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I am shut up into this one thing, to look unto Jesus and be healed; to look and be saved; to see my sins, and to see them forgiven; to know that the longing I feel to be like my God is no vain longing, but a thing within my reach; because though I cannot, yet Christ in me can glorify the Father.

John McLeod Campbell

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Poem

His holy body wholly mixed
     with these our bodies, and His pure
               blood poured generously out
to fill our veins, His voice
     now pulses in our ears,
               and look! His lighted vision
pools within our eyes.  All of Him
     is mixed with all of us—
               compassionate communion. And as
He loves His church His body
     utterly, so He gives
               it more than bread, more
even than bread from heaven
      but His own, His
               living bread for her to eat.
Wheat, the olive, and the grape—
     these three—serve Your mystic union
               in threefold manner.
Your bread became our strength,
     Your wine our consolation.
               Our faces were renewed,
illumined by the grace and
     blessing of Your holy oil. For all
               of this and more, Your body—
saved by Your abasement—
     now unites in true thanksgiving.
               And Death—the insatiable lion
who consumed us all—by You alone
     its appetite was sated—by You alone
               its hold has burst, and we
rise strengthened, comforted, luminous.

“The Living Bread” from Scott Cairns’
Endless Life: Poems of the Mystics

the living bread

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Hymn

Jesus, lover of my soul, let me to Thy bosom fly,
While the nearer waters roll, while the tempest still is high.
Hide me, O my Savior, hide, till the storm of life is past;
Safe into the haven guide; O receive my soul at last.

Other refuge have I none, hangs my helpless soul on Thee;
Leave, ah! leave me not alone, still support and comfort me.
All my trust on Thee is stayed, all my help from Thee I bring;
Cover my defenseless head with the shadow of Thy wing.

Wilt Thou not regard my call? Wilt Thou not accept my prayer?
Lo! I sink, I faint, I fall—Lo! on Thee I cast my care;
Reach me out Thy gracious hand! While I of Thy strength receive,
Hoping against hope I stand, dying, and behold, I live.

Thou, O Christ, art all I want, more than all in Thee I find;
Raise the fallen, cheer the faint, heal the sick, and lead the blind.
Just and holy is Thy Name, I am all unrighteousness;
False and full of sin I am; Thou art full of truth and grace.

Plenteous grace with Thee is found, grace to cover all my sin;
Let the healing streams abound; make and keep me pure within.
Thou of life the fountain art, freely let me take of Thee;
Spring Thou up within my heart; rise to all eternity.

Charles Wesley, Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1740

Jesus, Lover of My Soul

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Prayer

O God, who before the passion of your only-begotten Son revealed his glory upon the holy mountain: Grant to us that we, beholding by faith the light of his countenance, may be strengthened to bear our cross, and be changed into his likeness from glory to glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Collect for the Last Sunday after the Epiphany from the Book of Common Prayer

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Central to Paul’s understanding of the cross is the belief that it is the free gift of God to a wicked and corrupt world. This point was and is offensive to those who want to make their own unaided way through life, or who suppose that nothing much is wrong with the world or the human race, or indeed themselves. Free grace is obviously correlated with a radical view of human wickedness and the threat posed by death. For those who want to remain independent, being ruled by grace appears almost as much of a threat as being ruled by sin and death. But this is, of course, absurd. Grace is undeserved love in powerful action; and love seeks the well-being, the flourishing, of the beloved, not their extinction or diminution. To look love in the face and see only a threat is the self-imposed nemesis of the hermeneutic of suspicion.

N.T. Wright on Romans 5 in the New Interpreter’s Bible Commentary

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Christ suffers impassibly in that his suffering is the consequence neither of any weakness nor of any external necessity, but solely within the parameters of the strength of his divine power and out of the compassion of his divine mercy.

J. Warren Smith in SUFFERING IMPASSIBLY: Christ’s Passion in Cyril of Alexandria’s Soteriology. PRO ECCLESIA VOL. XI, No. 4

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