Wednesday, September 29, 2010

O Death Where Is Thy Sting?

Death seems to be circling my life a lot. First it was the sudden passing of a friend and former coworker. More recently it has been friends dealing with the death of a child. And there are still a few friends whose battles with cancer and other such things are always on the brink of death.

In light of that, I found myself humming “Down To The River To Pray” a lot. I know it’s traditionally sung at baptisms and it isn’t really about death. But I think Alison Kraus’s version is haunting and would be a fitting soundtrack to a scene in a movie where a casket is being taken from a church.

When she sings it, I’m flooded with all of the feelings I get during a baptism. At baptism we remember what we take on faith – that Christ conquered death. And at a funeral we hold onto that hope. We’re not sure we can believe amidst our grief, but we hold onto it. We remember our baptismal vows and the faith they represent – that Christ has died, Christ is risen, and Christ will come again.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Prayer For Those Searching For Truth

Cardiphonia has some nice prayers for non-Christians to reflect on during the Lord's Supper. My favorite is the "Prayer for Those Searching for the Truth" [emphasis mine]:

Lord Jesus, you claim to be the way, the truth, and the life. Grant that I might be undaunted by the cost of following you as I consider the reasons for doing so. If what you claim is true, please guide me, teach me, and open to me the reality of who you are. Give me an understanding of you that is coherent, convincing, and that leads to the life that you promise. Amen.