joseph?  How did he live the way he did… where did his hope come from?  Did the dream stay on his mind?  Did he never think about it again?  Was he looking daily for it to become reality? Or did a set of circumstances down the road bring him back to his teenage dream?

As I have been reading for whatever reason “Kyrie” by Mr. Mister keeps playing in my head.  The words Kyrie eleison keep coming to my mind.  I realize Joseph was Hebrew but I wonder if he would have prayed these words, Kyrie eleison?  I’m sure in some way he must have prayed, “Lord, have mercy.”

(kĭrēā əlāēsŏn, –sən) [Gr.,=Lord, have mercy], in the Roman Catholic Church, prayer of the Mass coming after the introit, the only ordinary part of the traditional liturgy said not in Latin but in Greek. It has nine lines: “Lord have mercy (thrice), Christ have mercy (thrice), Lord have mercy (thrice).” As the first invariable hymn, the Kyrie is often the first piece in a musical Mass. An English version is used in the Anglican liturgy and in the reformed Roman Catholic vernacular liturgy. The phrase Kyrie eleison used by itself is, of course, common in the Eastern rites, but without the phrase Christe eleison.The corresponding prayer in the Russian Orthodox church is often called a Kyrie.

Kyrie eleison, kyrie eleison, kyrie

The wind blows hard against this mountain side,
across the sea into my soul
It reaches into where I cannot hide,
setting my feet upon the road

My heart is old, it holds my memories,
my body burns a gemlike flame
Somewhere between the soul and soft machine,
is where I find myself again

Kyrie eleison, down the road that I must travel
Kyrie eleison, through the darkness of the night
Kyrie eleison, where I’m going will you follow
Kyrie eleison, on a highway in the light

When I was young I thought of growing old,
of what my life would mean to me
Would I have followed down my chosen road,
or only wished what I could be

Kyrie eleison, down the road that I must travel
Kyrie eleison, through the darkness of the night
Kyrie eleison, where I’m going will you follow
Kyrie eleison, on a highway in the light

Kyrie eleison, down the road that I must travel
Kyrie eleison, through the darkness of the night
Kyrie eleison, where I’m going will you follow
Kyrie eleison, on a highway in the light

What would life be like if…

Have you ever wondered what life be like without Jesus?  Think about it for a moment… What would life be like if the birth of Jesus had not taken place 2000 years ago?

The world would be an unbelievably different place today had the birth of Jesus not taken place.  I can’t imagine what life would be like without hope.  When Jesus came to this earth he brought hope… filled our hearts and lives with joy that can only come from Him.  This is a kind of hope and joy that nothing in this life can offer.

The words of Jesus in John 15:5, “without me you can do nothing.”  I think about this verse in relation to what it would be like if God had not come to earth in flesh.  Oswald Chambers states, “That is why the underlying foundation of Christianity is personal, passionate devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ.” (My Utmost for His Highest, December 23).

The amazing thing about His birth is that there is no other way we can experience a relationship with God that is real and personal.  It was by God becoming personal with us (in flesh) that we are able to be personal with Him. 

To find examples of how it would be to live life without Jesus – we don’t have to look to far… we don’t have to use our imaginations.  All we have to do is to look back into our own past for starters.  We can see our neighbors, co-workers, family, and friends who still live without the real hope and real joy that has come to this world through the birth of Jesus Christ.

As you celebrate, remember He has come to be with us.  His coming is real and personal.  He knows our names… He knows how many hairs are own our heads.  He intimately cares for all of us!

If you believe in Jesus, recall the joy experienced in coming to Him.  There’s a purpose in getting to know that joy.  That joy is to lead us to a personal relationship with God. 

Oswald Chambers goes on to say,

We mistake the joy of our first introduction into God’s kingdom as His purpose for getting us there. Yet God’s purpose in getting us into His kingdom is that we may realize all that identification with Jesus Christ means. (My Utmost for His Highest, December 23).

His birth, hope, and joy is to lead us to a place of total identification with the Savior.  Total identification is the giving of our entire lives for His purpose… to carry the marks and to be identified with Him no matter the cost. 

This is where I am today… how serious am I at being identified with Christ?  Is it just something to be written about in a blog or is it to be lived in compassion and humility serving others.  If you have done it unto the least of these you have done it unto me.  See Matthew 25:35-40.

Let Love In (updated)

The message of love permeates the world at this time every year.  Can you hear it?  Do you hear the message?  Or are you lost in the packages, parties, and pressures? 

The message is this… God came to this world wrapped up in flesh.  He is Emmanuel “God with us”.  He lived and walked this earth as a man.  Now we celebrate the birth of Jesus.  He came so that we could be made right with God… he came as a Savior to set us free from our sin and death.

In the midst of the Season, do you hear Him calling?  Speaking?  Do you hear Him calling you to Himself? 

I struggle with forgiveness.  I want to be a forgiving person… one that can let the past remain in the past.  Today I want to forgive and let love in.  Whatever you find yourself struggling with – let the love of Jesus Christ in – he will forgive and the Holy Spirit will fill you.

Dream Keeper

Yesterday I had the opportunity to do something I don’t do anymore… Gas prices and time keep me from this activity. 

love, I get so lost sometimes
days pass and this emptiness fills my heart
when I want to run away
I drive off in my car
but whichever way I go
I come back to the place You are (Peter Gabriel, “In Your Eyes”).
I was ahead of schedule for attending Walker’s Christmas party at school.  I indulged in the drive… I took the extra ten minutes and while driving I was reminded of a dream I had.  When I got to thinking about this I became to experience some great feelings of hope.  This reminder got me to thinking about Joseph… and all of the years, situations, and circumstances in his life before the dream he had became reality.

Joseph had a dream. When he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. He said, “Listen to this dream I had. We were all out in the field gathering bundles of wheat. All of a sudden my bundle stood straight up and your bundles circled around it and bowed down to mine.”

His brothers said, “So! You’re going to rule us? You’re going to boss us around?” And they hated him more than ever because of his dreams and the way he talked.

He had another dream and told this one also to his brothers: “I dreamed another dream—the sun and moon and eleven stars bowed down to me!”  (Genesis 37:5-9, The Message).

God – He is the Dream Keeper.

It’s finally arrived!

mythree_bw1No it’s not the latest package in the mail… no it’s definitely NOT a baby.  But rather the last day of school before Christmas break. 

For me, that means my kids will be here for almost a week.  Which means more to me than anything else that will transpire over the next week.  Well, I do look forward to Lori’s birthday… it’s on Christmas Eve.  What a day to have a birthday!  Who can compete with the birth of Jesus and Santa Claus?I guess we’ll have to celebrate it next month… that’s terrible I know.  We’ll have cake and sing… the gift will have to wait until January.

This is the toughest time of year for many!  And this year probably tops off as the toughest of a lifetime for even more.  I wish all the pressure that goes with the season would not be associated with it… We celebrate Christmas because of Jesus’ birth… the great joy that is associated with his life and the promise his life offers.

I’m thankful to celebrate His birth, to spend some time with my children, and Lori’s birthday!

How’s your water?

I was introduced to Living Waters International this week.  My friend Darrell introduced me to water missions several years ago.  I hope to find myself more involved in meeting the needs of people by providing clean drinking water.  I just read Randy’s post on water too.

Read John 9.  How did Jesus reach this blind man?  Jesus met a physical need.  He didn’t try to convert this blind man.  Jesus gave him his sight.  After meeting the man’s need he came to him with the answer to life.

After the Jewish leaders kicked the blind man out of the meeting place, Jesus came to him,

35Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and went and found him. He asked him, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

 36The man said, “Point him out to me, sir, so that I can believe in him.”

 37Jesus said, “You’re looking right at him. Don’t you recognize my voice?”

 38“Master, I believe,” the man said, and worshiped him.

 39Jesus then said, “I came into the world to bring everything into the clear light of day, making all the distinctions clear, so that those who have never seen will see, and those who have made a great pretense of seeing will be exposed as blind.” (John 9, The Message).