Thursday, March 02, 2006

Laid bare

"Lent is the season for the Spirit of truth, who drove Jesus into the wilderness to initiate him into the truth which sets free.....Lent is about freedom which is only gained through exposure to the truth. And "What is truth?"....The word literally means "unhiddenness". Truth is not a thing, it is rather an event. Truth happens to us when the coverings of illusion are stripped away and what is real emerges into the open....The truth we are promised if we live the demands of the season of Lent consists not in new furniture for the mind but in exposure to the reality of God's presence in ourselves and the world. The Spirit promises to bring us into truth by stripping away some more of the insulation and barriers which have separated us from living contact with reality, the reality of God, of God's world, of ourselves"
From A Season for the Spirit by Martin Smith, SSJE , Cowley Pubs, London & Cambridge Mass, 1991

Last night at the Offertory we sang Just as I am....the theme song of Tuesday's encounter with God, and perhaps the right theme for the whole of this season of Lent.
I think maybe this year it's all about learning to see myself as God does, hiding nothing from myself, but recognising that his love embraces every part of me, particularly those I am least proud of.

Just as I am, without one plea,
but that thy blood was shed for me,
and that thou bidd'st me come to thee,
O Lamb of God, I come.

Just as I am, though tossed about
with many a conflict, many a doubt;
fightings and fears within, without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
sight, riches, healing of the mind,
yea, all I need, in thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come.

Just as I am, thou wilt receive;
wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve,
because thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come.

Just as I am, thy love unknown
has broken every barrier down;
now to be thine, yea, thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come.

Just as I am, of that free love
the breadth, length, depth, and height to prove,
here for a season, then above:
O Lamb of God, I come

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