Sunday, January 3, 2021

"The Table that the Lord Prepares..."

"The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want...
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies." (Psalm 23:1, 5)

"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." (John 10:11)

"And [Jesus] took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, 'This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.' And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, 'This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!'" (Luke 22:19-22)

"So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them." (John 19:16b-18)

"...and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies..." (Genesis 22:17b)

"I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades." (Revelation 1:18b)

"For you have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling;
I will walk before the LORD
in the land of the living." (Psalm 116:8-9)

"Now this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent." (John 17:3)

The table that the Lord prepares for his people is set with the feast of his own flesh and blood, in the face of sin, death, and hell, the enemies whose gates he, as the Son of Man, has now taken as a man for the sake of mankind, so that his people might feed without fear and thus be delivered from the power of those enemies and walk before him "in the land of the living," which is his own eternal life -- which is the knowledge and experience of Himself.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

O Great Conqueror

O great Conqueror of sin and death, O Ravager of hell,
What You've done on cosmic scale do likewise to my will:
War against the passions of my flesh and mind until,
Conquering, Your victory extends through me, as well.

Liberator of the captives, Who gave sight unto the blind,
Free me from the lust of flesh and eyes, from boastful pride
Turn my gaze from worthless things to Your pierced hands and side;
Captivate the vision of my heart, my soul, my mind.

O Eternal Word, upholding all creation by Your pow'r,
Righteous Law who rightly orders galaxies above,
Likewise order my life in accordance with Your love
Speak Yourself in me, uphold my soul in faith each hour.

Imprint of the Father's nature, all His glory's Radiance
What You are in essence come and make of me by grace
Dwell in me, make all my body, heart, and mind the place
Where Your name and glory shine in their full brilliance.

Logic of the cosmos, Ground and Goal of each created thing,
Reason for whom all exist, come ground my life in you
Be the wisdom ruling all I want and think and do.
Lord of all, be Lord of me: my End, my God, my King.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Good Friday (a poem)

Matthew 27:1-54
Jeremiah 2:13, 17:13
Isaiah 43:11, 20-25; 53:6
Hebrews 2:14-17; 13:12
Psalm 24:7-10
1 Peter 4:6
Romans 14:9

"Good Friday"

To th'place of broken cisterns he descends
and there to match them his own vessel rends
or lets be rent -- the Fountain, thus to give
from his own side the draught we need to live.
--Water in the wilds, and desert streams!
The ostriches and jackals he redeems
shall honor him, although the sheep have strayed,
and on him their iniquity is laid.
Alone he blots transgressions out, the Lord,
the only Savior, everlasting Word
of Life, now written in the earth with those
who turned away, forsook his name, for whose
lives he now gives his own. But now Death is
no more the last word written here in this
or any lower place-- "Lift up your heads,
O gates! O ancient doors, be opened wide!"
For Life himself has come down for the dead,
the King of glory for those who reside
in darkness and death's shadow, who were lost
to dissolution, separation. Death,
the Mighty Lord will be Lord of this host
as well; your reign has ended with his breath.


Sunday, April 5, 2020

Palm Sunday (a Poem)

Matthew 21:1-11, Zechariah 9:9, Colossians 1:15-20, Psalm 62, Psalm 68:32-33, Isaiah 11, Luke 1:51-52, John 1:16, Ephesians 3:19

The King arrives, but on a colt
Has he no image to uphold?
He rides in on a donkey's foal
Is exaltation not his goal?

Yet thus are prophecies fulfilled
In him who spoke and waters stilled
And that same breath here bears more weight
Than all the lowly and the great

In th'balances they rise as one
Like feathers, weighed against the Son
Of God and Man, in whom the high
And low both find their archetype

Hosannas from the common rise
To him whose way was in the skies
But now is on a simple beast
Identifying with the least

As with Balaam an ass has been
Exalted over lords of men
For this one bore such weight alone
Of glory as will crush each throne

Of worldy kings, and make them mules
Their robes the frippery of fools
Against Eternity enfleshed
Accepting praise thus poorly dressed.

See how the mighty are brought down!
How all the humble, from the ground,
Are raised up by the Lord who rides
In meekness, though in him resides

All majesty, dominion, pow'r,
Authority, while in this hour
Abasement is his exaltation
Th'ensign raised for ev'ry nation

Glorious shall be his rest
Who makes his glory manifest
In lowliness, on donkey's back
His fullness giving for our lack.





Sunday, January 12, 2020

Ghosts Upon the Waves

When the sky reflects the sea
And the waves in torment be
We'll lift our eyes to test our faith
And walk like ghosts upon the waves

And though the sea and sky collide
Let our gaze waver not from Thine
That in the storm and ocean's dance
Our hearts may learn to be steadfast

Like rocks amidst the tossing sea
Impervious, teach us to be
Not blown about by wind or change
Not fearing thunder, wave, or rain

Like angels, walk; like mountains, stand
Our faith in Thine unfailing hand.

Reason for Created Sight

Thank You, Lord, for sunsets: rose-impressioned skies
Thank You for Your grace: Your loving presence in our lives
One day we shall see Your face, with wholly unveiled eyes
That uncreated Beauty, reason for created sight.

Anxiety

Lord, since all eternity
And time are in Your hand
Let my only worry be
To do as You command.

And since Your holy Word contains
All I could need or pray
Only this concern remains:
To listen, and obey.