Paul and his companions then left Paphos by ship for Pamphylia, landing at the port town of Perga. There John Mark left them and returned to Jerusalem.
Scene 1: Awakening
“Barnabas? Are you awake?”
Barnabas rolled over on his cot to gaze at the younger man who had just walked in. He smiled sadly, as he saw John Mark’s nervous face and guessed the errand that prompted his late night visit.
Part 2 of the Guilt-Grace-Gratitude musical trilogy, from my 1996 meditations on The Grace Cycle.
The following song is a lyrical version of “Graphical Theology: The Grace Cycle“, part of my burst of artistic exploration in 1996. It was the first element of a trilogy on the Reformation themes of Guilt-Grace–Gratitude, but unlike the other two I never was happy enough with it to put it to music.
I’m in the process of cleaning up my “personal” site on DrErnie.com, and as part of that I’m moving some of my earlier writings to this site.
To start with, I present “Unforgiven”, a more-or-less accurate transcript of the first time God really dealt with me about anger…
A testimony in three persons
The stage appears empty except for a single chair, center, facing right. A man sits on it backwards, facing left, hugging the back of the chair. His expression is grim. A single spotlight shines down on him. Another man walk out from right, and stands looking at him from the semi-darkness. The first man speaks, but remains facing left.
In Which We and the World are Transformed as We Pray to the Father
Prayer is the process of aligning our thoughts, desires, and decisions with the Name of God, so that His Spirit can work through us to transform our lives, our relationships, and our world.
Memory Verse:“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” — Matthew 6:31-33 (NKJV)
In Which We Forgive Those Who Don’t Deserve It, Because We Don’t Either
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” — Matthew 5:5
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” — Matthew 5:9
Anger is unique among the seven deadly sins in that, in general, anger isn’t even a sin (cf. Ephesians 4:26). At one level, it is simply an emotional reaction to having our boundaries crossed. And at the highest level, anger is actually a virtue, since it is a significant part of God’s character — i.e., the “name” to which we are being conformed!
At the same time, anger is also the name of one of the most violent and dangerous sins. We can define sinful anger as a self-righteous passion for punishing those who offend us. This is why anger is so empowering and so deadly: it magnifies the sins of others to the point where we ignore our own.
Because anger is so devastating, we need to combat it with both meekness — the ability to restrain our passions in submission to God’s rule — and peacemaking, which seeks restoration and reconciliation instead of revenge.
Of course, that is easier said then done…
Peter Kreeft: Back to Virtue
- 10. The Meek and the Peacemakers vs. The Anger-driven
- Dick Hockett: Foundations of Wisdom
- 3.4 (Gentle and healing) Example: Proverbs about the Tongue
In Which We Are Rescued from Our Folly by God’s Love
Love is the primary virtue of the Heart. It is both a Decision that gives rise to Emotions, as well an Emotion that gives rise to Decisions — and it needs both to thrive. It can be defined as “the ability to pursue another’s glory — even at the cost of your own.”
Love is particularly needed by the Fool, whose emotional damage drives a cycle of self-punishment disguised as the pursuit of pleasure. The only way out is to purify our hearts by receiving God’s love and forgiveness, to the point where we love Him more than the false gods we’ve served — and discover what it means to genuinely love ourselves…
Peter Kreeft: Back to Virtue
- 5.C (Love) The Three Theological Virtues
Dick Hockett: Foundations of Wisdom