Saturday, April 19, 2014

Holy Saturday


O night that is brighter than day,
O night more dazzling than the sun,
O night more sparkling than fresh snow,
O night more brilliant than all our lamps!
O night that is sweeter than Paradise,...

O night delivered from darkness,
O night that dispels the sleep of sin,
O night that makes us keep vigil with the angels,
O night terrible for the demons,
O night desired by all the year,
O night that leads the bridal Church to her Spouse,
O night that is mother to those enlightened!
O night in which the Devil, sleeping, was despoiled,
O night in which the Heir brings the co-heirs to their heritage.

(Asterius of Pontus AD 341-400)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Jesus, and Could It Ever Be?

[based on Mark 8:38. Regarding being ashamed of Jesus before others now.*]

Jesus! and could it ever be
A mortal man ashamed of Thee?
Ashamed of Thee, whom angels praise,
Whose glories shine through endless days?   

Ashamed of Jesus? Sooner far
Let evening blush to own a star.
He sheds the beams of light divine
O'er this benighted soul of mine.  

Ashamed of Jesus? Just as soon
Let midnight be ashamed of noon.
'Tis midnight with my soul till He,
Bright Morning Star, bids darkness flee.  

Ashamed of Jesus, that dear Friend
On whom my hopes of heaven depend?
No; when I blush, be this my shame,
That I forgot His precious Name.  

Ashamed of Jesus? Yes, I might
When I've no guilt in Yahweh's sight:
No tear to wipe, no joy to crave,
No fears to quell, no soul to save.  

Till then--nor is the boasting vain--
Till then I boast a Savior slain.
And oh, may this my glory be:
That Christ is not ashamed of me!

--Author: Joseph Grigg, 1765; Adapted Benjamin Francis, 1787; cmb, 2013

*from Mark 8:31, 34-38:  [Jesus said], "[Jesus] began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the [religious leaders].  And that He must be killed and after three days rise again.  He called the crowd and said, 'If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For what does it profit a person to gain the whole world & lose his own soul?   What will a person give in exchange for his own soul?  For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this unfaithful and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes back in His Father's glory with the holy angels.'"