January 27, 2021

Quotes For Lent

Lent 2012: A Journey through the Wilderness

Quotes For Lent

On one such occasion the Shepherd said to Much-Afraid, “When you continue your journey there may be much mist and cloud. Perhaps it may even seem as though everything you have seen here of the High Places was just a dream, or the work of your own imagination. But you have seen reality and the mist which seems to swallow it up is the illusion. Remember, Much-Afraid, what you have seen before the mist blotted it out. Never doubt that the High Places are there, towering up above you, and be quite sure that whatever happens I mean to bring you up there exactly as I promised.”  Hinds Feet On High Places, Hannah Hurnard

The way of pure faith enables us to find God at every moment. What has to be done to produce such an amazing effect? Just one thing: let God act and do all he wishes according to our state in life. Nothing in the spiritual life is easier, and it is within everybody’s reach. Yet so wonderful and dark is this road that we need great faith to walk along it.  Abandonment To Divine Providence, Jean-Pierre deCaussade

Turnball glanced at the crucifix with a sort of scowling good-humour and then said: “He may look and see His cross defeated.”

“The cross cannot be defeated,” said MacIan, “for it is Defeat.”  Ball And Cross, G.K. Chesterton

The way a deer longs for streams of water, my soul has longed for you, God of Strength.

My soul has thirsted for my Upholder, for presence of the living God. When will I arrive and behold the light of your face?

My weeping was like bread for me—morning and night—when each day they said to me, “Where is your God?”

These things I remember and pour out my heart with sadness—how I passed through throngs of people, stumbling to the holy temple, through cries of joy and thanksgiving, sounds of the celebrating crowd.

Why are you bent so low, my soul? And why so in tumult over me?

Be hopeful, and wait for God.

Psalm 42, The Complete Psalms, translated by Pamela Greenberg

The cross is always ready, and everywhere waits for thee. Thou canst not escape it, whithersoever thou runnest; for whithersoever thou goest, thou carryest thyself with thee, and thou shalt always find thyself. Upwards, downwards, outwards, inwards, turn thyself whither thou wilt, on all sides thou wilt find the cross.   Thomas A’ Kempis

For my money, the root of preaching for our time remains what it was for Paul: a passion for the Passion. Like him, those who stand up to preach in the church must decide to “forget everything but Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (1 Cor 2:2). However macabre it may seem to hold up death and not life as the instrument of salvation, any other proclamation than that is rootless and withered. However foolish or weak such preaching may sound, it celebrates the only wisdom or power that has anything to do with the desperate case of the human race. A passion for the Passion then: A passion of the preacher’s heart for Jesus himself—a wild romance with the Person of the incarnate Word  who reigns in death at the roots of the being of every creature, bar none. A passion of the preacher’s soul for the divine Vulgarity that stands caution on its head and takes all the riffraff of the world home free by making the one ticket everybody has the only ticket anybody needs. And a hilarious passion—a bright fire in the preacher’s belly—for the sheer fun of shocking the troops awake with the astonishing news that God has torn up his membership card in the God Union, that he has stopped counting the world’s trespasses, and that to be raised up into the new creation, we don’t need to be good, holy, smart, accountable or even faithful: we need only to be dead.  The Foolishness Of Preaching, Robert Farrar Capon

Aside to Jesus: OK, let’s be honest: when we don’t want to follow you, it’s not because we don’t yet have enough information about you or can’t swallow what the gospels say about you. No, our reservations are due to the cars we drive and the houses in which we live. Why Jesus?  William H. Willimon



  1. Christiane says

    I have loved Psalm 42 all my life. There is a beautiful rendition of it, here:


  2. As usual, Willimon nails it.

  3. “Abandonment to Divine Providence” or in more modern language….

    Letting go of myself and trusting everything to God and His plan for me…..

    Thanks, Jeff, these were just the words I needed to hear and the focus I need to keep my eyes and heart on.

  4.           Glory to Him who from the mire, in patient length of days,
    Elaborated into life, a people to His praise! (The Dream of Gerontius)

  5. This one might not be sufficiently somber for Lent, but it’s my favorite quotation about the cross:

    “And believe me brother, I give it to you under mine own hand-writ, that whoso looketh to the white side of Christ’s cross, and can take it up handsomely with faith and courage, shall find it such a burden as sails are to a ship, or wings to a bird. I find that my Lord hath overgilded that black tree, and hath perfumed it, and oiled it with joy and consolation…”

    (Samuel Rutherford, while he was in exile and under house arrest and forbidden to preach the Gospel)

  6. Bill Metzger says

    Is Capon a DUDE or what?!?

  7. Thanks Jeff, great quotes, great reminders….great way to start my day:)

  8. You know… I’ve been looking in the early evening sky and noticed Venus and Jupiter in close proximity with each other, mercury on the eastern horizon, Mars following to the west and Saturn trailing farther into the night. My point is that the planets must be aligning… this is the first post where I have read the majority of the books referenced! Either I’m wandering more in the wilderness or your becoming more catholic (with a small “c” Jeff)…..

    • How ’bout both, Radagast?

    • Reading about the stars and star gazing reminds me of laying back in the grass in the Sierra Nevadas near Donner Pass in summer time 20 years ago just watching the sky…. I was in the Boy Scouts at the time. When I was a kid I couldn’t wait to grow up. As an adult I wish I would have been more patiant and enjoyed everything. Now that I have a mortgage, Dad dealing with illness…i kind of wish i could be a kid again where the biggest concern was waking up on Saturday monring and watching cartoons!! 😀

    • By the way, for you star gazers out there… yes I got my east and west mixed up, that’s mercury in the west and mars trailing in the eastern sky. When i want to think of the immensity that is God all I need to do is look up at the stars on a cloudless night…

      Eagle – what i miss when I was in scouting was getting out beyond the suburban lights while camping and actually seeing the stars. I can only imagine how many you could see out west past the crowds.

  9. I read Albert Mohler’s posting this morning before work where he ties the belief of creationism to being a Christian. You cannot have it any other way…if you reject creationism you reject the entire gospel. He said that if one accepts evolution they will start to practice another gospel that Paul warned about in Galatians.

    So I read that little tidbit and leanred that Al has moved his you know what a few more inches higher in his you know what. (There may be kids reading this…!!! 😀 😀 )

    So what I am trying to say is that I appreciate your post Jeff becuase it doesn’t have the “either/do” fatalist view that so many fundagelicals have… But the quotes are good.

    • Eagle,
      Why do you insist on abusing yourself. Stop reading these people that you don’t. like. You are not obligated to keep tabs on them. Shake loose man! Free yourself dagnabit! New strategy. Read what inspires you and not what pisses you off. (Head tilts briefly to the side while eyes spring wide and friendly smirk appears)

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