Ulrich Schaffer

Schaffer's "Only You"

Today's Worship Quote of the Week is another prayer/poem by Ulrich Schaffer. Perhaps we could call this a modern-day psalm. Have you written a psalm lately?

ONLY YOU
My wish is
to come only to You,
to put aside and reject everything else
to stand before You
and to wait.

Not to waste my time anymore
with words and actions
that don't count before You
and make me dishonest.

To order my life in a new way,
to consider what forms me,
and how others are formed through me
and then to reject or emphasize more.

Let it become visible in my life
that you are the pearl
for which I will give up everything.

That in You is my treasure
And my heart.

- Ulrich Schaffer, Greater Than Our Hearts: Prayers and Reflections (New York City: Harper and Row, 1981).


CHIP'S THOUGHTS

Do you hear the words of the scriptures in this poem? Of course, the "pearl" and the "treasure" come from Matthew 13:45-46 and Matthew 6:21, but which lines are echoes of these other passages: Psalm 25:5, Psalm 27:14, Psalm 100:3, Matthew 5:16, Luke 14:26, John 12:25, 2 Corinthians 5:17, and Philippians 3:7-8? The list could go on and on.

Far too often, for me, Jesus is only one of my treasures. He's a pearl of great price among many other wonderful possessions that compete for my attention, affection and worship. This poem/prayer/psalm gives me a bold challenge to "reject or emphasize more."

Have a great week!


To learn more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.

Schaeffer on How Life Speaks Louder

Greater than our hearts
By Ulrich Schaffer

Today's WORSHIP QUOTE is a short psalm, a prayer-poem about the need for honesty and authenticity in our relationship with God and others.  

LIFE SPEAKS LOUDER

Lord, be merciful,
shut me up
when my life
speaks so much louder
than my words.

When we blunder through life,
golden-throated and silver-spooned, 
bungling it all,
be merciful, Lord,
shut us up.

Let us feel our own lies.

Ulrich Schaffer, from GREATER THAN OUR HEARTS: PRAYERS AND REFLECTIONS, Harper & Row, 1981


CHIP'S THOUGHTS

Confession is telling God the truth about our sin. What an odd blessing when
our loving God uses the pain of our "blundering" and "bungling" to bring us
to our knees and draw us back into a proper relationship with him! I find it
interesting that the poet acknowledges both personal and corporate
"bungling." See Psalm 51 and Isaiah 1:10-18.

Have a great week.

(Originally posted 5/23/2000)


To find out more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below. 

Schaffer on Treasuring Christ

Greater than our hearts
By Ulrich Schaffer

Today's WORSHIP QUOTE OF THE WEEK is another prayer/poem by Ulrich Schaffer. Perhaps we could call this a modern-day psalm. Have you written a psalm lately?

ONLY YOU

My wish is
to come only to You,
to put aside and reject everything else
to stand before You
and to wait.

Not to waste my time anymore
with words and actions
that don't count before You
and make me dishonest.

To order my life in a new way,
to consider what forms me,
and how others are formed through me
and then to reject or emphasize more.

Let it become visible in my life
that you are the pearl
for which I will give up everything.

That in You is my treasure
And my heart.

- Ulrich Schaffer, in GREATER THAN OUR HEARTS: PRAYERS AND REFLECTIONS, Harper and Row, 1981.


CHIP'S THOUGHTS

Do you hear the words of the scriptures in this poem? Of course, the "pearl" and the "treasure" come from Matthew 13:45-46 and Matthew 6:21; but which lines are echoes of these other passages: Psalm 25:5, Psalm 27:14, Psalm 100:3, Matthew 5:16, Luke 14:26, John 12:25, 2 Corinthians 5:17, and Philippians 3:7-8? The list could go on and on.

Far too often, for me, Jesus is only one of my treasures. He's a pearl of great price among many other wonderful possessions that compete for my attention, affection and worship. This poem/prayer/psalm gives me a bold challenge to "reject or emphasize more."


To find out more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.