How they linger.
How they ever flood my soul.
In the stillness
Of the midnight
Sacred secrets He'll unfold.
(Excerpt from live recording of "Precious Memories"
by Aretha Franklin and Rev. James Cleveland)
Like many of us, I've been captivated these past few days by the biopic series, "Genius: Aretha". Hearing those songs have taken me back to childhood. It's funny because as a child, I was not a huge fan of Aretha's secular music... only her gospel renditions moved me.
My all-time favorite was, "Precious Memories" live with James Cleveland.
One time in my pre-teens, I decided I was going to prove everyone wrong and confirm that Aretha and James were singing "sacred secrets", and not "sacred scenes" like the lyrics of the song dictated.
Such was the life of the child of a choir director.
I played that song for what seemed like hours only to realize later that everybody in my circle knew it and didn't care. For Aretha and James, and for us, it would always be "sacred secrets" because that's what we needed.
We didn't need a scene to spectate, we needed a secret to hold on to. We needed "God with us". A glimpse of His glory that could warm us to the bone in a cold world.
In sad hour
When you get a little lonely
The truth, the real truth of Jesus’ love is told
Sacred secrets He'll unfold.
Mary, Jesus' mother, stood at that cross facing her greatest fear. She knew His suffering was necessary in order for salvation to come, but this was her baby.
This is the one who kicked in her belly,
who woke her up at night when he cried,
who nursed at her breast and gave her tiny kisses.
Her baby was on that cross.
But she had also witnessed shepherds celebrating and spreading the word about her son...
But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. ~Luke 2:19
She marveled at the the 12-year old who scared her half to death while He went about "His Father's business"...
“Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he was saying to them. ~Luke 2:49-50
She may not have known what God was doing with Jesus,
but she knew it was God doing it.
Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. ~Luke 2:51-52
Now, twenty-one years later, she stands before her baby boy on a cross with only sacred secrets to comfort her.
In her sad hour.
But the truth, the real truth of Jesus' love is being told.
His purpose, His passion, His sacrifice is a secret no more.
And as our Savior hangs on a tree, he recalls some sacred secrets of His own in the eyes of His mother.
He would not leave her lonely.
Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. ~John 19:25-27
When you do life with Christ, you're never alone. There is One always ready, always willing to unfold sacred secrets for you to ponder in your heart.
You may not always understand how God's love works, but you will always know it when it unfolds.
It's the one sacred secret we can all share. Aretha knew it...
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
Jesus whispers, "I'll be with you".
Yes, He does.
I pray that today, you keep this song - this sacred secret - and ponder it in your heart. Lord, let your children see Christ's love unfold.
And here's a little something to help you get there...
FRIDAY NIGHTS @ 7PM CST
ON FACEBOOK LIVE
AS WE EXPLORE
THIS WEEK'S BLOG TOPIC
See you then!
In the meantime, take care.
Look like LOVE.
WRITER | MENTOR | TEACHER
LOVER OF CHOCOLATE |
PURPOSED TO EMPOWER |
30+ YEARS IN MINISTRY LEADERSHIP |
PREACHER OF THE GOSPEL
Phillipa also the Founder of ilooklikeLOVE, Inc., a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization providing diaper assistance to families in need and opportunities for mothers to empower themselves.
Look for her upcoming book,
GOD n You: Finding Your Place in Forever.