A Sabbath Season

We had so much leisure,
But never enough rest.

We had so much wealth,
But valued all the wrong things.

We were prosperous in many ways,
But in many more we were unfruitful.

We had the best healthcare in history,
But we still made ourselves sick.

We had the best survival rates for infants,
But we prevented many from being born.

We built our cities greater than cathedrals,
But we let our society go to ruin.

We could predict the weather like never before,
But we still built our houses on the sand.

We developed crops that could withstand devastation,
But we overworked and poisoned the soil.

We produced enough food to feed the world twice over,
But many still went hungry.

We had the world as our oyster,
But we missed the pearl of great price.

We forgot the Sabbath, and did not keep it holy,
But God did not forget, and now is his season of rest.

Come to me

Come to me in your busyness.
Come to me in your weariness.
Come to me in your heaviness.
Come to me in your loneliness.
Come to me in your emptiness.
Come to me in your sadness.
Come to me in your sorrowfulness.
Come to me in your illness.
Come to me in your sickness.
Come to me in your uselessness.
Come to me in your hopelessness.
Come to me in your desperateness.
Come to me in your darkness.

Come to me in your usefulness.
Come to me in your happiness.
Come to me in your joyfulness.
Come to me in your hopefulness.
Come to me in your lightness.
Come to me in your quietness.
Come to me in your stillness.

Jesus says,
“Come to me in your all-ness.
And I will give you my sabbath rest.”

(For a time of isolation and sudden change)

Who wears the crown?

When the virus stalks in our midst,
And spreads its woe unseen,
Who wears the crown?

When fear crowds in,
And all must isolate,
Who wears the crown?

When jobs and money are no longer secure,
And provision is scarce,
Who wears the crown?

When those nearest to us are vulnerable,
And safety means distancing ourselves,
Who wears the crown?

When our leaders admit their limits,
And their strategies rely on hope,
Who wears the crown?

When we can only see an unfamiliar future,
And we are shaken into sudden change,
Who wears the crown?

He is near to the lonely and broken-hearted,
And with all His heart consoles the afflicted,
For Jesus wears the crown.

He is our provision and provider,
And by His Word we live, breath and have our being,
For Jesus wears the crown.

He is not caught off guard,
And all things work together for our good,
For Jesus wears the crown.

He knit us together in our mother’s womb,
And every day of our lives are known to Him,
For Jesus wears the crown.

He may not be seen in the ways we expect,
And yet his presence is found in those He loves,
For Jesus wears the crown.

His love drives out all fear,
And death is swallowed up in His death,
For Jesus wears the crown.

A response to corona – the ‘crown’ – virus.

Wings extended

Her unassuming way
Was no indicator of the
Strength within; a heart
As tender as a dove and
Strong as steel.
It didn’t matter how unclean
You were, how insecure,
How needy or how far you’d
Fallen,
With a simple, unconscious gesture,
She would extend her wings,
Exposing the softest down,
And shelter you in warm comfort
Beneath her protective pinions.
Her open heart was
Her mother’s touch, and
No matter whose child you
Were, she could, and would
Be your mother too.

For Sheila

The boat’s righting

As the hull leaned,
Under windward strain –
Perilously exposing its deck,
Like an open mouth
Ready to gulp the ocean –
She climbed the mainmast
(Although how, she did not know),
And once atop leaned out
Leeward, facing the storm
With all its blustering rage.
As she hung there, cruciform,
The hull righted and all souls
Aboard were rescued from the
Swallowing sea.
As she maintained her position,
Painfully exposed, she heard
On the wind a silent whisper,
“Hold fast to righteousness
And do not be afraid,
For this storm turns the tide,
And clears away the dead wood
And all that is not held fast;
This lifeboat will not succumb,
For you are its righting, and in
The morning’s calm you will
Lead my people ashore to
Rebuild a new land, patterned
On my kingdom.”

Thou genesis word

Be formed in me,
Thou genesis word,
Thou Logos which wert
And art, forevermore;
Thou Word spoken
In the beginning,
And now being heard
For such a time as this.
Form me around thee
Living Word made flesh;
Once, then, as Immanuel
And again, now, in thy
Body Temple.
Expand my spirit
Through thine own;
A new wineskin transformed
From the old, lain down.
Then pour thyself forth
Into me that I might overflow
With thee, and with creation
All, proclaim thy glories —
Thy cross and resurrection —
As an emissary shaped, living,
By thy genesis word.

Blessed

Blessed are those whose kingdom is heaven,
For they are poor in spirit.

Blessed are those who have been comforted,
For they have mourned.

Blessed are those who have inherited the earth,
For they are meek.

Blessed are those who are satisfied,
For they have been hungry and thirsty for righteousness.

Blessed are those who have received mercy,
For they are merciful.

Blessed are those who have seen God,
For they are pure in heart.

Blessed are those who are called sons of God,
For they are peacemakers.

Blessed are those whose kingdom is heaven,
For they are persecuted for righteousness’ sake.

Rejoice and be glad, all those whose reward in heaven is great,
For you have been persecuted and evilly and falsely spoken against,
For so it is with all prophets.

 

Full

My life is full.
I have witnessed the birth of my child,
And held the hand of my dying mother.
I have had good health and vitality,
And suffered from injury and disease.
I have known comfort and success,
And endured sleepless nights of worry.
I have achieved outstanding results,
And failed at often simple tests.
I have loved and been loved,
And been betrayed and hurt others.
I have given and received wisdom,
And practised and dispensed folly.
I have been overwhelmed by joy,
And flooded with despair.
My life is full,
And there is more to come,
And although I don’t know what
Today or tomorrow may bring,
The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy,
But I choose to live life in all its fullness.

Grace

As the Godhead gathered in Heaven, the Father turned to the Son and said, “I love you with the very essence of my being. You are for me the very expression of love itself, and your essence is true love. I delight in you with all of my being and the reality of your being increases and enhances my love, for in you it finds its perfect expression.”

On hearing this, the Son turned to the Father and said, “Truly, truly You are for me a Father. Your heart is overflowing love, for surely I am an expression of that overflow. Your love for me is life for me. To receive your love is to know life, and to love you back is life overflowing.”

The Father, moved by His Son’s words, had an idea. “My greatest and deepest desire is to love you even more, yet within this relationship alone you are limited to only being able to receive my love and the Spirit’s love. Although there is no greater or more complete love possible, yet I desire to love you more. Therefore, I will create for you a universe made of the very essence of our being; not made of us, but from us, as a reflection of us, so that in and through it you can discover even greater dimensions and depths of my love for you.”

The Son was pleased, yet at that moment experienced for the first time something unexpected; he experienced sadness. As the very idea of his Father creating a universe to express his love for him entered his mind, the Son realised that anything made that was not in itself part of their shared being would be inferior to them and would, necessarily, be prone to imperfection and loss. Furthermore, the Son realised that for such a universe to exist it would require creatures with the ability to experience and express love, and for that to be possible, it would also be possible for these creatures to reject love and to turn to hatred.

The Son replied, “Father, if you create for us a universe beyond ourselves, with creatures that can express our love, then surely they might also reject our love. Why would you risk allowing the rejection of our perfect mutual love?”

The Father, smiling, replied, “I will not make this universe from our love alone; I will also make it with grace. Even if the entirety of it, and every creature in it, were to reject our love, grace would still provide a way for love to win through. Grace will continually offer our love, over and over, until one being in this universe finally receives and expresses true, pure, perfect love back to us. Even if no being is able ever to receive and return our love perfectly, grace will still give meaning to my creation.”

”Then let me share in this great creation,” said the Son. ”Let your grace and love flow through me that the universe might indeed be made for me. If there is no being capable of receiving and returning our love, let me be that being, that the universe will always have someone to complete your work. Let your grace provide a way for your perfect love – our complete love – to overcome the very worst imperfections and rejection of our love. If it would fulfil your desire, let me give even my life so that grace might always produce the highest expression of love even at its point of greatest rejection.”

The Father and the Son agreed and sent forth their Spirit to create for them this universe which would fulfil their desire for increased love.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.