Go Down, Death (a poem/sermon)

After writing about death on my blog I decided to post the poem that I posted there. It is one of my favorites and I would love to go to God in this way. blog

Go Down, Death

James Weldon Johnson1871 – 1938

 (A Funeral Sermon)

Weep not, weep not,
She is not dead;
She’s resting in the bosom of Jesus.
Heart-broken husband--weep no more;
Grief-stricken son--weep no more;
Left-lonesome daughter --weep no more;
She only just gone home.

Day before yesterday morning,
God was looking down from his great, high heaven,
Looking down on all his children,
And his eye fell on Sister Caroline,
Tossing on her bed of pain.
And God’s big heart was touched with pity,
With the everlasting pity.

And God sat back on his throne,
And he commanded that tall, bright angel standing at his right hand:
Call me Death!
And that tall, bright angel cried in a voice
That broke like a clap of thunder:
Call Death!--Call Death!
And the echo sounded down the streets of heaven
Till it reached away back to that shadowy place,
Where Death waits with his pale, white horses.

And Death heard the summons,
And he leaped on his fastest horse,
Pale as a sheet in the moonlight.
Up the golden street Death galloped,
And the hooves of his horses struck fire from the gold,
But they didn’t make no sound.
Up Death rode to the Great White Throne,
And waited for God’s command.

And God said: Go down, Death, go down,
Go down to Savannah, Georgia,
Down in Yamacraw,
And find Sister Caroline.
She’s borne the burden and heat of the day,
She’s labored long in my vineyard,
And she’s tired--
She’s weary--
Go down, Death, and bring her to me.

And Death didn’t say a word,
But he loosed the reins on his pale, white horse,
And he clamped the spurs to his bloodless sides,
And out and down he rode,
Through heaven’s pearly gates,
Past suns and moons and stars;
on Death rode,
Leaving the lightning’s flash behind;
Straight down he came.

While we were watching round her bed,
She turned her eyes and looked away,
She saw what we couldn’t see;
She saw Old Death.  She saw Old Death
Coming like a falling star.
But Death didn’t frighten Sister Caroline;
He looked to her like a welcome friend.
And she whispered to us: I’m going home,
And she smiled and closed her eyes.

And Death took her up like a baby,
And she lay in his icy arms,
But she didn’t feel no chill.
And death began to ride again--
Up beyond the evening star,
Into the glittering light of glory,
On to the Great White Throne.
And there he laid Sister Caroline
On the loving breast of Jesus.

And Jesus took his own hand and wiped away her tears,
And he smoothed the furrows from her face,
And the angels sang a little song,
And Jesus rocked her in his arms,
And kept a-saying: Take your rest,
Take your rest.

Weep not--weep not,
She is not dead;
She’s resting in the bosom of Jesus.

From God’s Trombones by James Weldon Johnson. Copyright © 1927 The Viking Press, Inc., renewed 1955 by Grace Nail Johnson. Used by permission of Viking Penguin, a division of Penguin Books USA Inc.

Lord Jesus, let us find the faith to know you will be with us in our hour of death. AMEN

Community

We hunger for a kind of group association in which, through being ourselves, we may get to something greater than ourselves. We long to touch the transcendent, and, furthermore, to do it in the company of others who, by sharing our experiences, verify and confirm them. —————-Milton J. Rosenberg

community 1

I am one of the people who feel that it is hard to be Christian without a community of faith. We need others to confirm our beliefs. We need them to be with us during our trials and we with them during theirs. We need a family of faith. If you don’t have one search until you find one.

Loving God, help us to find a community that can become our extended family AMEN

see more on this subject on https://wordpress.com/post/worrylessjourney.com/2827

 

The light of life

When the soul is troubled, lonely and darkened, then it turns easily to the outer comfort and to the empty enjoyment of the world.  ————–Friedrich Froebel

When things don’t go well for us it is easy to try to find solace elsewhere. Some find it in a bottle, some in drugs, some in sex, some in parties and high living. The problem is that none of these things light the dark space where the soul resides. Only God can do that.

light of life

 

Patient God, you wait for us to discover that our only light is in you. Help us to turn to you in our dark times. AMEN

Love is come again!

Now the green blade rises from the buried grain,
Wheat that in the dark earth many years has lain;
Love lives again, that with the dead has been:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

In the grave they laid Him, Love Whom we had slain,
Thinking that He’d never wake to life again,
Laid in the earth like grain that sleeps unseen:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

Up He sprang at Easter, like the risen grain,
He that for three days in the grave had lain;
Up from the dead my risen Lord is seen:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

When our hearts are saddened, grieving or in pain,
By Your touch You call us back to life again;
Fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

Wheat Seedlings

I love this hymn. I love the music but the words really speak to me. The last verse is amazing. God’s touch can heal us and bring our hearts back to life. The love of God is incredible!

Thank you God for your amazing love! AMEN!

Happy Easter !!

After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he[a] lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead,[b] and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
I have always loved the fact that Jesus first appeared to the women. I think that he knew that they would believe what they saw before them.
Lord bless those of us who believe without seeing. AMEN
easter

God with us

scar

God never promised that life would be free of problems. There is no magic wand that can be waved to banish our troubles. Our strength to survive each day comes from God’s promise to be with us. Each struggle that we get through gives us the wisdom to survive the next. God helps us to learn and gain the strength to fight the next battle.

Intimate God, we give you thanks for your love for us and your healing presence in our struggles. AMEN

Lift us

From the end of the earth I call to you, when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
I often feel like I’m getting caught in a flood. Things become overwhelming and I’m sinking. We are so busy in today’s society that we take on more than we can manage. Then we can feel ourselves being buried.
When we feel this way we need to call on God to help us slow down. He is the only one who can lift us out of the mire onto the rock that is higher.
lift me
Faithful God, we take on more than we should. Help to make us wiser about our limits and when we fail and are sinking lift us to the rock that is higher. AMEN

Grasp peace

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the word gives. Do not let you hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. —————John 14:27

Finding-Peace-in-a-Turbulent-World-Part-1--1024x683

I really wish that I were never afraid. Fear can take over when something goes wrong. We have so many things to fear; poverty, homelessness, crime, disease, depression, anxiety, job loss.

We could spend each day cowering in our homes, afraid to go out. Sometimes we do, but God doesn’t want us to live like that. He has given us his peace. All we have to do it take it. Sounds easy bit it never is.

God, Father and Mother of us all, remind us that we are your children and that you wish only good for us. Help us to grasp your promises and your peace and never let go AMEN

There is more

“Science is a belief —a belief in only what you can see and touch —I believe in more.”                       from the TV show Grey’s Anatomy

The-Door-To-The-Infinite-Lies-Just-Outside-Of-Your-Belief-System

For quite a while science has been king. People believe in science. It can be proved. Yet, there are things that cannot be proved. Things that we just have to accept or reject. I also choose to believe in more. I believe in love. I believe in miracles. I believe in God.

None of these can be proved but I choose to believe. Do you?

Gracious God, I cannot prove your existence and yet I choose to believe in you. Help us to get up each day and make that choice. AMEN

Be with God

Faith is not the acceptance of centuries-old traditions but an attitude which grows from within. —Henri Nouwen

time with GodWe need to learn about our traditions. The stories of those who have gone before us and struggled with the same questions are important. But that is not all we need. We have to take the next step and spend time with God to let Him infuse the soul. Time with God is critical to our growth and faith.

Intimate God, you are with us always. Help us to stop and just BE with you. AMEN