18. March '11

So many earthquakes... so much sorrow. What do we do with this?


As we looked at pictures of Christchurch, NZ, Sus and I couldn’t help think of a chorale written by the Danish hymnwriter,  Nikolai F. S. Grundtvig in 1837, a theological statement of what the church really is:


Built on the Rock

Built on the Rock the church doth stand,

Even when steeples are falling;

Crumbled have spires in every land,

Bells still are chiming and calling;

Calling the young and old to rest,

But above all the soul distressed,

Longing for rest everlasting.

Surely in temples made with hands,

God, the Most High, is not dwelling;

High above earth His temple stands,

All earthly temples excelling;

Yet He whom heavens cannot contain

Chose to abide on earth with men,

Built in our bodies His temple.

We are God’s house of living stones,

Builded for His habitation;

He through baptismal grace us owns,

Heirs of His wondrous salvation;

Were we but two His Name to tell,

Yet He would deign with us to dwell,

With all His grace and His favor.

Now we may gather with our King;

Even in the lowliest dwelling:

Praises to Him we there may bring,

His wondrous mercy foretelling;

Jesus His grace to us accords,

Spirit and life are all His words,

His truth doth hallow the temple.

Still we our earthly temples rear,

That we may herald His praises;

They are the homes where He draws near

And little children embraces,

Beautiful things in them are said,

God there with us His covenant made,

Making us heirs of His Kingdom.

Here stands the font before our eyes

Telling how God did receive us;

The altar recalls Christ’s sacrifice

And what His table doth give us;

Here sounds the Word that doth proclaim

Christ yesterday, today, the same,

Yea, and for aye our Redeemer.

Grant then, O God, wherever men roam,

That, when the church bells are ringing,

Many in saving faith may come

Where Christ His message is bringing:

“I know Mine own, Mine own know Me;

Ye, not the world, My face shall see.

My peace I leave with you.”

Psalm 93

The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty; 

the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength;

indeed, the world is established, firm and secure.

Your throne was established long ago; 

you are from all eternity.

The seas have lifted up, Lord, 

the seas have lifted up their voice; 

the seas have lifted up their pounding waves.

Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, 

mightier than the breakers of the sea - 

the Lord on high is mighty.

Your statutes, Lord, stand firm; 

holiness adorns your house for endless days.


What my daughter-in-law, Whitney, wrote in her blog is perfect:


When it seems that the earth is anything but firm and secure, how good it is to be reminded that the Lord reigns over all of it. That His plan is to prosper, not to harm. That He is so much more powerful than the most violent, powerful seas our generation has seen.