Grandchild Praising God

A Sunday Psalm of Surrender and Sacrifice

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When something is made common or even popular, it often loses its meaning and power. There are many examples of this from quaint favorite restaurants to words such as love to holy seasons like Lent. Thus the sacrifice of Christ is compared to the giving up of chocolate. Horrors! This Sunday’s psalm is a prayer for a deeper understanding and truer call for surrender and sacrifice. I’m praying it for you. Pray with me.

Taking Shelter

Immanent and Transcendent God:

Draw near and listen.

Move your mighty hand toward me.

Take my hand in yours,

My dominant hand,

The one I use to defend myself

Against my enemies.

Secure me in your powerful grip.

Scarred Hand

Lord, I raise my heart to you

In praise and surrender.

I praise you for your wisdom

And surrender my worry.

I praise you for your love

And surrender my fear.

I praise you for your peace

And surrender my arms of war,

Against myself, my neighbor, and nations.

Snowshoe Trail

I surrender my way,

The way of safety, caution, and control.

Lead me in The Way of Jesus,

The Way of The Cross,

The Way of Sacrifice.

I surrender my finite mind.

Replace my shifting truth

With your eternal Truth,

Even Jesus Christ himself.

Redbird

I praise you for my life,

Vibrant, fallen, image of you.

I surrender my right to it.

Fill me with the Life of Christ

Lord, keep me from cheapening

Myself and The Cross

By naming as sacrifice

Inconveniences, the laying down of sweets,

Pausing from entertainments or daily freedoms.

South Platte River

Call me to a deeper surrender.

Excavate and rid

My very heart and soul

Of the false gods I harbor, 

The false hopes I cherish.

Child's Hand

Finally, my God,

I praise you for Christ’s sacrifice,

I surrender my self-protection, self-justification,

My very self.

Replace these with Your selfless powerful

Redeeming love.

That I may walk this earth in

Your Way, Truth, and Life.

Amen  

Bruce Cockburn lyrics

3 thoughts on “A Sunday Psalm of Surrender and Sacrifice”

  1. Georgie Ann Kettig

    having not really been “raised in the Church”, and having been, therefore, quite accustomed to having no special awareness or regular observance(s) of Lent (Ash Wednesday, Holy Week, Good Friday), ~ (but we did decorate the Easter eggs!) ~ I am often struck with gratitude (these days), for the “break”, in the ordinarily unrestricted-life-flow of unchallenged human-habit-patterns, that “Lenten observances” call us to,…

    it actually was amazingly difficult for me to even remember to attempt to carry out certain “prescribed dietary sacrifices”, when I first started trying to do so,…

    it was even kind of humiliating and embarrassing ~ (I guess to my secretly “prideful” and self-righteous(?) and perfectionistic, ordinary-living, habit-bound “self”!),…

    and I would be defensive and argue with myself, (because no one else was “looking”, but me!), about how “after all, it didn’t really matter”, and many, many other rationalizations and “excuses” for simply “having done things wrong”,… lol,…

    I now realize that “the prideful resistance/resentment”, and the irritation about “making mistakes” (at myself really ~ but also kind of “blaming the rules”), as well as plenty of “rationalized excuses” to help get me through the difficulties that I was encountering regularly, was actually the very clear voice of “my flesh” squawking,… and, believe me, it wasn’t pretty!,…

    so, for that unvarnished “encounter” alone, it was definitely a worthwhile effort!,…

    it all kind of “came to a head” one Good Friday morning, when I didn’t remember that it actually was Good Friday, until after I had eaten a full and inappropriate breakfast ~ so, there I was, definitely out-of-step and “guilty again!”,… and with no chance of a “do-over” until the following year!,…

    and that, apparently, was the “tipping point!”,… it was just a moment of more unresolved tension than I could possibly bear!,… desperately, I looked around for “an escape hatch”, a solution, any solution,…

    “turning back time” was impossible,… I couldn’t un-eat what I had eaten,… I was stuck in a moment of complete and total dissatifaction,…

    when my (frantically scanning) eyes noticed my (as yet unfed!) goldfish floating around peacefully in their aquarium, I announced my “head-of-the-household” proclamation to them:

    “OK, guys, I have really blown it!” (no excuses/no other-blaming, but finally, taking full responsibility),…

    “I have already broken the Fast on Good Friday!” (acknowledging the exact “line that I crossed”),…

    “I cannot fix this in any way, by my own efforts” (I am totally helpless),…

    “therefore, YOU will have to Fast, in MY place, for US, today!”,…

    and so it was,… a solution,… my goldfish fasted for me that day, and my relief was actually palpable,… as silly as that might sound,…

    but not only was it a “tipping point”, but it seems to have been a “turning point” as well,… I loved my goldfish, and purposely depriving them of food would not ever be on my agenda,… so, it was a type of vicarious “sacrifice” for me as well as for them,… there are actually some dynamic levels and parallels going on here, I think, even with the “sacrifice of Christ” on our behalf, which I won’t go into,…

    but I do know that I never had as many problems with honoring the Lenten protocols and “sacrifices” from that morning onward,…

    yes, they are symbolic,… yes, I can still easily forget and “make mistakes”,… etc etc,… but I don’t argue about it,…

    and somehow, my underlying, (indifferent, lazy, comfort-seeking, self-indulgent, self-directed), habituated, “taking things for granted” “flesh” had a “wake-up call” that Good Friday morning,… I feel it,… it really is less rebellious, less self-righteous, and less self-serving, than the oblivious “groove” pattern that it was in,…

    it was painful to be suffering for my own mistake(s), and painful to be denying my pets, but in that combination of willingly admitted and surrendered pain, especially in conjunction with the Day of the Lord’s personal sacrifice on our behalf, I do feel that a transformation of “hidden rebellious human layers” was taking place,… perhaps “the Lion” was becoming a bit more like “the Lamb”,…

    1. A gold fish confessional. You are ever the surprising one. Thank you that you let my stories and writing awaken your stories.

  2. Georgie Ann Kettig

    they definitely do!,… you tell “your story”, and then for some reason, I feel like telling “mine”!,… and then you let me!,… what can I say?,… I’m grateful!,… “story-telling alchemy”,… it might be because no one in my family ever “listened to me”,… lol,… so, I guess I feel like “God definitely adopted me”, and I just want to tell someone about it,… and you’re a “good listener and sharer”,… (-:

    I was going to add a little bit more to the one above, about my resulting perspective on “obedience”,… when that “happened”, it was probably about 20 years ago, and I was moving my “worship center of gravity” from an evangelical/spirit-filled setting to the local Catholic Church,… I was very much “in love with God”, and felt very sure of His care for me,… so, I wasn’t having a personal “faith crisis” about it,… but I wanted to try to sincerely, on my part, experience a traditional type of co-operative Lenten worship, so, “trusting God”, I dove in,…

    I wasn’t doing it out of compulsion or fear, or as if “my salvation” depended upon it,… I just wanted it to be an appreciative and sincere “offering of thanks and respect to God”,… but then I got that vision into my “untamed” and “unwilling” parts, which was quite “an eye-opener!”,… so, compulsive outward obedience “out of fear” wasn’t “my thing”,… but a willing, submissive, cooperative and respectful “obedience” was,… I wasn’t afraid of God being displeased with me, or rejecting me, but I was surprised to be so displeased with my “ornery” self,…

    we’re “all a work in progress”, and little by little our Loving God will lead us along the way,… for me, it’s been “a lifetime”,… and thanks very much for listening, Eugene,… (-:

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