The simple way, the simple truth, the simple life

I am the way.
My way is simple,
Not complicated.
Many walk the road
Of rules and regulations,
Rites and responsibilities,
But all you need to walk
My way is love.
If you love me with
All of your heart,
All of your mind,
All of your strength;
If you love all those
You meet along the way
With that same love,
You will always know
The way, and that
I am the way.

I am the truth.
My truth is simple,
Not complicated.
Many seek truth
In reason and reflection,
Reading and research,
But all you need to know
My truth is love.
If you love me with
All of your heart,
All of your mind,
All of your strength;
If you love all those
Who seek after truth
With that same love,
You will always know
The truth, and that
I am the truth.

I am the life.
My life is simple,
Not complicated.
Many live a life
Built on sand and uncertainty,
Unsure of who they are, or should be,
But all you need to live
My life is love.
If you love me with
All of your heart,
All of your mind,
All of your strength;
If you love all those
To whom God gave life
With that same love,
You will always know
The life, and that
I am the life.

One last time

Your heart was full
Of deep, flowing love as
You gathered your friends;
The upper room warm with light and
A lamb readied for hopeful remembrance.
How you had longed to share
This meal with them
One last time.

How much did you love them?
More than words could contain,
So you stripped yourself
Of everything – fully laid bare –
To become the lowest
Servant of all, washing their feet
And teaching them a new way;
One last time.

As you tore the bread, your heart
Was being torn, not under the weight
Of love, but rent by one who had
Sold his priceless piece of your heart
For the allure of thirty pieces of silver.
Yet you dipped your bread in the same
Bowl and offered it to your friend
One last time.

In the garden, you asked your friends
To watch and pray, yet belly full and
Heavy with wine, the balmy night
Wrapped around them like a blanket,
Lulling them to sleep. In your anguish –
The intensity forcing out beads of blood –
You knew they could not stay with you
One last time.

They tore your beard; they spat on you;
They tried you and lied about you;
They mocked you and flogged you;
And then they crucified you.
As you drew your last breath,
Entrusting your spirit to the Father,
You allowed death to have its say
One last time.

Reflection for Good Friday, 2nd April 2021

Do not cling

Do not cling to the structures
Of your life, built up through
Experiences, now past, for they
Will not withstand being shaken.

Do not cling to your patterns
And habits that coddle you like
A blanket, yet lull you into sleep,
For you will not easily awaken.

Do not cling to tomorrow, or what
It might bring, for there is only the
Present and the One who is always
Present, for this is life lived in fulness.

Do not cling to those around you
Who take the place of God as
Your stabilising anchor, for you will
Not sail free when the Wind comes.

Do not cling to (your image of) God
Or who you think Him to be, for He
Reveals Himself as he would be known;
Glorious; Limitless; making all things new.

Do not cling to the earth below, when
You are seated, now, in heaven with Christ;
Ascend, therefore, and behold Him glorified,
And know who you are as you worship I AM.

Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
John 20:17

Power

Power, true power,
Knows the love of One
Who truly frees, to
Live, die, and live again.
Power, true power,
Does not hold on to
Things that are decaying,
Or hopes that are fading,
Or a life that is dying. No.
Power, true power,
Embraces death
In a defiant grip;
Not letting go until
Death itself has been
Subdued and overcome by
Power, true power.
And then a life beyond
And a life which was, before,
Flows in (to the place
Where death once stood),
And is gathered up and
Lifted high – a trophy prize –
To One whose love freed to
Live, die and live again, in
Power, true power.

“The Father has an intense love for me because I freely give my own life—to raise it up again. I surrender my own life, and no one has the power to take my life from me. I have the authority to lay it down and the power to take it back again. This is the destiny my Father has set before me.”

John 10:17–18 (TPT)

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.