Rock of Ages

“Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee.”

On occasion I find that podcasts from The Liturgists add helpful elements to my conversation with God. This morning one of their podcasts encouraged meditation upon a name of God. The name that came to mind was “Rock of Ages.” I thought of this line from the 18th-century hymn, which suggests both the enduring nature of God as well as God’s merciful character. The songwriter images the wounds in the pierced Christ’s side as a place of refuge and healing.

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A few minutes later I walked downstairs to make “eggs in a basket.” My fellow intern Jeans had cut heart shapes out of whole-grain bread for a party she hosted on Saturday to watch the movie “V for Vendetta,” in which “eggs in a basket” make multiple cameos. She hosts a party every year on the evening of November 4 to watch the movie, which centers around activities of November 5. As I prepared the food, I found in it a new image of Rock of Ages: a love-shaped space, cut into a hearty, wholesome substance, made to celebrate a story that seeks to transcend politics across the ages.

What I have found in Jesus Christ–and in the community of his followers–is a place of refuge and healing. This weekend, that looked like watching a complex movie with my friends who are working with me towards the celebration of God’s goodness among all peoples. We watched this film together because it is our friend Jeans’ favorite, and we love her. I would have never chosen to spend time with this movie on my own, but I am better off for it. This is one way God shows mercy: by giving to us friends who will create a community, sharing with us that which we may not have sought for ourselves.

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