Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Friday, July 26, 2013

But That Thy Blood Was Shed For Me



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

Just as I am, and waiting not
to rid my soul of one dark blot,
to thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

These are the first two verses of the hymn, Just As I Am, Without One Plea. The great American Evangelist, Billy Graham, ends each  revival with this hymn as people stream down the aisles to the cross, giving their lives to Christ.

The verses sing about the Blood of Jesus which has the power to cleanse us of our sins. Not much is made of sin anymore. Many people are convinced that they don't do much of anything wrong. Pope Paul VI said, "The great sin of our time is our loss of the sense of sin." Many people are good at detecting what's wrong with others but they're blind to their own hatreds, racism, how they burden others - especially their spouses, dishonesty, pride, indifference, injustice. Most of us grew up with a child's Examination of Conscience and never graduated to an adult version. Perhaps the Church has failed people in this regard.

Saint Peter writes in his first letter:
"For you know that the price of our ransom from the futile way of life handed down from your ancestors was paid, not in anything perishable like silver or gold, but in the precious blood as of a blameless and spotless lamb, Christ." 

The J.B. Philips translation says it this way:

"For you must realize  that you have been ransomed from the futile way of living passed on to you by your traditions, but not by any money payment of this passing world. No the price was in fact the life-blood of Christ, the unblemished and unstained lamb of sacrifice."

Most translations speak of the precious blood of the lamb, while the Phillips translation uses life-blood of the lamb. This distinction is perhaps important. For sure, the Blood of Christ washes sin - mine, yours, family, that of this nation and all the nations, the sins of religion. But Saint Peter then goes on throughout his letter, at some length and in some detail, speaking about the new life of the Christian. Indeed the Christian might be so transformed, so much more awake now to the deepest things that are born of attentiveness, consciousness, awake-awareness that he/she might no longer be recognizable or useful to those who knew him previously.

"Indeed your former companions may think it very strange that you no longer join with them in the riotous excesses, and accordingly say all sorts of abusive things about you." (1 Peter 4:4)

So now the prayer of the previous post: I claim the Blood of the Lamb, can be a claim I make for myself as well.

Here's a picture from the Mel Gibson film, The Passion of the Christ, of the centurion ready to spear the side of Jesus as told in the gospels. Traditionally the blood and water that came out from Jesus' side are shown to be two distinct little flows, as if from scratches. But Mel Gibson, using film as his medium, shows the moment of Christ's side being pierced as the spray of a wide angled nozzle, or a woman's water breaking violently, or a geyser. And that flood almost knocks the soldier to his feet as it cascades down on him like a heavy rain. The blood-water mix floods his eyes and as he wipes his face, it is as if he has begun to see. He is stunned by the realization of what's happening. Claim the Blood of the Lamb with that in mind. Indeed, imagine taking the centurion's place as Christ's side and heart are opened. 




I claim the Blood of the Lamb over my home and family.
I claim the Blood of the Lamb over my senses, heart, mind, soul.
I claim the Blood of the Lamb over my relationships, especially where they are troubled.
I claim the Blood of the Lamb into the lives of loved-ones who are addicted.
I claim the Blood of the Lamb where my laughter and smile are fake

I claim the Blood of the Lamb over the work I have to do.
I claim the Blood of the Lamb over my life where I am self-destructive or self-injurious.
I claim the Blood of the Lamb into my life where there is discouragement and confusion.
I claim the Blood of the Lamb into my life where there has been loss, abuse or failure.
I claim the Blood of the Lamb into my life where there is predicament or indecision.

I claim the Blood of the Lamb into my life of compulsions and projecting.
I claim the Blood of the Lamb into my life where I know I have not evolved or grown-up inwardly.
I claim the Blood of the Lamb where I feel burdened or distrusting of myself.
I claim the Blood of the Lamb where I am gripped in suspicion, fear or where hatred lurks.
I claim the Blood of the Lamb where I dwell in negativity or cynicism.

I claim the Blood of the Lamb where I don't admit the truth, even to myself.
I claim the Blood of the Lamb where I feed on scraps of recognition and power.
I claim the Blood of the Lamb where injustice is excused or tolerated..
I claim the Blood of the Lamb where guns matter more than grace.
I claim the Blood of the Lamb where I buy the propaganda of media, politics, advertising.

I claim the Blood of the Lamb where I feel there are bombs and guns in my heart.
I claim the Blood of the Lamb where my beliefs don't reflect the Christ-Way.
I claim the Blood of the Lamb where I hang on the words of  political pundits rather than on Christ's Word.
I claim the Blood of the Lamb where I remain punitive, though I think myself forgiving.
I claim the Blood of the Lamb where I lack courage, for Christ's sake.

I claim the Blood of the Lamb...

AMEN

4 comments:

  1. I am a new follower of this blog. It is exactly what I needed to find. Beautifully written, thoughtful and inspiring.

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  2. God Bless you Father. How wonderful to read about Jesus Christ our Savior in this beautiful way. I too Claim the Blood of the Lamb.

    I miss you. your friend, Bill M.

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  3. This amazing prayer includes everything! thank you for this gift! Susan

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