A Candle Burning

candlelight #3

 

A Candle Burning
© 2017 Mollie Pearce McKibbon

 

A candle burning in the dark night
Cannot outshine my Saviour’s light.
The greatest bonfire and its glow
Compared to Jesus, will not show.
The brightest beams from our big sun
Cannot eclipse the Blessed One.
The love light from my Saviour’s eyes
Is kind, and caring, always wise.
He sees my weakness, knows my fears,
Has helped me stand and dried my tears.
And when my task here is complete,
You’ll find me sitting at his feet.

The Greatest Love Letter

I remember the excitement I felt as a young child when Valentine’s Day drew near. I chose my cards carefully, especially the one I was going to give to the boy I admired most. It had to be funny, not sentimental, and not mean-funny either. When all the valentines were passed out, I would secretly watch to see his reaction to my card. Love was an embarrassment and a mystery to me. I was just learning to love.

 
The Bible is full of many kinds of love stories. There is love of wife or husband, love of best friends, and the love of parents. Some stories are noble as the story of the love between Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi, or of David and his friend, Jonathan. Some of the stories are examples of the wrong kind of love, like the love that King David had for Bathsheba which led to the murder of her husband. There is the story of betrayed love as in Samson and Delilah. Other stories are of love-gone-wrong: Jacob worked seven years to win Laban’s daughter, Rachel and was tricked into marrying her older sister, Leah. There is also the tragic tale of unrequited love between the prophet Hosea and the prostitute, Gomer.

 
“Love makes the world go round” according to the popular song, and it would seem so when you consider the plethora of poems and songs written about it. Even in the Bible, there is the passionate “Song of Solomon”. Then there are psalms, songs of love and devotion of a different kind – the love of God.

 
The entire Bible, both Old and New Testaments, is a book about the great eternal love of God for humankind – regardless of how fickle, how unreliable, how unworthy and how uninterested the object of adoration might be. The Bible is a love letter from Genesis to Revelation, a love letter often ignored, slandered, left unopened, sometimes even ending up in a garage sale or dumpster.

 
Where do you keep the love letters from your spouse or sweetheart that you cherish? Close at hand I expect, probably in a special box or a locked drawer of your bureau or in your night table. Don’t you take those letters out from time to time to read them and remind yourself f that special person’s feelings and promises? How would you feel if your letters to that love were never opened, not cherished and possibly tossed away? It would likely break your heart- you would be devastated.

 
Yet, maybe the Bible lies on the coffee table or in the bookcase, beautifully bound, perhaps with colourful pictures, and not even the first page is creased. Or is the cover tattered and the pages almost falling out, underlined, highlighted , written in and dog-eared. Such a book is well-read, well-loved and even memorized. It might look in poor shape, but its contents, its words are treasured. Those words tell of a love so true it has no precedent and no end, even if it is continuously rejected.

 
Paul’s description of true love to the church in Corinth aptly describes God’s love for us.
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…and now abide faith, hope and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

 
All these aspects of God’s love for humankind – his creation- are demonstrated over and over again in the Bible, from the Garden of Eden to the visions of Revelation. One need look no further than John 3:16 for the greatest proof of God’s desire to woo us and win our devotion.

 
“For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
Love like that deserves to be treasured. Words like that should be memorized. The Bible is a love letter that deserves our passionate and devoted response.

 

hands on Bible

Mirrors and Windows

angel-and-shepherd-painting-on-hall-mirror

This is the painting that I put on my parents’ hall mirror the Christmas that I was 18.   I loved the way the light seemed to shine through the painting, so each year at Christmas I would put a new painting on the hall mirror as part of our Christmas decorations.  When my husband and I moved into our apartment I put a Christmas scene  on our front window and later, when we moved into the country and became youth leaders, I enlisted the help of the youth group to decorate all the windows in our little country church.  The paintings could be seen from the inside and the outside.  They really looked nice when the church was lit up at night.  Eventually, the windows of that church needed to be replaced and so I was asked to draw up designs for each window.  I chose the familiar themes of the Ten Commandments, Alpha and Omega, The Burning Bush, The Lord’s Supper, and the Open Bible.  We took the designs to a stained glass window artist and he had them re- drawn to accommodate the requirements of his craft.  The windows were each sponsored by different church families and we had a special church service to dedicate them.  Although we no longer attend the church as my husband and I are pastors in another , it thrills me to see the windows each time I pass the church.  It is such a pleasure to use my gifts to praise God.

I was thinking of this today, and it occurred to me that we as the people of God are asked to reflect the glory of God in all our being.  I think that we can either be mirrors or windows in life.  The limitation of a mirror is that mainly the reflection we see is our own.  Windows, on the other hand, show what is on the inside and through them we can see the world.  We need to be windows to show the love of God that dwells within us to the world.  In order to be windows, we need to make sure that what is inside us is clean , healthy, and true.

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.  Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)and find out what pleases the Lord. ”  (Ephesians 5: 8-10 NIV)

 

 

 

 

A Hymn of God’s Promises

Song of Wonder
© 2017 Mollie Pearce McKibbon

1.
Zechariah longed for a son,gabriel-comes-to-mary
Old, he thought, all hope was gone.
When God surprises , hope arises
And heavenly will is done.

Chorus:
O sing of wonder, sing of light!
Angels sing in pure delight.
God’s devices all suffices
Banishing darkest night.

2.
Mary had no thought of all
God’s good graces on her to fall.
Gabriel found her to astound her
Telling of God’s great call.

Chorus

3.
All night Joseph tossed and turned,
Stunned by all that he had learned.
Should he marry or be wary,
Should Mary’s love be spurned?

Chorus

4.
Herod was only king in name.
All he sought was gold and fame.
Though so clever, he would never
Destroy what God had ordained.

Chorus

5.
Never think your day is done
Or say a battle cannot be won.
When God surprises, hope arises
And Holy Spirit will come.

Chorus

Comfort Food

jesus-breaks-the-breadEveryone has a favourite food that not only fills the stomach, but also warms the heart.  Chocolate is a favourite, or sometimes ice cream and even macaroni.  Whenever someone feels particularly vulnerable, blue or upset, comfort food is often the line of first defence.

When I was little and sick in bed with a sore throat, my mother made me snow pudding.  It was a frothy whipped lemon gelatine dessert made with real lemons and covered with custard sauce.  I absolutely loved it and, until I got my tonsils removed at five years old, I had lots of chances to eat it.

I don’t know how my mother made it and I doubt that I could make it myself.  I’ve never had much luck with gelatine desserts.  The fruit always sinks to the bottom and half the time it doesn’t even gel.  Now I know it wasn’t just the pudding that comforted me as a child.  The best part was knowing that my mother made it especially for me, because she loved me.

The need for comfort is universal.  Around the world people in distress yearn for the one dish or drink that will remind them of their happiest and most secure childhood memories.  The recipes don’t matter because the most important part is always the love with which the food was served.  Sadly, no matter how nostalgic we may be for our childhood, simply eating the same food will not satisfy the inner child. Once we’ve scraped the plate and licked our spoons or drained the last drop in our cup, the comfort disappears.

Our Lord Jesus once met a woman in great need of comfort.  Her life was a shambles of broken relationships and insecurity.  She didn’t even associate with the other women in her village who went to the town well in the cooler part of the day. She went instead during the hottest hour so that she could draw her water without their judgmental stares and whispers.  Jesus saw her pain and offered her water that would end her thirst forever.

Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13, 14)

On another occasion, after feeding a crowd of 5000, Jesus said, “Do not labour for the food which perishes…I am the bread of life; he who comes to e shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.” (John 6:27-35)

The greatest comfort food of all is commemorated in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper.  It’s our reminder that, “God so loved the world He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)  Now that is true comfort!

In Heaven – a poem

In Heaven 

© 2016 Mollie Pearce McKibbon

 

view-of-heaven

 

In Heaven
© 2016 Mollie Pearce McKibbon

There is no anger in heaven;
the only loud shouts you’ll hear
are “hosannas” to Jesus
from all the saints gathered there.
There is no sadness in heaven;
No broken or lonely soul.
God promises to give his comfort
and make everyone whole.
There is no hunger in heaven;
A banquet is prepared for all.
None is forgotten or left out.
Just listen for our Father’s call.
There are no mirrors in heaven;
the only reflection you’ll find
deep in the eyes of our Saviour –
The beauty of God’s holy mind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Hymn for Salvation

It Took The Blood of Jesus

© 2011 Mollie Pearce McKibbon

11  11   11   12

cross-and-crown-of-thorns

 

It took the blood of Jesus to convict me.

It took the resurrection to set me free.

I’ve drowned my past forever beneath the waves;

Now I live in Jesus, because I know he saves.

 

********

 

It took the blood of Jesus to save my soul.

It took the resurrection to make me whole.

My pain is all surrendered to God who saves;

My sin is gone forever, buried in the grave.

 

********

 

It took the blood of Jesus to make me pure.

It took the resurrection my wounds to cure.

I know to God forever, my life I owe;

When He calls me to heaven, I will gladly go.

A Lenten Poem

Jesus crucifiedSomething About That Man

 

© 2016 Mollie Pearce McKibbon

 

 

Oh what’s the hubbub in the street?

I hear the sound of marching feet.

I hear the shouts of an angry crowd –

They’re coming closer; they’re getting loud.

******

See the Man with the crown of thorns?

He’s the One that King Herod scorns.

They’re driving him up Golgotha’s slope –

A merciless place without hope.

*******

There’s something about that Man’s face

Reminds me of a time and place

Where he and his friends shared their meal

And went about to teach and heal.

********

They say He now claims to be God

And his miracles were a fraud.

But I saw the lame he made walk,

The blind to see, the mute to talk.

*********

I heard the stories that He taught

And felt the hope that He brought.

I must protest this awful fate

Brought on because of fear and hate.

**********

Yet, I stand silent on the hill,

Urging my conscience to be still

And when they plant that awful tree,

My voice is stopped; my eyes won’t see.

*********

As I gaze at the darkened sky,

I hear his words, his groaning cry,

“Father, forgive them for my sake,”

And I feel  my own heart  break.

A Hymn for Lent

 

Forgive Us, Jesus

© 2016 Mollie Pearce McKibbon

5   5   4   4

girl in prayer 

When you test us, Lord,

We oft fail the test,

Although we know

Which way you have blessed.

 

*******

When we have trials

Our wills may be weak,

Although we know

Whose strength to seek.

 

*******

When we speak aloud

Our words may distress,

Although we know

To love is best.

 

*******

O Lord, change our hearts

And help us refrain

From causing hurt

And needless pain.

 

*******

Forgive us, Jesus,

When we do wrong.

Make us faithful,

Loving and strong.