Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) blogs

Stated Clerk's Column

Subscribe to this blog feed icon

About this blog

About This Column

Written by Gradye Parsons

Each month the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Moderator or Vice Moderator of the 220th General Assembly write a column of general interest for the church-at-large.

Recent posts

Categories

Archives


See all PC(USA) Blogs

PC(USA) Home

November 1, 2011

November 2011-Monthly column featuring Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons

In the Lord I’ll be ever thankful

In the Lord I'll be ever thankful, 
In the Lord I will rejoice! 
Look to God, do not be afraid; 
Lift up your voices: the Lord is near, 
Lift up your voices: the Lord is near.

This song by Jacques Berthier (Sing the Faith #2195) is one of my favorites of all the Taizé music. It combines the ingredients of gratitude, joy, fear, and the desire for the Lord to be near.

This song by Jacques Berthier (Sing the Faith #2195) is one of my favorites of all the Taizé music. It combines the ingredients of gratitude, joy, fear, and the desire for the Lord to be near.

November is the season when we celebrate the harvest of the year and gather with family and friends to give thanks to God. That joy is diminished by the reality of so many folks out of work, so many neighbors who have lost their homes because of finances or natural disasters, and the many people who have lost all hope.

In the early 1930s, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “[Jesus] is the Lord of fear; it knows him as its Lord and yields to him alone. Therefore, look to him in your fear. Think about him, place him before your eyes and call him. …The fear will yield and fade, and you will become free through faith in the strong and living Savior Jesus Christ” (I Want to Live These Days with You, p. 134).

This was a strong affirmation to make in the midst of Depression-era Germany. I especially like the image of Jesus as Lord of fear – a Lordship based on our resurrection hope in the face of our greatest fear, death, and estrangement from God. Bonhoeffer also acknowledges the enslavement that fear can exert on our lives and faith; yet, in Christ we are freed up to live as God’s children in this world.

It may be tough to pray thankfully at your house this year. So pray the prayer that is honest and allows God in Jesus Christ to hear your fears. And may the peace that passes all understanding enter your heart and the hearts of those you love.

Read the column in Korean. (PDF)

Read the Vice Moderator's column.

Tags: fear, gradye parsons, monthly column, stated clerk, taizé music


  1. Being reminded of the Lord's all encompassing love, which is so near, can lift our hearts as we 'give thanks in ALL things'. We may not feel thankful for the event which causes us emotional and/or physial pain; however, we can be thankful that the Lord, our God, will enable us to get through it and help us to be an overcomer instead of a victim. Happy Thanksgiving as we recall the awesomeness of our Lord! Thanks for sharing!

    by Nancy W. Ruff

    November 16, 2011

Leave a comment