Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Reflections Luke 5: 33-35

You are my plenty;
I rejoice
In the feast you are to me.
I savour
In a hundred ways
Your presents and your presence:
Treasures of your embrace.
From your fullness we have all received,
Grace upon grace upon grace.

There is another place,
Another time,
Found on the pilgrim path,
When sadness weighs like heavy stones within us,
When the dry wind sucks
The living water from our lips,
When empty hands
Are our truest oblation,
When the word once spoken
Is hurled into the storm,
And we strain our ears to hear.

There is no feasting then.

Let me walk through the seasons
Of want and plenty
In the quiet certitude

That you have walked there first.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Reflections Luke 5: 29-32

Flimsy as plastic,
We are blown by the wind,
Swirling through filth,
Unable to control our path
The stain of our falling is indelible;
We will always be outside.

How the “holy” ones despise us!

We are the never-good-enough,
The ones your eyes pass over,
The ones you were warned about,
The bearers
Of moral and social contagion.

How the “holy” ones despise us!

We wear our sin on our sleeves,
Some people can see it for miles!
It had never occurred to us
That their purity was fragile.

How the “holy” ones despise us!

They have labels for us,
They would arrange us in careful jars:
To deny we are human as they.

How the “holy” ones despise us!

But he came
Eating and drinking, even laughing with us!
And when they warned him,
He looked at them amazed!

He was the Holy One.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Reflections Luke 5: 27-28

I watch and wait and count them carefully,
Silver and gold are my security.
With them I build the walls that keep me safe.
Then Jesus comes, commanding, “Follow me!”

My name is Levi, son of Abraham,
My people have been conquered, are unfree,
What should I do but make the best of it?
Then Jesus comes, commanding, “Follow me!”

How can a poor man prosper in these times?
Rome is the master, can’t we all agree?
I sit and count my coins because I can,
Then Jesus comes, commanding, “Follow me!”

How can I own that I am sick of heart?
My careful choice is now my slavery.
My tax booth seems a prison, not a hope.
Then Jesus comes, commanding, “Follow me!”

Where is that voice that spoke from Sinai’s height,
Terrible glory of eternity
Calling us to a holy nationhood?
Then Jesus comes, commanding, “Follow me!”

Like the old dam that breaks and water flows
I rose and left that killing stagnancy
To learn to walk with heaven on this earth;
For Jesus came, commanding, “Follow me!”

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Palm Sunday Thoughts

He entered the city alone.
Nobody realised that; everyone else saw the disciples who trailed him and the noisy crowd that enveloped him and acclaimed him, but he was alone.
He had set his face towards Jerusalem, and he was alone.
He was utterly alone, for no one else knew why he was there, or what he had come to do, and those who loved him best had the least idea.
He sat on that donkey alone. When the crowd cheered wildly, he did not laugh and smile with them; when they called him by one of his rightful names, he knew that they did not know who he truly was.
He rode alone, feeling the hatred of the scribes and Pharisees, the priests and all their ilk, burn against his skin with the fervency of their malice.
He rode alone, feeling the ignorance of the crowd. They did not know that they were the very ones he had come to die for.
He rode alone, feeling the power of Rome that beat down and oppressed the city. They trampled people with their iron-shod feet; in just a few days they would crucify him with their iron nails and call it justice.
He rode alone, feeling the bewildered, helpless love of his friends. They wanted to declare that they would follow him anywhere, but they had no understanding of where he was going, or how dark a battle and how terrible a foe he would fight on their behalf. They were not strong enough or brave enough to follow him there … not yet …
He rode alone, in humility, on a donkey. He who had called stars into being and carried the government of all things upon his shoulder. But they didn’t see that. All they saw was a man.
He rode alone, and the angels marvelled that such a thing could be.
He was alone, as one can only be alone in an uncomprehending crowd.
He was alone, his face set unflinchingly towards the horror of the cross, never doubting that this terrible road was worth the taking, moving steadily towards that unthinkable place where he would cry out his forsakenness.

He was alone so that he might be with us forever.

reflections Luke 5: 20-26

Like spring rain on bare soil,
Like clean, pure water for the parched,
Like fresh air after choking fumes
Forgiveness comes
Bringing life.

We have walked the desolate highways of the heart
And found no resting place.
We have walked the chattered streets
And found no peace.
And we could not walk on water,
For we drowned.

We are the outcasts of the universe,
Sin-specked flotsam,
The broken bits revolving endlessly
In the vortex of our shame:
The scapegoats of ourselves.
We cannot climb the mountain of the Lord
With dirty hands and impure hearts.

But he will wash us clean.
He speaks, and it is so
And his words remake the universe.

Now we rise up and walk.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Reflections Luke 5: 17-19

None is more helpless than I,
I who am bound to a bed,
I, who cannot move at all,
From whom all power is fled.

I, who am stuck in the rut
Of my unwieldable flesh
And, while my muscles freeze still,
All my thoughts desperately thresh.

Where is relief for my need?
Where is the end of my pain?
God, who can make all things whole,
Give me my life back again!

Yet, though the tears of despair
Fall from my eyes in the night
My friends will yet lift me up
Claiming the burden is light.

They carry me where these legs
Are far too useless to go.
Bypassing these jostling crowds
By the one method they know.

Carrying me from despair
Into the presence of hope
Love reaching out like a prayer

Lowering me by a rope.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Reflections Luke 5: 15-16

The furthest reaches, dark side of the moon,
The places deepest and most solitary,
Are echo-chambers for my skinted heart
Are my mind’s madness merging maximally.

Unless alone is truly not alone,
Unless the silence is to hear your song,
The love song you are singing over me
And have done so through all the ages long.

The solitudes can be a fairground maze
Of crazy mirrors, each to self-deceive,
Unless your truth shines brighter, bright on bright,
Lighting the way to what I must believe.

There is no lonely where your love shines down,
Bringing new beauty where my heart saw less;
Peace from the great confusion of the crowd,
Sweet restoration for my weariness.

Here is my plenty, where worlds fall away,
Here in your arms – no labour but to know.
To worship is to find that central point

Of stillness while the rampant rivers flow.