Welcome to Day 3 of Chapter 6 from Arise & Shine’s Part 7. Today, Bettie and Anna are bringing forward our third free will offering of The Mercy Seat, complementing their own jointly written poem with a poem penned by Christina Georgina Rossetti that is now available in the public domain. We also offer up a jointly written prayer, a collage Bettie made and a worship song of thanksgiving for God’s mercy to us. God bless you all richly.
You Make Us Willing
By Bettie Gilbert and Anna Smit
Is there no one here to speak for me?
She had cried out in her shame.
Buried beneath a sin so deep
With no way to escape
The judgment poured down on her.
But Jesus stepped into the crowd
Bent down on the sand
And waited, waited for her
Those without sin to cast the stones.
Woman, He asked,
Where are your accusers now?
None stood here without sin.
Neither do I accuse you then.
Freedom became her theme.
Another woman bore a shame
She knew her part in the sinning game
But saw in Jesus’ eyes
Forgiveness calling her out
Mercy drawing her in.
From the depth of her freedom
Came a Love stronger than shame
For ONE had pled her case.
An offering for mercy’s sake
Of much she was forgiven.
Alabaster jar broken open
Fragrance filled the judging room
A washing clean had happened
Worship spilled the tears there
As Love was finally free.
Jesus pled our case
Jesus spoke up for us
Who could not speak
Are we so willing to speak?
Are we so willing to forgive?
Are we so willing to bring in?
Oh thank You, Jesus!
Our Prince of Peace
Our light in the darkness
YOU make us willing!
You are our shield and portion
The Word upon our heart and lips
Our mercy in forgiveness flowing
The gates of salvation open wide
Jesus bringing in.
What Would I Give?
By Christina Georgina Rossetti
What would I give for a heart of flesh to warm me through,
Instead of this heart of stone ice-cold whatever I do;
Hard and cold and small, of all hearts the worst of all.
What would I give for words, if only words would come;
But now in its misery my spirit has fallen dumb:
O, merry friends, go your way, I have never a word to say.
What would I give for tears, not smiles but scalding tears,
To wash the black mark clean, and to thaw the frost of years,
To wash the stain ingrain and to make me clean again.
Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God.Luke 5: 18-25 (NIV)
Lord thaw our hearts and call us into Your doorway where You are waiting to overflow such mercy! Prepare and wake up our hearts from numbness and slumber that You might arise and shine in and through us. Make us Your doorway of mercy to others and a Voice for the voiceless. Take off our self-protective covering that Your blood alone may overshadow us and speak for us.
Thank You that Your mercy living in us – Your blood shed for us – cannot be hoarded. Thank You that You are breaking us – Your sacred and anointed vessels- open that You might reveal Your communal and family blessing. Flow now as oil in and through us freely and out upon the heads of those You have woven us together with.
Thank You that You are even now, weaving us all together in mercy, making us all One in Your righteous judgment – in Your perfect love that is flowing from Your royal throne of grace and shall endure forever and ever.
Thank You that when we are weak, You are strong. Thank You that You who are in us are stronger than he who is in the world. Prove us Yours, oh LORD. Keep us Yours. Never let us go. Let Your ear in us hearken to hear and Your Voice be set free to speak in and through us. In Your precious Name we pray, Amen!