The challenge this week from Revgalblogpals: Five of your favorite verses-- Go!
1. Do not fear, for I am with you....I have called you by name, and you are mine. (Is 43) This passage has always been among my favorites-- I like that God calls me by name, and gives me a new identity. But I also like the other places in the passage that I hear that God is with me-- in the floods of life, in the devastation that I might face.
2. We wish to see Jesus (John 20) My dad remembers that this verse was inscribed on the seminary pulpit when he was there-- and he said it both frightened and inspired preachers. For me, it reminds me what I'm doing, and what I'm to be about. When my sermon just won't go, that's a helpful verse to keep in my head.
3. Be joyful always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks to God in all circumstances. ( 1 Thes 5:16-18) What more is there to be said, really?
4. Psalm 137 I don't know why, but as far as lament psalms go-- this one has always seemed close to my heart. I just used it for the funeral of a beloved congregation member, who taught me what it was to sing the Lord's song even in the mist of cancer and tough living conditions.
5. The Call of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1): This story was part of my own call story, and how I realized that I might be called to the ministry. Every excuse that Jeremiah gave, I had given. And every answer that God gave Jeremiah, I had heard in some form too. Sometimes when I lose my way, this passage helps.
"Graceland" is the name of my favorite song and album. It's by Paul Simon, but more importantly, it's what "home" sounds and feels like to me. We always listened to this album as we traveled from my home in Tennessee to my parents' childhood homes in Florida. But today, it's also a pretty good snapshot of my theology. Somewhere I really believe that the Christian journey is all about a wild trip to Grace-land. As I see it, Grace-land is the place where God is waiting to meet even us–with all the baggage and brokeness that we tote with us. Grace-land is the place where we will be received with open arms, even though our attempts at “getting it right” have been miserable failures at best. But, I think, every step we take is a step on the journey to Graceland.