for the wise and the strong.
And He came, just as well, for the rest of us.
Jesus came for the days that life seemed ordered and filled with meaning.
But we rejoice because He came for the other days, too.
Blessed by old men and shepherds
Worshiped by kings and beggars
And the rest in between.
He loves us still.
He did not come to receive just our joy and elation.
He came for the rest of us.
He came for our doubts, our burdens, our sorrows and grief.
He even came for the times when we doubted His presence.
He reached down to us.
When our loneliness seemed unbearable.
His love courted us.
And His mercy enveloped us.
His holiness consumed us.
God’s advent of grace put the pieces of our broken lives together.
Along the path of our lives we’ve heard of blessed souls who could manage their problems, pick themselves up, find the reasons for all of life’s challenges.
But thank God, that He came for the rest of us!
Not just our good.
But also the rest of us.
He came to celebrate our youth but when our youth is spent,
He celebrates with even greater passion, the rest of us.
He came for the people of Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Judea.
But He also came for the rest of us.
So now He compels us to shout to the world, the joy of a coming King.
So that every person can hear the invitation to join…
The rest of us.
He came… for the rest of us.
when it’s all said and done here.
look me up.
I’ll be kicking back, slinging jawbones
who made it in the door by the grace of God
same as noah
(he happened upon it or rather it happened upon him)
i’ll be listening to stories of limping jacob and stumbling bartimaeus
I’ll be all ears– smiling and wondering about weak eyes, pharisees and romance
discussing it with the miracle boy of Jesus’ mud pies
look! there’s Paul (no longer writing with big letters–the lasik surgery is divine)
he’s catching up on his reading
checking out the far flung analysis of lettered theologians
from barclay to barnes to hal lindsay (just for fun)
I will not dare disturb him.
and Jesus is smiling
His kids–the whole crew is back home
all of them
He’s feasting on the vision He’s been waiting to see
i’m the guy way over in the back of the family portrait
next to a man named bart wrinkle (of whom i have not met)
I run to You like streams
that are drawn into the sea,
like a fire to kindled tree,
like a child to dreams.
like time to eternity
my one and only destiny
You are full.
I don’t want to be more me.
I want to be new.
I want to hear Your voice.
Don’t turn me away.
Bless me Father.
I won’t leave until You do.
The image that swirls freely in perilous realms between sleeping and awake
my banner of fullness in grief embodies every impulse.
Fissures on the surface unveil the aspects of consequence
And echoes of confusion and understanding.
That feeling of helplessness when tragedy is unstoppable
Regret stands in the foreground
How could things have been different?
(But these wonderings are barren tables built for food.)
Madness filled the spaces between clarity and fogs of dementia.
Shouting across the lake, I knew I could not be heard, nor was I ever.
O the ugliness of There-is-nothing-we-can-do–
The anger of lost years when things that could be reconciled were not.
Truth elusive and yet garish
These mysteries rise in a silent season and whisper their cold commentary
But still there is more, (though I dare not guess).
I stand by the unmarked graves of both thanksgiving and deep wounds-
These are the moments when you wonder if you failed even as you survived.
And what is left, is an unseen mist.
There is no fixing when peace and truth are shrouded beneath the strong arm of will.
Like the unraveling of precepts when the narrative spins a tale of dissonant perplexity.
May the dawn of all things reconcile the pieces like glass stained in grief
assembled in the aperture of the soul.
God holds the future and redeems all of yesterday.
But today is closer to me.
What an amazing concept today, right now, really is. Today- I hope you aren’t planning a siege on your enemy. I hope you aren’t judging the person in the room. I hope you aren’t swallowed up in regret. I hope you aren’t poisoning your time with trivial, toxic thoughts of your own wealth, vanity or scheming revenge. I hope you are in the moment for this moment fashions eternity.
Today is a gift which is moving forward faster than thoughts or plans
Today is where i am right here and right now.
Today is an opportunity to change the little things
Today is closer. tomorrow is a promise and yesterday is an eternity from anything I could attain.
Today is most noble!
Before the first man had first breath
Before the mystery of death
Angels worshiped the Holy one
The majesty of God’s own Son
From infinite past he was and is and is to come
Holy above all living things
Before the glory of every king
Continue reading “Holy From Beginning to End”
I’m always amazed how the church as a whole
is so quick to throw rocks at the sheep in the fold.
We question each other’s theology,
spar over worship philosophy.
We’ve got more fusses than one tongue can tell
while outside the world is going to hell.
We are driven by creeds, and motions, and clocks,
haven’t we learned not to put God in a box?
Would Jesus approve of our political labels
or would He come in and start busting up tables?
Does He tire of us telling Him what He should do,
what gender must teach, what strategy’s true?
Is the Bible the life source or inflexible judge?
Is the church a haven for sinners or a group with a grudge?
Do we think we can settle for boycotts and strife
instead of seeking the lost and giving dead people life?
What were we thinking when in front of the press?
we majored on minors choosing to curse and not bless.
I have to tell you from my point of view
I keep wondering what in the world Jesus would do.
Would He have us disputing which method is best,
or making transformation be our holy quest?
After all that’s what this journey’s about,
not who has more sheep or who has more clout.
I despise the reports of our ugly catfights.
I’m appalled by the task of reading sinners their rights.
When you preach condemnation, consider this fact,
they don’t know Jesus. How’d you expect them to act?
And please understand, I’m not where I should be.
When i’m pointing at you, I’m pointing at me.
There are times when i haven’t lived up to His Name,
when i’ve only the man in the mirror to blame.
But now is the time to reject the mask,
to heed the call, and get back to the task,
to burn the political, decaying façade
for an all out pursuit of our passionate God.
Let’s spend our time living meaningful lives
giving mercy to sinners not dangerous lies.
Let’s bear the cross and drop the rocks,
proclaim the good news and let God out of the box.
This Fire of Love
unquenched by Eden’s wreck
and flowing seemingly in perpetuity
toward all that soon will be
in all its violent beauty
He shall hold all hell’s poison and heaven’s glory.
Small beginning, love’s grandest story
from the heartbeat in a virgin’s womb
til one Sunday rising from the tomb
This is the salvation from garrulous platitudes and languorous days
Advent… in slightest breath, in manger lay.
Ten-thousand kingdoms would bow through ages.
The cause of grace and recompense
From distant past to future tense:
My grandfather lived
in a rustic house near a sloping cool branch with slipery stones
and verdant woods
I walked slowly toward the treeline where
and there in the shade of autumn’s bough
i see darkness rising
close of day.
angel visited then and will and again because
it is unchanged, like the virgin nest of the wip-poor-will
tender unforgiving visitor on the side of the hill
where i last heard his voice.
Everybody ends up
in the belly of the beast.
There are few exceptions
from the greatest to the least.
You stumble into quicksand.
You’re weary of the world.
Lies wreck your reputation.
Insults, viciously, are hurled.
Addiction lies in dormancy
then rears it’s ugly head.
Depression sinks in slowly,
Like the whispers of the dead.
A chronic, stubborn stronghold
infiltrates your weakened mind
Confidants betray you.
Sometimes, friends are hard to find.
Childless in your 40’s.
“Will I ever be a mother?”
Inside an unfamiliar place
Near no sister or no brother.
You’re in the doctor’s office
And hear devastating news.
You lose your hair to chemo.
Indeed, no one gets to choose.
Your marriage ends abruptly.
He left you with no choice.
And for others, it’s the silence.
Separated from His Voice.
Adversity just happens
and no one gets a pass.
But this- your devastation,
is God’s Holy Master Class
Yes, this strong Professor
is bolder than the rest,
His challenges are brutal
and He’s silent in the test.
He’s far above all reason
––mysterious is He.
His text book is His Word.
His school–– adversity.
But in each fearful crisis,
we’re cradled by the light
There’s joy within the suffering,
There’s peace amidst the fight
Within our devastation
––the bleak, forbidding war
God shakes us in our deadness,
with His fearsome roar
What we assumed would end us,
And our melancholy tales
speaks only of His grandeur,
His timing never fails.
And in our silent terror,
He’s not worried in the least
Despite how darkness lingers
in the belly of the beast.