Light Outshines the Darkness

In the Christian faith we celebrate Good Friday, remembering the suffering and death of Christ on the Cross at Calvary. But it is not the dark night of the soul that draws us to God’s Love and Grace. It is the joy of Easter and the Light of the Resurrection that gives us hope. The Light at the end of the dark tunnel is Jesus!

Friday night’s darkness

Seems like dark evil has won

But Sunday’s coming

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Light overwhelms sad darkness

Drawing us all toward bright hope

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Feeling Rejected

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On Good Friday Christians reflect on the death of Christ on the cross, and what his sacrifice means for us. The human side of Jesus suffered unspeakable physical pain. Some say that God will give you strength in your time of need. But it is my experience that when that time comes, it is very difficult to feel that presence. Even Jesus cried out on the cross, wondering why God had forsaken him in his darkest hour. Pain and rejection seem to be Siamese Twins! It is very hard to have your whole world collapse and not feel rejected. This is why it is so important to have persons who will walk with you and help you regain your perspective once more, understanding that God loves you even when you don’t feel it.

Dark night of the soul
Feelings rejection’s pain
Forsaken // alone
Stretched out on life’s cruel cross
Has God turned his face from us?
In His pain he cried
“My God, my God, why have
you forsaken me!?”
Feeling rejection’s pain
In that dark night of the soul

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Painting: Dwight L. Roth

I am Surrounded

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Christians around the world are celebrating Good Friday and remembering the suffering sacrifice of Jesus for the sins of the World. The hope that arises out of the crucifixion and the resurrection on Sunday is that there is hope an life beyond this life. People of faith know that death is not the end and when this physical body is gone the spiritual soul returns to God who gave us life. For generations our forefathers have believed and died in faith that they will continue on living in the presence of God and whatever that entails.  This Bible passage from Hebrews 12 speaks of them as heroes of faith. I have taken the liberty to paraphrase this expression into a song I wrote some time ago.

I Am Surrounded

I am surrounded by the Saints gone before

By the angels in heaven and God on His Throne

By His holy son Jesus and the ancients of old

I am surrounded in His praise ever more

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I’ll throw off what hinders… the sins that drag me down

Run the race set before me… I’ll endure for the crown

I’ll fix my eyes on Jesus… the source of my faith

I’ll see how He suffered… how He took my place

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I will not grow weary… I know I must not lose heart

For Jesus my Savior… I’ll gladly do my part

Now I’ve come to Mount Zion… City of the Living God

To the Church of the First Born… To be cleansed by His blood

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I’m happy in Jesus… by his grace I am free

His spirit lives in me… Awesome power I see

When my life here has ended… To that City I’ll rise

To sing with the angels… in that heavenly choir

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(For) I am surrounded by the Saints gone before

By the angels in heaven and God on His Throne

By His holy son Jesus and the ancients of old

I am surrounded in His praise ever more

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Hebrews 12 Paraphrase DLR

Vs.9-18-04 & 9-1-11  NIV

Photo: Dwight L. Roth