Classic and contemporary excerpts.

Healing Entry

How else but through a broken heart

May Lord Christ enter in?

Oscar Wilde in

The Ballad of Reading Gaol

Catch The Music

Many people go through life as though they are wearing blinders or are sleep-walking. Their eyes are open, yet they may see nothing of their wild associates on this planet. Their ears, attuned to motor cars and traffic, seldom catch the music of nature—the singing of birds, frogs or crickets—or the Wind.… They may know business trends or politics, yet haven’t the faintest idea of what makes the natural world tick.

Roger Tory Peterson in a

commencement address at

Bloomsburg University,

quoted in Time (June 17, 1985)

Beyond “Experience”

The current phrase “worship experience” merely serves to confuse us. Those who worship with the expectation that the act ought to generate certain experiences for them will undoubtedly have many experiences. But they will probably not be the sorts of experiences that Christian worship offers to those who seek only the face of God through song and prayer, preaching and sacrament.

Heading for forever

Have you ever thought that God’s great gift to us is time—time forever? When we are forgiven of our sin and cleansed from our guilt on the basis of Christ’s death for us—Christ’s paying our penalty—we are given everlasting life—a gift of time—a fantastic gift of time together with Him, and with all those who have come into the family of the living God. As we grow to feel more and more in life the limitations of 24 hours and the limitations of a seven-day week, and the limitations of a month and the fact that there are only 12 months in a year through which to distribute the demands being made upon our time, we should marvel at the gift God has promised us, and because of which we have an unshakable hope and a bubble within of delight—we are heading for forever!

Edith Schaeffer in

Dear Family

Liturgists can generate many powerful experiences, but when experience is the aim, this becomes cheap theater at best and manipulation at worst. Both are repulsive substitutes for an encounter with the power of the living God.

Mark Horst in the Christian

Century (Nov. 11, 1987)

To One Unsatisfied

When, with all the loved around thee,

Still, thy heart says, “I am lonely.”

It is well; the truth hath found thee:

Rest is with the Father only.

George MacDonald in

Discovering the Character of God

God’s Extravagant Goodness

After thinking about it the last few days, I’m convinced that heaven’s unnecessariness is what makes it important. It’s important because it has no relevance to this life. (It does not follow that this life has no relevance to it.) Heaven is simply a glorious, gratuitous extra, totally unnecessary, but totally in character with the extravagant goodness and boundless creativeness of the Maker and Redeemer of this world.

John Leax in

In Season and Out

All For Jesus

He cannot bless us unless he has us. When we try to keep within us an area that is our own, we try to keep an area of death. Therefore, in love, He claims all. There’s no bargaining with Him.

C. S. Lewis in

The Weight of Glory

Whose Problem?

A minister took a guilt trip in a sermon. “I let the congregation really have it. Their stewardship was dismal, their participation was weak; and they were wallowing around in their own shortsighted pursuits. After my sermon, in which I really let it all hang out, a little old lady said to me with a smile, ‘Pastor, I hope you’ll feel better soon.’ ”

Oscar Handlin, quoted by

Martin E. Marty in Context (Oct. 15, 1985)

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