Friday, May 27, 2016

Spiritual Blessings in the Heavenly Realms

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ." (Ephesians 1:3)

I read this verse earlier this week. I wasn't feeling very blessed at all - not on earth. I sat for a while and wondered about the blessings in the heavenly realms.

I was reminded of a poem I wrote many years ago. We had a worship workshop.  The theme might have been something like "less is more" and involved learning how not to have everyone playing every note and to not have everyone singing every word.

We were asked to bring along a few lines that we could use in worship - the spirit-led part when we came to the end of a song and moved into something more spontaneous. The fledgling poet in me couldn't stick at two or three lines and a poem emerged. As the musicians played a sequence of chords I sought out a melody and launched into singing the lyrics of the poem. It worked for a verse before I began laughing. It felt so awkward trying to mould the words into a melody. It was a poem that wasn't looking for a tune. The man leading the workshop also laughed. He commended me for my bravery in rising to the occasion, but agreed the poem was too strong, too structured and wouldn't bend to music.

I think the words emerged from my personal Brethren Church experience.  The hymns we sang were strong and repetitive. We sang them with a spirit that marched rather than soared. I loved songs that were full of doctrine and had a melody and meter that lent itself to singing.

Written in every line are the spiritual blessings in the heavenly realms.

All this is mine

No longer bound, for You’ve set me free
No longer blind, for my eyes can see
No longer lost, I'm a lamb that's been found
No longer sinking - I'm on solid ground.

No longer in darkness, I stand in the light
No longer defeated, for I've won the fight
No longer silent, my lips sing Your praise
No longer aimless, I walk in Your ways

No longer broken, in You, I'm made whole
No longer at war, Your peace floods my soul
No longer a stranger, for You call me 'Friend'
No other allegiance, I'm yours to the end.

No longer in Adam, but in Christ I stand
Salvation secured, I'm safe in Your Hand
All this is mine, through Your Grace alone
Through Jesus...My Saviour... Redeemer...My Own.

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