Friday, April 15, 2022

Holy Week Poems . . . Monday - Good Friday

Tests and Traps (for Monday of Holy Week)

The day’s wakening brings a stale surge of testing,
careful traps systematically set to spring and sever,
but feet that scale the wild waves worriless
know no fear of capture
and tread lightly anyway on these earth’s thoroughfares
So onward to the throne, splintered and stained,
to the hanging and the humbling
for me
meanwhile flippant and tardy invitees are cast out
manipulators learn of their just end
and a barren tree tells the future
for both the fruitless
and the faithful
The plan is in motion and will not be amended
Today, the serpent-crusher steps with valiant purpose toward week’s end

Holy Tuesday – A One-Sided, Sacred Rap Battle
Come, it’s time to stir the pot
He’s got rhyme they can’t dispute
Root up pride, ye hypocrites,
Sit and burn ‘neath rare repute
All you fam think you’re so righteous
Slamming doors on seeking souls
God abhors such cold, blind guides
With dead insides, hell’s loopholes
Filthy phonies! Sons of snakes!
Own your guilt and count the sum
Of sin, plumb through holy shade
The God who made you, Christ, has come

How to Savor Silence (Holy Wednesday)
Before the genesis of the eucharist
Before the humble handling of those filthy feet
Before the olive grove
and the blood splatter
and the guilt-laced kiss
there lay
a day
of quiet
betwixt parade and passion
But how could He savor that silence
when he knew what awaited
the cosmic chaos, the torture and tearing slated
for the other end of the reprieve?
Oh, He knew the quiet would soon turn to clamor
Yet rest thrives best inside a deep pocket of sovereignty
The tunnel’s dark end
can cast no shadow when
each moment is bathed in the light of holy confidence,
confidence in the good Maker Almighty
in His goodness and purpose and
His steadfast love that King David sang so loudly of
and for you, dear one, confidence in knowing that on that Wednesday
yes, the God-man knew
and He still chose you

Glimpses of the Good Shepherd Within the Shepherd’s Psalm (Maundy Thursday)

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want
*And when the hour had come*
He makes me lie down in green pastures
*He reclined at table*
He leads me beside still waters
*He poured water into a basin and began to wash their feet*
He restores my soul
*“I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer”*
He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake
*“Father, I have glorified You on earth”*
Even though I walk through the valley of deepest darkness
*“My soul is very sorrowful, even unto death”*
I will fear no evil, for you are with me
*“Father . . .”*
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me
*“Your will be done”*
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies
*Judas answered, “Is it I, Rabbi?”*
You anoint my head with oil
*“. . . she has done a beautiful thing to me”*
My cup overflows
*“drink . . . this is my blood poured out for the forgiveness of sins”*
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life
*“take heart, I have overcome the world”*
And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever
*“. . . in my Father’s kingdom”*

And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives

Darkness Dawns and the Price is Paid (Good Friday)
Darkness dawns and the price is paid
This rate of wrath for all I’ve done
A cruel cross for the holy Son
Through lace of lies each charge was laid
Now darkness dawns and the price is paid
Mid-day mourning masks the sun
The seemingly “forsaken” One
Cries out beneath the burden weighed
Darkness dawns and the price is paid
Oh, wilting Savior, heaven-shunned
It feels like death has almost won
Hope is slipping and I’m afraid
As darkness dawns and the price is paid
My God, I’ll wait ‘til glory’s spun
And I’ll take no ease ‘til Your return
The Light of Life has been betrayed
Darkness dawns and the price is paid

Thursday, January 20, 2022

On 1 Corinthians 10:12 & 13


We usually start the thought in verse 13:

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

It’s a word of encouragement. A “you’re not alone” in the trials and things with which you struggle. And then more encouragement in that “God is faithful” to help you hold up underneath the crushing trial and temptation.

That’s good stuff, for sure. And necessary.

But if we step back and start the thought in verse 12, another vital layer is added to this passage:

Therefore, let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.

Read that part first because preceding the encouragement is a dire warning. “Take heed lest (you) fall.” It’s not just that all temptations are common to all people, but that ANY temptation is a real possibility for ANY person. Do you see the shift in mindset? Verse 12 reminds you that you are not above or immune to certain pulls or trials or wandering longings no matter how strong you may think yourself to be. You can never underestimate the depths of depravity lurking in your own heart. So be on guard. “Watch and pray” as Jesus taught his disciples in the garden “that you will not fall into temptation.”

Be warned, but also be encouraged. Because the eternal takeaway is that “GOD is faithful,” and, even in the baseness of our fallen world and in the sickness of our own human hearts, He has made and is making a way for you.