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Posts Tagged ‘Christian poetry’

Ephemeral

ash butterfly

If your only ideas

Lie in things

What of things

That are not things

But ideas

Or simply but not so simple

Truth

resting a moment

brushing against

the mind

the heart

the soul

And springing up into beauty

 

 

Photo by Jim Hoffman

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Who

Jesus

Who would bear the cross

that doesn’t carry the shame?

Who would kneel beneath

all the world’s pain?

Who would die in my place

with my blood be stained?

 

The only one who could.

 

Who would call to waves

and bring decisive peace?

Who would take a hand

and promise pain’s surcease?

Who would weep at death

then give life a new lease?

 

He whose name is love.

 

Who would rescue those

lost by self volition?

Who would overturn

earth’s fallen condition?

Who would save a soul

by one humble admission?

 

Maker of heaven and earth.

 

Who would calm my soul

and my life’s purpose give?

Who would die for me

rise again and live.

See my reckless state

and yet say, I forgive.

 

Jesus, Redeemer, Savior of souls.

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Light of the world

Eyes closed in darkness

He gave up the ghost

But did not breathe His last

For the promise of ages

For the cause of all hosts

For the hope of a hope

The heart of a King held fast

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He calls me to perfection

I

Who hardly know

The way to go

Or why

Bids me reflect the Father

Me

Whose image dim

Nothing like Him

I see

He asks me to show mercy

Yet

My heart is small

His order tall

And yet …

His love surpasses all

So

Beneath His yoke

In words He spoke

I go

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Immanuel God with Us

For so long it feels my life has been

Lived from the outside, ever looking in

Upon a scene so beautiful and bright

Of life and color, like vivid pure light

 

For so long I felt never a part

I could not find my way into a heart

Then into my heart perfect love shone

And a soft voice said, “You’re never alone.”

 

My soul found delight, this I know right well

In His heart – God with us – Immanuel

 

But then I drifted from His peaceful shore

Into waters vast, into sorrow once more

I thought that no one would follow me there

I thought that no one would notice or care

 

By my choosing I was again alone

Turning my hurting heart to stone

Alone in the deep, yet His love pursued

He followed and whispered and gently wooed

 

And at His voice the walls crumbled and fell

And I glimpsed God with us – Immanuel

 

When I was alone and thought none could see

His heart was seeking, pursuing me

I melted at His relentless love

Opened my heart to the Sun above

 

And in His love, He opened my eyes

To the truth I did not before realize

Many in the world feel so alone

He hears the prayer, a sighing groan

 

Yet one day the world will wake from the spell

And know Him – God with us – Immanuel

 

He seeks for each to know our worth

He leaves no one ever alone on this earth

He wants us to hear love’s deep calls

Bouncing off caverns, echoing down halls

 

He wants us to feel His gift of deep worth

Abundant, free, by a choice of rebirth

He wants us to see we’re His work of art

Shaped by His hand and held in His heart

 

He hopes we receive the truth He would tell

He is with us always – Immanuel

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Following a Star

Lately I have been thinking about the wise men, their journey and search for a newborn king. It fascinates me, these foreigners journeying such a long way, so sure that their search would end in a discovery of this king. Amazing, too, that the star led them to the very place that this king – the baby Jesus – was born. 

Their gifts, though, are the most telling. How much did they know, these wise men? How much did they see written in the stars to give this baby such prophetic gifts? The following article, by Robert J Morgan, shows just how fitting those gifts were:

      Gold is one of the noble metals. No single acid can destroy it, nor will it rust away, like iron or tin. … No one can successfully imitate or fake gold, so heavy and incorruptible it is. … Pure, supple, almost indestructible, gold is indeed a royal metal. … In the ancient world into which Christianity was born, gold was far rarer than now.

      Incense was made from an expensive and elaborate formula, containing 16 different ingredients, with only priests allowed to concoct it. And the chief element in this holy recipe was frankincense, the second gift of the wise men to the Child.

      Frankincense is a resin, from a kind of tree held so sacred of old that in southern Arabia and Ethiopia, where it grew, only a few particularly pure persons were allowed even to approach it…. To obtain the precious frankincense itself, an Arab cuts a slash in the trunk, and then strips off a narrow piece of bark, about five inches long, below the cut. The sap slowly oozes out and is allowed to harden for about three months. At last it is collected in lumps, … yellow or colorless, dusty-looking, with a bitter taste. But they burn with a bright white flame, and then there arises to heaven that sweet, heavy perfume of mystery that the Wise Men thought pleasing to God.

      Myrrh is a shrub related to frankincense … The sap of myrrh is extracted in the same way … But its symbolism is more somber. The word myrrh comes from the Hebrew “mar,” meaning “bitter.” The ancient Egyptians used this resin in embalming, and hence its connection with solemn occasions.

I began to write the words that came to mind as I thought about these wise men and their search for a king. It doesn’t have a set meter. It’s more wandering, maybe even stumbling, than anything. Like a search that ended with bittersweet gifts placed at the feet of a baby. 

The stars shone bright that holy night

Brighter than ever before

But what did it mean to have Your name

Written among the stars?

The wise men must have had a clue

For with the gifts they gave to You

Was myrrh, the bittersweet perfume,

That told the tale of a waiting tomb

“Where is the King,” some heard them say

You came not for glory, fame

Unrecognized, yet still Your name

Was written among the stars

Were You born on a starlit night?

Did any wonder at the sight?

Or had so many closed their eyes

To wonder, glory, in the skies

So only shepherds heard the glad cry

Of one whose name

Was written among the stars

 

And on a night so silent, clear

I step outside, and I hear

And I sit as one entranced

To think the one who called them to dance

The stars in their celestial place

Telling their stories with silent grace

Wrote His name among the stars

He knew where the stars would be at His birth

The tales they would tell

Of Heaven’s hope upon this earth

Salvation from sorrow and hell

The stars that told in silent word

The birthday of the King

Spoke too of the time

When His heart would be pierced

When salvation He would bring

 

So what does it mean

To have your name

Written among the stars?

A destiny of love

The love of a Lord

Who bore beating and scars

He bled and died

But it was not the end

He rose to untold glory

He who made Heaven and earth

And draws us to know our worth

Authored life’s deepest, greatest story

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