Surrender to Jesus

Lord Jesus Christ,
I surrender today to you.

I give you my body as a living sacrifice,
my soul with all its faculties,
my entire being.

I give to you all my thoughts, words and deeds,
all my sufferings and labours,
all my hopes and joys.
Above all, I give to you my heart
so that I may love only you
and be consumed in the fire of your love.

I place my trust in your infinite mercy.
I place within your hands all my cares and anxieties.
And I promise you my love and service.

Do with me what you will, my Jesus.
I desire only you.

Jesus, I surrender myself to you,
be my everything.

in freedom

… the self has the task of becoming itself in freedom.

Sickness unto death

So I am having this love affair with Sickness unto Death today. (Or should that be I am having a love affair with Kierkegaard?) So the above really spoke to me.

feelings?

Sometimes I reflect on the many things that I have heard in sermons throughout the years. For me, that includes some time in seminary.

So, I have been wondering:

Why can I not trust my feelings but I can trust my reasoning?

I cannot recall how many times I have been told that my feelings are untrustworthy but my reasoning I can trust. (And let’s assume that hermeneutics is a form of reasoning.) But how realistic is that? Or, maybe more importantly, how human is that?

Happy to read any answers!

the goal?

The formula that describes the state of the self when despair is completely rooted out is this: in relating itself to itself and in willing to be itself, the self rests transparently in the power that established it.

Sickness unto Death

I am having a bizarre week emotionally. It started with a bump and bounced around a lot. It is living on the threshold. I admit I have used some of my “emergency medication”. It all feels like Indiana Jones running from the bolder at the start of Raiders. I have an overwhelming sense of doom.

So I have been reading some Kierkegaard – my go-to author in times of trouble. The Sickness unto Death has not been a book I have read a lot. But I was struck, reading it, by the above paragraph. Especially the final phrase, “the self rests transparently in the power that established it”. The balancing act of life is about openly resting in God. I think a case could be made of the religious life being about this “transparency”.

new and old?

The mandrakes give forth fragrance,
    and over our doors are all choice fruits,
new as well as old,
    which I have laid up for you, O my beloved.

Song of Songs 7:13

Jesus is proclaimed in new ways. Jesus is proclaimed in traditional ways. And sometimes, he is proclaimed by new old ways.

absolutely!

The only way of coming to know and understand the divine, therefore, is by the god annulling the absolute difference in absolute equality in the absolute paradox of the incarnation.

Sylvia Walsh. Kierkegaard: Thinking Christianly in an Existential Mode

I have quoted the above previously on this blog. I was thinking about it in the broader context of my life. It does use “absolute” a lot but it is necessary. There is no room for a “god of the gaps” in Christianity. I like that it places the incarnation at the centre – or, maybe, it places Jesus at the centre – of all “Christian thinking”. Kierkegaard’s language, of placing Jesus as the absolute telos of our life.

Also: the “absolute difference”! In nature God is transcendent but “in love” is imminent. So the absolute paradox of the incarnation, of Jesus, is God’s act of love. Not to make us “loveable” but because God reaches out in love across the difference that we cannot bridge.

ALSO: the above is very much what Kierkegaard writes about monasticism and the problematic relationship he has with it. There is a way that Kierkegaard lives as a modern solitary.

But, seriously, what would I know?!

Kierkegaard, The Point of View

Every more earnest person who knows what upbuilding is, everyone, whatever else he or she is, high or low, wise or simple, male or female, anyone who has ever felt built up and felt God as very present, will certainly agree with me unconditionally that it is impossible to build up or to be built up en masse, even more impossible than to “fall in love en quatre [in fours]” or en mass

the crowd?

They were trying to bring him in and lay him before Jesus; but finding no way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the middle of the crowd in front of Jesus.

Luke 5:19

Today the reading at Morning Prayer was from Luke 5. I may have written about this before but I was struck by the people who cannot come near to Jesus “because of the crowd”. I wonder if the crowd here is not something like “Christendom”? Or, how often have I stopped people from seeing Jesus by being “religious”?

I have a tattoo that says, “the crowd is untruth”. Of course, it is from Kierkegaard’s “This Single Individual”. But I wonder, in the wider sense, if Kierkegaard is not making the same point as Luke? Sometimes the many can stop us from seeing Jesus clearly.

cloud of unknowing

I have been reading The Cloud of Unknowing. And I wanted to share the prayer it starts with, which is also the Collect for Purity that starts the Anglican Eucharist:

Almighty God,
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord.
All Amen.