Posted in Spoken Word

Ephesians 2:11-22

A member of uncircumcision
I was not first aware of Your plans
Yet You have made me one of Your own
By the scars in Your feet and Your hands

One humanity You’ve knit together
One tribe of the two or the many
Yet we often declare our differences
When You have said “there aren’t any”

We are all in need of Your healing
Of Your mercy and Grace we desire
With hearts that are wounded and hardened
We come needing Your Spirits’ fire

You have melted down all our hostility
Any reason for shame is destroyed
Your presence is now something we can pursue
Instead of needing to avoid

We pursue as One body together
Discovering You already here
I pray that Your Lordship and presence
Through my life today are made clear

Use all that I am for my neighbors
Those feeling like aliens and stranger
Fill me with Your reconciling Love
As revealed when You came in a manger

Posted in Spoken Word, Uncategorized

Mark 4:30-32

The smallest seed of faithful Love
Can grow into a forest of change
The tiniest indwelling of God Himself
The cosmos can rearrange

Lord we often measure our lives
We measure our each given days
In our best efforts we may ask ourselves
‘How much does this increase God’s praise?’

We have been making bricks for Egypt
Even after You have set us free
Seeing our value in what we produce
Instead of contented to ‘be’

You set us free from economies of measure
You flip such things downside up
The smallest drop of Your Kingdom Love
Can fill overflowing our cup

May such a Truth not squelch our desire
To live and proclaim Love revealed
Lord Jesus, we ask You, send us Your Spirit
That through us the wounded are healed

But also continue, as we live Your Love
To allow us to see with Your Heart
That we may value all, things great or small
Knowing how You complete what You start

Posted in Different Books

waiting for Jesus…

John (one of the disciples) was there near the cross as Jesus lived what seemed his final moments. The mother of Jesus, Mary, was also there. These were excruciating moments, watching their loved one suffer. The pain they felt was probably intense. The confusion was unsettling. Their hopes were being nailed to a cross, and their hearts likely throbbed with each rise and fall of Jesus taking breaths while hanging there. Yet in those moments, they were seen by Jesus – and united. “Woman, here is your son. Here is your mother.

We don’t know a lot of details about the life of John after the resurrection scenes found in the gospels. He and Mary seemed to move to the area of Ephesus, where John would have made sure Mary was taken care of. He likely spent time with her, perhaps even coming to know the heart of Jesus through her in ways that impacted how he presented his gospel message. His gospel in particular is drenched in the Love of God that was revealed in the life of Jesus Christ, and a desire for that Love to be known in all the unique ways John was allowed to understand them.

A while back, you may remember (or can read here) me sharing about a book by Niall Williams. I enjoyed it enough to put another one of his on my “to read” list, and finally finished it recently. The novel is simply called “John”. It touches briefly on the topics I’ve just mentioned.

But a large part of this book focuses on John on the island of Patmos (after Mary died, and he went (or was forced into exile) while Christians were persecuted on the mainland), and the final days of his return to Ephesus. The book imagines with compelling details, the possible scenarios John may have wrestled with in his final months and years. It’s an aspect of John that we don’t often allow ourselves to wonder about. How was his faith tested, as he shared his letters and all that had been experienced by him or revealed to him – yet lived in a world that didn’t seem to be coming under the increased Lordship of the Love of Jesus Christ. He is increasingly surrounded with false prophets and gospels, and people who adapt the message of Jesus to better fit the reality they seem to live in. His response as imagined by Williams here is an invitation for many of us.

A question that John wrestles with – is one that many of us are faced with on a regular basis as well: What does it look like to faithfully wait for Jesus? John’s own followers are in often overcome with humility in his presence – after all, this man has walked with Jesus! Yet he wrestles with wondering – if God has such power and the Kingdom truly “has come” or “is now coming”, why doesn’t it look the way he would imagine?

Small spoiler alert: The good news of John’s story is not that Jesus returns to bring completion and New Creation within John’s lifetime. Nor will the activity and narrative of God always fulfill what we may imagine it should. But Love has come, is coming, and will continue to come in ways that invite us to join, & discover it as our foundation. This living Love is sight for the blind. This is light in the darkness. This is hope for the weary. This is Jesus, Son of God – through whom cosmic redemption has already begun.

Cue LeVar Burton, “But you don’t have to take my word for it….”