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We Meet You, O Christ

I thought this hymn was fantastic this morning. Speak it aloud if you can. As spoken word, it is powerful.

We meet you, O Christ, in many a guise;
your image we see in simple and wise.
You live in a palace, exist in a shack;
we see you, the gardener, a tree on your back.

In millions alive, away and abroad;
involved in our life, you live down the road.
Imprisoned in systems, you long to be free;
we see you, Lord Jesus, still bearing your tree.

We hear you, O man, in agony cry;
for freedom you march, in riots you die.
Your face in the papers we read and we see.
The tree must be planted by human decree.

You choose to be made at one with the earth;
the dark of the grave prepares for your birth.
Your death is your rising, creative your word;
the tree springs to life and our hope is restored.

Two weekends ago, I was at Riverfest, an all-church retreat for The River Church Community in San Jose. Our speaker for the weekend was Dave Schmelzer . In his talks, Dave shared about two story archetypes. The first is known as the “Harvest Story.” It’s told in the hymn above. At its start it was about how crops would die in the winter and be reborn again in spring for harvest in summer. In a Christian context, Jesus embodies the harvest. His life is cut down by death but his resurrection means salvation is available for all. The second is called the “Reluctant Hero.” The best modern example is the Lord of the Rings trilogy. In Dave’s mind, we who follow Jesus are the reluctant heroes. The invitation of Christ to bear his cross and join in his long-suffering is the hero’s journey. The highest goal then along the journey is to be glad and joyful.

In reflection after Dave’s talks I have been looking to be more joyful. I smile as I type that because I’m not sure it’s possible and feel kind of goofy saying so. But there you have it, let’s be joyful.

Last updated on February 16, 2022.