Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Empty Tomb

This poem I wrote today. it has been rattling round in my head since my final lacture on Luke last week when our lecturer said that he had visited Israel, and found there was some dispute about the site of Jesus' tomb, but it was of no importance, since the whole point is that He isn't there!!


This is the nothingness
Which holds all hope in being.

The reversal is reversed
In the place of death’s destruction
Where being is restored.

The place is unmarked,
There is no lingering
He is not here.

The borrowed grave
Returned to the ordinary
And the kingdom is unshakable.

It is too easy
To make a parable
From this positive negation
And too hard
To dance its truth.

For here, reality
Burning with the joy that lights a billion stars
Rests on what is not there.

We too, find rest
Acknowledging our nothingness
And holding to the promise
That can never die.


Semester is over! I don't go back to college till the beginning of August, for what should be my final semester. last semester's subjects were Luke exegesis and Book of last essay went in yesterday: 2,500 words on the use of the OT in Revelation. Next semester will be Christology and Reformation History.
On break now till 9/7 (we Aussies write our dates with the day first, then the month) then away with my husband on holidays till 19/7 then another week and a half break till i go back. Hmm .. doesn't sound very long when you break it down like that...

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Gospels as Photography.

My daughter came up with an interesting analogy the other day: comparing the gospel writers and their "differences" to our family when we go out somewhere. My husband and I are both keen digital photographers, but notoriously "different" in our approaches: he takes the classic shots, knows all the technical stuff, I go for whatever beautiful or quirky thing catches my eye. When we've been on a holiday, say, you can look at our photos and there'll be enough common ground to figure out we've been to the same place, but we "took" many different things, and even when it was the same thing, we rarely saw it the same way. Isn't it the same with these four "portraits" of the life and ministry of Jesus? Each of them (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) have taken their set of snapshots (under the direction of the Holy Spirit, but that's a different issue)and present us with their unique slideshow. Certain principles hold true of family photographers, and I suspect they hold true of the Gospel writers too:
*The most important things, everybody will photograph
*Individuals have different ideas of what's important/beautiful
*we "frame" our shots differently
*we take them from different angles (apart from artistic considerations, no two of us are occupying the same bit of ground at the same time)
* we don't always take our photos at the same time

Any other thoughts?

Memory must not hold me

This one actually has a date on it -- May 01. About leaving the hurts of the past behind ..

Memory must not hold me.
I shall not assent to darkness, though it tear me limb from limb.
Fear has been strength.
I have held to determination
Through the tears and through the tossings
I have seen the moon reject me
And I know that stars can scream.

Let the wheel stop turning.

Let there be a new creation
Let me love without blind terror
Let me wear another armour
Then my stubborn dispossession
Let my very weeping testify
The victory of light --
Lest I live a falsehood.

Truth is not a captive.

She sings above the whirlwind
Her hush cuts through the clamour.
Though she bears a thousand children,
They must all wear the same face
(Can this be my own?)
She speaks till closed ears open
Like the grass she shall return
Though we cut her down with passion
She is ever at the roots.
And the very rain from heaven
Shall water her regrowth.

I shall dare to trust.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Anticipating Healing

Just another little poem from my files .. a fragment of a thought. We are broken, weary children, besmirched by the journey, but one day we will reach journey's end, and Cjhrist will take us in His arms, and there will be no shame left. Not only will our sin and shame be washed away, but we ourselves will be washed, transformed by unimaginable grace into something lovely beyond our present understanding ..

I do not have to hide for shame of being me
When all the past is gone, I shall be wholly free
I scarce can hold the thought -- how beautiful I’ll be!

I shall embrace the sky, and the song of the wild birds’ flight
I’ll gaze straight at the sun, and have no fear of night
But swim the tossing seas, and drink their salt delight.

Out of their hidden corners, the little creatures creep
Joining in great glad freedom the end of frozen sleep
As the dark night was dreadful, so is rejoicing deep.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Grace from Argentina

My daughter showed me this, I think it's wonderful:

God, bless to us our bread,
And give bread to those who are hungry,
And hunger for justice to those who are fed.
God, bless to us our bread.

--- grace from Argentina

The Lord's Prayer in Songs

This is Codepoke's meme, to find a song for each line of the Lord's prayer:

Our Father which art in Heaven
[Father, I adore You]
Hallowed be Thy Name
[Everything cries Holy, by Robin Mark]
Thy kingdom come
[This Kingdom by Geoff Bullock]
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven
[Take my life and let it be]
Give us this day our daily bread
[Bread of heaven on Thee we feed]
Forgive us our debts
[Rock of Ages ]
as we forgive our debtors
[Brother let me be your servant]
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil
[On Christ the Solid Rock I stand]
For Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory
[can't choose between Worthy is the Lamb or
My Tribute -- Andrae crouch]

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Personal policies

Another meme. What are some of the implicit "rules" I live by? (And as soon as I post these I'll think of a dozen more important ones)

1. Always say thank you
2. NEVER compromise on issues of integrity
3. Never keep people waiting
4. Criticise the behaviour, but never the person (e.g. “I don’t like it when you do that” NEVER “You’re a @@@@@”)
5. Take things slowly when you first get up
6. People are much more important than things. Prioritise my time and energy accordingly
7. Always carry migraine medication etc with me if going out more than briefly
8. Never let the petrol tank get below ¼ full (why do all the males in my life think it’s a virtue to let it go as low as possible before they fill it?)
9. Always have more than one book at a time you’re reading (dunno why, I just do)
10. McDonalds is not real food
11. Don’t give up on people (yeah I’ve carried that one too far, and let some people hurt me too many times but I’d still rather err on the side of too much grace)
12. When things get bad, buy flowers!
13. never run out of chocolate (or anything else if I can help it, I tend to keep spare everything)
14. Try not to believe all the negative messages I carry from the past
15. Remember that the sun is still giving life to the earth even when hidden by clouds.
16. God is bigger than either my theology or my expectations. Always leave room for Him to do it His way.
17. Don’t try to organise me, I prefer “creative chaos”
18. Don’t have too many things on a “to do list”. Preferably, don’t have a “to do list” , but I acknowledge that sometimes life demands it.

To an Abuser

This was written, some years ago, to someone who hurt me very much, as a way of processing some of the poisonous things he had spoken into me ..

No, even now, it seems, I cannot despise you;
Now, with your sin laid bare, my pain stacked high,
Still, there’s no hate, no anger, only pity
You were the loser, since you would not die.

You were the one who drowned in the bitter waters
Of your own lies, and would not be set free:
Driven to flee the truth of your own anguish,
You tipped your acid shame all over me,

Scarring my soul, burning my dreams with terror,
Darking my light and chaining me to pain
Bidding me walk the path that made you righteous
Striking a bargain pitiless and vain.

Naming me sinner for the sin you carried
Since I would not conform to your dark need;
I bore the blame, and you walked free and blameless
You stole my innocence with desperate greed.

You stand accused, but how can I accuse you?
You are my brother still – how small a price
I paid for you, compared to my redemption –
My freedom cost the bitter death of Christ!

Day Seven -- Rest

And on the 7th day God rested ..
This was probably the easiest symbolism of all to work out -- in Him we find rest.

Under the shadow of Your wings
Here I shall rest entire;
Loved into being by Yourself,
Child of Your own desire.

Here I am wanted. Here I come
Home to Your lovely grace;
Still You receive me, take me in,
Welcome shines from Your face.

You are my shelter. Outside You
Fierce tempests rage and tear;
But I may curl against Your breast,
There is no shaking there.

Here is my peace that cannot pass,
Here my security:
In the still centre of the world,
Where You have hold of me