Steve Macchia Blog

Leadership Transformations is 12 Today: July 1, 2015

LTI-Logo_LTI-logo-tagline-VERT

“Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name…” (Psalm 103:1)

 

On LTI’s 12th Anniversary Day, I’m praising God for his manifold blessings on the ministry of Leadership Transformations, Inc. It’s hard to comprehend that it was 12 years ago today when Ruth and I took the biggest risk of our lives…which has become one of the most amazing steps of our journey to date. God has blessed and multiplied the prayers of our hearts and the work of our hands beyond what we ever thought, dreamed or imagined…praise the Lord, my soul.

 

So, what are the top 12 blessings of the past 12 years?

 

  1. Our prayer warriors – those who believed in our vision for coming alongside leaders and teams in the care and nurture of their souls;
  2. Our financial partners – those who have stood by us with their loving generosity and financial support…from one donor to many on the team today;
  3. Our faithful board – those who said yes to serving as our founding board and those who are currently helping us lead LTI into a flourishing future;
  4. Our ministry team – those who God has gifted and called to join the LTI ministry team, Selah faculty, and Pierce Center team – amazing colleagues;
  5. Our retreat participants – those who came to soul care retreats without really knowing what they were getting themselves into…and were changed;
  6. Our program participants – those who have become active in our Emmaus spiritual leadership communities and Selah spiritual direction training program;
  7. Our CHAT partners – those who signed up their churches (nearly 400 churches to date) so that leaders can listen better and cultivate healthier congregations;
  8. Our spiritual friends – those who are in the wider spiritual formation community across the country, with whom we have aligned ourselves in this calling;
  9. Our seminary community – those who are a part of the Pierce Center at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary as well as other seminaries we are serving;
  10. Our regional offices – those who pioneered our LTI ministry presence in places like New England, Colorado, Texas and Arizona, with more on the way;
  11. Our publishing projects – those who trusted our message and published our materials, like Baker Books and InterVarsity Press, as well LTI’s creative efforts;
  12. Our online presence – those who search for all things spiritual formation, looking for materials to deepen their spiritual life and grow as servant leaders.

 

I look forward to all of our future labors of love for the Kingdom of God with those whom we have yet to meet but look forward to serving in the coming months and years. Today is indeed a terrific day of celebration and joy – and I am filled to overflowing with a grateful heart for YOU, my dear friends and partners in this incredible journey – praise the Lord, o my soul!



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Spiritual Misophonia

 

Lighthouse

A few of my family members suffer from “misophonia” – have you ever heard of it? Also known as selective sound sensitivity syndrome, it crops up when, for example, the sounds of other people eating – chewing, chomping, slurping or worse yet, scraping teeth over a fork or spoon – sends them into instantaneous, irrational frustration. Like fingernails on a chalkboard, these sounds really bother them to the point of distraction. Chewing gum loudly, crunching pop corn obnoxiously, even the erratic breathing of another can bring on an impatient response.

 

I’ve recently thought: what would spiritual misophonia look like?

 

I experience a mild-moderate case of it when I’m on a silent retreat and there are those present who consider it okay to talk on their cell phone in hallways or in the room next door. Or, when I’m trying to have a quiet time and a family member has the television on or they’re busy on the phone or attending to an activity in an adjacent room. It occurs when I enter a church minutes before the service begins and there’s laughter, chatter and banter…no prayerful preparation there. It can also happen when I’m praying and my own inner voices of concern, distraction or anxiety emerge, and I’m incapable of listening attentively for the still small voice of God. These erratic sounds during times of prayerful meditation can eat away at my soul…if I let them.

 

What will it take to overcome this spiritual condition?

 

Although not the only suggestion, but one that certainly merits full consideration, is very simply: trusting rest. “My soul finds rest in God alone” are 7 words that will change your life. When I make every effort to create spacious rest for my body, mind and soul, I do whatever it takes to silence all the sounds around and within me in order to find God alone. However, when I let other sounds interrupt and crowd out or negate the voice of God, I am letting the enemy of my soul carry the upper hand. Instead, even when sounds occur and seek to distract, I can choose to whisper those 7 simple words…my soul finds rest in God alone.

 

Saying no to external and internal voices is a good starting place. But even in shutting down those voices my soul can remain in a troubled state. My frustration can emerge which then feeds my spiritual pride. Instead, my longing is to be spiritually present amidst the sounds, and ideally absent from them, so that in my physical presence my soul can experience the richest of food…the living Word of God, the loving voice of God, the ever-presence of God, and the gentle leading of God. That’s what my soul longs for the most. What about you?

 

Behold God in wide-open, spacious places of rest…believe Christ’s promise to abide in you as you abide in Him…belong to the Spirit who resides within and around you…and, become fully released from your soul’s unwanted anxiety through the megaphone of spiritual misophonia. My soul finds rest in God alone.

 

 

 



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The Gift of Laryngitis

sunrise 1

 

Today was my first experience of laryngitis. It was odd trying to have a meeting on the phone this morning with my board chairman…he did all the talking and I did all the listening; the meeting didn’t last very long without my input on our most important topics. It was especially uncomfortable attending a significant lunch meeting downtown with some key supporters of our ministry and I had to rely on my colleagues to speak for me. Later in the day I was on skype with our senior vice president and whispered each of my contributions to the discussions. Dinner with my wife was enjoyable, mostly because our love was shared by making the meal together and enjoying one another’s companionship even with our limited verbal interactions.

 

I can only imagine what it was like when God allowed Zechariah to wait for the birth of his son John in silence. He questioned with disbelief the angel Gabriel’s birth announcement, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” For the next nine months he would serve his priestly role without words, using sign language and writing out his words. When the child was born and prepared for his circumcision both Elizabeth and Zechariah declared his name would be John. Then Zechariah’s voice returned. And he praised God. His soul must have been bursting with anticipation of the day he could voice his devotion once more.

 

What followed was the song of his heart, as he declared his praise to God as one filled up with the Holy Spirit. “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people…he has raised up a horn of salvation…to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant…in holiness and righteousness…because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” (Luke 1: 67-79).  Out from his months of silence, his words were laced with praise.

 

Did Zechariah experience community, prayerfulness and worship amidst his muted months without words? I’m convinced the answer is a resounding “Yes!” Why? Because it’s absolutely amazing how much community and depth of soul can be experienced without saying many words. Try going for a full day without verbally expressing yourself and instead devote the day to pondering, reflecting, wondering, and noticing. It’s amazing what you’ll see, hear, taste, smell and touch as if for the very first time.  Let your senses come alive in God and then give him all the glory, honor and praise.

 

Behold the abundant life of God, but today do so without words. Believe that the spiritual life is something far deeper than the noisy world around you. Belong to those who’ve been silenced for a while in order to contemplate God more deeply. Become a person who experiences the Triune God in all the richness of fellowship and with all your senses coming alive from the inside out. Wait upon the Lord, even if it means a lot more silence along the way. Praise be to the Lord, who has come so that we can have fullness of life now and for all eternity.



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The Deeper Life

Hands Holding a Seedling and Soil

 

The winter of 2015 was Boston’s snowiest on record. From late January until early March, we had 108.6 inches of the white stuff fall from the sky and blanket all corners of our landscape. The snow was incredibly deep everywhere…roadways, walkways, driveways, and pathways, curtailing most (sometimes all) forms of transportation. It also consumed our lives, which came to a near standstill for those debilitating 6 weeks as the snow became our daily focus of attention…and obsession.

 

When I finally got someone to help me shovel about 4-6 feet that had accumulated on our roof, it took a strapping young 25 year old (and me!) the better part of a day to clear just the back of the house. We struggled to make our way from the driveway to the side of the house where we could place the ladder, inching our way through waist high snow one laborious step at a time. We chopped ice dams, raked high points, and hand shoveled the rest. The piles below were ginormous, and we worried further about the net negative impact on our home. With little sunshine and very few above freezing temperatures, it took forever to melt. Today we’re getting insurance estimates and contractors to repair the damages inside and out…it’s been quite the ordeal.

 

What’s interesting about the depth of this year’s snow is that it became deeper and deeper because of accumulation. And, the more it piled up the deeper it became and the greater the distraction it created for most aspects of our lives.

 

So it is in our world today: depth is encouraged by the pursuit of accumulation of “more, more, more” as the ongoing goal. It’s also become true in the church world. We’ve succumbed to the belief that the more people we serve, the more programs we sponsor, the more dollars we raise, the more hours we labor, and the more buildings we erect, the greater our chances of success. Deeper pockets occur by accumulation; and accumulation of wealth (in any form) is what tends to create the most distraction. The end result: the more the distractions, the greater the distance we experience with God.

 

Therefore, we need to look carefully at the term “the deeper life” and define it biblically. Depth of soul, or the deeper life, has nothing to do with accumulation of the tangible. Instead, it has everything to do with simplifying our lives down to the “one thing” that matters most, which is the intangible affection we have for God and God alone.  If you continue to pursue more and more accolades, accomplishments, achievements and the accumulation that follows, you will not experience the deeper life. If God chooses to encourage you with any form of tangible blessing, that’s his choice and not of your making.

 

When Jesus walked planet earth he had his followers and his detractors. Those who chose to listen, obey and submit to his love and leadership entered the inner circle of intimacy with Christ. In that inner circle they were taught to love with their whole heart, die to their false selves, and release the ways of this world that hinder complete access to the love of God. In other words, they were wholeheartedly urged to walk away from worldly aspirations for accumulation and embrace instead a Kingdom mindset focused on sweet surrender to the extravagant love of God.

 

The deeper life is what we’re asked to consider each time Jesus teaches about the Kingdom of God. And the deeper we go with God the deeper we enter into the geography of the soul via hiddenness, humility, submission and wholeness. These places are activated by a longing for more of God’s empowering presence, more of the spiritual practices that lead us into a life of prayer, more of the Sabbath rest he commands, and more of the fulfillment of our God-ordained purpose for which we’ve been placed on this earth to fulfill. What is your response today? Will you reconsider a life of accumulation and distraction, and instead pursue a life of intimacy, love, and the delightful inheritance that awaits you now and forever?

 

Behold the deeper life Jesus lived with every breath he took and every word he spoke, and believe once more that what he asked of his disciples then he requires of us today. Belong to the inner circle community of the faithful ones and become a Christ-follower who is willing to abandon the pursuit of accumulation and embrace instead the one thing that matters most to your soul and the Kingdom of God.

 

 



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Remembering Dad

your-dad-did

 

Today (4.14.15) my father would have turned 100 years old. Instead, he’s enjoying eternity with Jesus. His name was Italo Macchia…no middle name. Italo means “son of Italy” – it doesn’t get much more Italian than that!  When I was born, he wanted me named “Italo Oscar Macchia” (Oscar was my much beloved maternal grandfather). Thankfully, Mom said no to that idea. I’m profoundly grateful. I can’t imagine how different my life would have been if I wasn’t Stephen Anthony.

 

Our names mean so much to us. They are indeed a big part of our identity. Try renaming yourself just for fun and you’ll see what I mean. Imagine yourself as a Julia or a Joseph, a Rachel or a Rueben. Something about being called a wrong name simply makes you twitch! Instead, let’s be glad we have the names we have. They fit us well…or, we fit them well.

 

When I reflect on the Bible, and recount my favorite stories, I think of the names of people I revere. Adam. Noah. Joseph. Moses. Ruth. David. Isaiah. Nehemiah. Habakkuk. John. Peter. Barnabas. Paul. Mary. Each name brings up storylines and character traits, failures and accomplishments. And I thank God for each of them, windows into my own life story.

 

What about you? What is it about your name that defines who you are as a uniquely created child of God? Who in the Bible do you most appreciate, and why? What does the name Christian mean to you in this ever growing religiously pluralistic world we inhabit?

 

Behold the One who knows you by name and loves you with an infinite, matchless love. Believe once more that He holds your life safely in the palms of His loving hands. Belong to the lineage of generations who love their adopted name Christian. Become the fullness of your own name, as well as the meaning and purpose your life is designed to fulfill.



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Requesting your feedback!

Dear Friend,

 

Thanks for joining me on this 42-day Lenten blog journey. I truly hope you enjoyed receiving these short devotionals each day.

 

And now, I’d be grateful for your feedback…

 

If you could take a few minutes to send me an email at Macchia@leadershiptransformations.org please answer:

 

  1. Approximately how many of the 42 blogs did you get to read?
  2. How did these devotionals impact your walk with God during Lent?
  3. Would you recommend my blogs to your friends and family?

 

New postings are forthcoming, but I’m taking a break from “daily” reflections.  Look for new entries “as inspiration strikes” or at least weekly!

 

Your grateful brother in Christ,

 

Steve Macchia

Founder and President

Leadership Transformations



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Outstretched Arms of Love – Continued: Day Forty-Two, Easter Monday and Beyond…

Easter

Read Luke 24: 13-35

Behold him Living In and Through His Beloved Children All Along Life’s Journeys! Believe that he will continue to appear to you in the releasing of the Word and in fellowship with his Spirit! Belong to the ones who discern when their hearts are burning with every sense of his presence and peace! Become a beloved child of the Triune God who anticipates new life in Jesus with each new day!

For your prayerful reflection today, consider the words of this ancient Holy Week hymn, “I Cannot Tell…” by William Fullerton, 1929:

I cannot tell why He whom angels worship,

Should set His love upon the sons of men,

Or why, as shepherd, He should seek the wanderers,

To bring them back, they know not how or when.

But this I know, that He was born of Mary

When Bethlehem’s manger was His only home,

And that He lived at Nazareth and labored,

And so the Savior, Savior of the world is come.

 

I cannot tell how silently He suffered,

As with His peace He graced this place of tears,

Or how His heart upon the cross was broken,

The crown of pain to three and thirty years.

But this I know, He heals the brokenhearted,

And stays our sin, and calms our lurking fear,

And lifts the burden from the heavy laden,

For yet the Savior, Savior of the world is here.

 

I cannot tell how He will win the nations,

How He will claim His earthly heritage,

How satisfy the needs and aspirations

Of East and West, of sinner and of sage.

But this I know, all flesh shall see His glory,

And He shall reap the harvest He has sown,

And some glad day His sun shall shine in splendor

When He the Savior, Savior of the world is known.

 

I cannot tell how all the lands shall worship,

When, at His bidding, every storm is stilled,

Or who can say how great the jubilation

When all the hearts of men with love are filled.

But this I know, the skies will thrill with rapture,

And myriad, myriad human voices sing,

And earth to Heaven, and Heaven to earth, will answer:

At last the Savior, Savior of the world is king!



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Outstretched Arms of Love – Completed: Day Forty-One, Resurrection Sunday

Easter

Easter Sunday!

Read Matthew 28: 1-10; John 20: 1-9

Behold him Risen and Reigning Forever – Alleluia! Believe in the Gospel of Christ and be set free to love and worship him as forgiven, restored, and redeemed! Belong to the Church triumphant who will live together with Christ for all eternity! Become a new creature in Christ Jesus, who experiences breaking in your making, rising from your falling, and living from your dying – both now and forevermore!

For your prayerful reflection today, consider the words of this ancient Easter hymn, “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today, Alleluia!” written by Charles and John Wesley in 1739:

Christ the Lord is ris’n today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth, reply, Alleluia!

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia!
Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!

Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia!
Foll’wing our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!
Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia!
Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!
Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia!

King of glory, Soul of bliss, Alleluia!
Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, Thy pow’r to prove, Alleluia!
Thus to sing, and thus to love, Alleluia!

 



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Outstretched Arms of Love: Day Forty, Holy Saturday

HolyWeek.BlogImage

In this Lenten series I would like to invite you to consider Jesus’ “outstretched arms of love” toward all who followed him as disciples, seeking to emulate his life, self-sacrifice, and humble service to others. Today we will reflect on one distinct time and way Jesus stretched out his arms of love to all who beheld his glory, believed his message, belonged as his disciples, and sought to become more and more like his image and with more of their true identity in Christ Alone.

Holy Week: The Grand Finale

Read John 19: 38-42

Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. With his permission, he came and took Jesus to a tomb that had never been used. Before placing him there, another disciple Nicodemus brought along a mixture of 75 pounds of myrrh and aloes. The two men took Jesus’ body and wrapped it with the spices and placed him in and among clean strips of linen. They placed Jesus in the tomb. There his body lay, in a solitary cave with a large stone covering the doorway. Guarded well.  Sealed.  Protected.  Alone.

After the upheaval of the previous day, the shared grief of watching Jesus suffer and die, today is left for quiet mourning and reflection. How had the outstretched arms of love led Jesus to such a lonely place?

We wonder the same ourselves, now two millennia later. The Jesus we watched grows from the infant miraculously born to the virgin, under the watchful tutelage of his carpenter father, and among his siblings in a crude home in Nazareth. His wisdom and stature and favor with God and man expanded exponentially over the years until he was baptized, tested, blessed and sent out to fulfill his mission.

We noted with the gospel writers his calling of the disciples to cease being fishermen to become instead fishers of men. We watched with awe his miraculous turning of water into wine, making right that which was wrong, healing hurting bodies and troubled souls, welcoming children and strangers, teaching in parables, and ushering in the Kingdom of heaven.  We learned from his example of caring for the suffering, advocating for the weak, encouraging the broken-hearted, and restoring blind eyes, closed ears, and forgotten souls. We listened intently to his every word, and our lives are forever changed.

And now we walk with Joseph and Nicodemus to the tomb. And we wait and watch with those who are stunned and doubting, and yet hoping and praying for a miracle. It’s the day after we saw Jesus die so miserably on the cross. We can hardly get the sights out of our minds eye, the smell out of our nostrils, the sadness out of our hearts. It was horrible to stand by helplessly as the victim of such cruelty was our friend, our teacher, our mentor, our guide. We trusted him, walked with him, and now we mourn.

Is it all going to end in this tragic way? We’re no longer all together. We’re stunned and saddened. We’re not sure what’s next. We hope. We pray. We linger. We trust. We rest. We wait.

Behold Jesus in our memories and now in the tomb; believe in the words he once spoke as truth; belong to the ones who hold fast to his promises; and become a member of the family of Jesus who forever sing his praise as the One who came to life miraculously and will rise again miraculously once more. Amen.

For additional reflection today, prayerfully consider the words of this ancient Holy Week hymn, “Were You There?” written by African-American slaves in the late 19th Century:

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?

Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?

Were you there when God raised him from the tomb?
Were you there when God raised him from the tomb?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when God raised him from the tomb?

 



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Outstretched Arms of Love: Day Thirty Nine, Good Friday

HolyWeek.BlogImage

In this Lenten series I would like to invite you to consider Jesus’ “outstretched arms of love” toward all who followed him as disciples, seeking to emulate his life, self-sacrifice, and humble service to others. Today we will reflect on one distinct time and way Jesus stretched out his arms of love to all who beheld his glory, believed his message, belonged as his disciples, and sought to become more and more like his image and with more of their true identity in Christ Alone.

Holy Week: The Grand Finale

Read John 19: 16-37

Jesus on the cross – the ultimate expression of his outstretched arms of love!

His arms could not have been stretched out any further than when they were extended for all humanity on the cross. Simply held back on the beam that far and for so long would have been enough to endure, but with the nails piercing his hands the suffering was all the more agonizing for Jesus.  The crown of thorns on his head and the nails holding his feet in place added to his injurious position. This humiliation and suffering went far beyond the washing of the disciples’ feet in expressing the fullest extent of love.

Carrying his own cross, he walked with the soldiers out to The Place of the Skull, known as Golgotha. He was crucified with two others – one on each side, with Jesus in the middle. Pilate’s notice was fastened above his head on the cross, “Jesus of Nazareth, The King of the Jews.” The soldiers divided his clothes among them, one share for each of the four attending him. But his seamless undergarment they did not tear, and instead cast lots for it.

Near the cross stood his mother and the other women. Looking down Jesus saw his mother and the beloved disciple. He said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son” and from that time on this faithful disciple took her into his home and cared for her.  Words came from his tired breathing, “Father forgive them” – “You will be with me in paradise” – “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” –  “I am thirsty” – “It is finished” – “Into your hands I commit my spirit” and after a soaked sponge of wine vinegar was placed on his lips, he bowed his head and breathed his last, giving up his spirit into death.

Instead of breaking his legs to complete his demise, the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.  Not one of his bones was broken, as the prophet foretold, for those who search for the Living God “will look on the one they have pierced instead.” And that’s how it occurred. The death of Jesus was completed on the cross in the most wretched form possible.

It’s hard to fathom what it would have been like to witness such cruelty. In such a short time frame Jesus went from the highly acclaimed King to the lowly despised criminal. From “Hosanna!” to “Crucify him!” in a matter of days. Even though Pilate sought to set Jesus free, the Jews kept shouting about his demise. In handing Jesus over to the will of the people, he washed his hands of his death. The drama this act sparked would be exactly as God intended…amazing love, how can it be, that Thou my God would die for me? How many present could sing that hymn of praise? Would you?

Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world; believe the Gospel of grace poured out in the shed blood of Christ on the cross; belong to those who know Him as Savior, Lord and King; and become a fervent and faithful follower of Jesus the One who left heaven to come to earth to die so that you can have life eternal.

 

For additional reflection today, prayerfully consider the words of this ancient Holy Week hymn, “O Sacred Head Now Wounded” by Bernard of Clairvaux, 1153 (an alternative hymn to consider today is “Ah, Holy Jesus, How Hast Thou Offended?”):

O sacred Head, now wounded, with grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded with thorns, Thine only crown;
O sacred Head, what glory, what bliss till now was Thine!
Yet, though despised and gory, I joy to call Thee mine.

What Thou, my Lord, hast suffered, was all for sinners’ gain;
Mine, mine was the transgression, but Thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior! ’Tis I deserve Thy place;
Look on me with Thy favor, vouchsafe to me Thy grace.

Men mock and taunt and jeer Thee, Thou noble countenance,
Though mighty worlds shall fear Thee and flee before Thy glance.
How art thou pale with anguish, with sore abuse and scorn!
How doth Thy visage languish that once was bright as morn!

Now from Thy cheeks has vanished their color once so fair;
From Thy red lips is banished the splendor that was there.
Grim death, with cruel rigor, hath robbed Thee of Thy life;
Thus Thou hast lost Thy vigor, Thy strength in this sad strife.

My burden in Thy Passion, Lord, Thou hast borne for me,
For it was my transgression which brought this woe on Thee.
I cast me down before Thee, wrath were my rightful lot;
Have mercy, I implore Thee; Redeemer, spurn me not!

What language shall I borrow to thank Thee, dearest friend,
For this Thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever, and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never outlive my love to Thee.

My Shepherd, now receive me; my Guardian, own me Thine.
Great blessings Thou didst give me, O source of gifts divine.
Thy lips have often fed me with words of truth and love;
Thy Spirit oft hath led me to heavenly joys above.

Here I will stand beside Thee, from Thee I will not part;
O Savior, do not chide me! When breaks Thy loving heart,
When soul and body languish in death’s cold, cruel grasp,
Then, in Thy deepest anguish, Thee in mine arms I’ll clasp.

The joy can never be spoken, above all joys beside,
When in Thy body broken I thus with safety hide.
O Lord of Life, desiring Thy glory now to see,
Beside Thy cross expiring, I’d breathe my soul to Thee.

My Savior, be Thou near me when death is at my door;
Then let Thy presence cheer me, forsake me nevermore!
When soul and body languish, oh, leave me not alone,
But take away mine anguish by virtue of Thine own!

Be Thou my consolation, my shield when I must die;
Remind me of Thy passion when my last hour draws nigh.
Mine eyes shall then behold Thee, upon Thy cross shall dwell,
My heart by faith enfolds Thee. Who dieth thus dies well.



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