Posted in Spoken Word

A Pause (selah)

Turning off the screen, we pause,
For we’ve seen far too much obscene for one life to handle
One more event where God’s beloved scramble

Away from danger, crying out and wondering if they’re heard
All while conversations remain in the realm of the absurd
So oft’ distracted by the rights of the many as if they negate the plight
Of those underfoot, under feet planted firmly
Proclaiming solid ground – because it’s easier than hearing the sound

Of lament
Of our discontent
Of lives spent wondering if there’s room for them at the table
Wondering if they’ll ever be able to face another day
Wondering what they might say to children looking for answers
Because for some cancers there are no cures, only treatment
And mistreatment is all they’ve so far known
A world that’s shown them more shadow than anyone deserves
Throwing curves every time they step up to the plate
Or simply telling them to wait

Wait until it’s your turn
Wait to get what you have earned
Wait until the resources you needed have been burned
to fuel the fires – meeting the desires of those who were heard first
But there is hope for those who thirst

And the heavens burst with the glory of One who has revealed
An existence healed of all that once has bound
A resounding call for Freedom and reconciliation
But to hear, we may need to change the station

Because we’ve been arguing with straw men for far too long
Assuming the strong voices and the ones who offer the choices
spoke with authority, assuming those with seniority
have always done it right, siding with those who win the fight.

But there is a redemption arriving, a New Life thriving
That embraces every color
Protects every student seeking to discover
Embraces every adjective we might uncover
And covers all with “BE LOVED”.
Whether you’ve been shoved, or your arms are extended
The old ways of living have ended, as God has befriended humanity
When we couldn’t be doing worse
Breaking the curse

Offering Life Anew
Not just to wait here in the Pew, forgiven to get out there and do
To proclaim that me and you, we’re New Creation
Salvation in Jesus is not just something that happens in our hearts
It happens between them as well. Not just heaven and hell
But living Word for worlds in pain. For those moments you can’t explain
Where suffering pours like rain on soggy ground
We declare that peace can still abound.

This is not by a cheap grace found in false pretending
Not by sending hallmark sentiments while remaining on our own
Jesus. left. His. throne.
We don’t respond alone, but united in His mission
No more wishing things would change
No more living estranged, but joining Jesus as He goes
Nurturing as He sows for harvests already begun
Laying down guns for gloves and spade
Seeking to bring light where there is shade

In a world of those fighting to win,
While some are waiting for it to be rid of sin
We hear Jesus inviting us to begin

Listen to the hurt, see the unseen,
Suffer with those in pain
Love others beyond learning name
And in all of this – proclaim…

Posted in Different Moments, Different Scriptures

not optimistic. :)

Tragedy.  Suffering.  Pain.  Humanity taking the lives of others in their hand, and purposefully causing injury and death.  So many events just from the past week or so seem to be screaming out, “Where is Jesus as Lord?”  This is the world my daughters are growing up into.  The world in which my ability to keep them safe is drastically reduced every day they grow.

I’m a huge Detroit Redwings fan, and my entire hockey-watching life I’ve watched them head into the playoffs during this next week or so.  But this season has been a rough one.  Recently their head coach, Mike Babcock was interviewed.  They asked him if he was optimistic about his teams’ chance to make it into the playoffs.  His response: “I don’t know if it’s optimistic; I think it’s realistic,”

I wish I shared his realism.  But I’ll definitely be optimistic, even as I begin growing my playoff beard. (Just in case we need it early.)

But his vantage point reminds me of God’s view, as he looks out over our world that is so filled with uncertainty and suffering.  In Matthew chapter 13, Jesus tells a parable that offers us insight into the situation our world is in today:

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them.” 13:24-29

For an explanation of the parable, skip to verse 36.  But it seems that even when God looks out on our world that has so many spillwayweeds growing, He sees more than these.  He sees the beauty of what is growing through the children of the Kingdom.  Growth that, between telling the parable and explaining it, Jesus connects to a small amount of yeast working its way through the entire dough.  Or a small mustard seed growing into a large, strong tree that provides shelter.

It’s important for us to remember as we look out on our world this week.  As we look for ways to honestly look into our childrens’ eyes and say “Yes, even in the midst of all of these weeds growing, Jesus is Lord.”  Help your children to identify the places where Kingdom is growing.  Find ways for the Kingdom to arrive in and through your family.  Wonder what that can look like, practically?  Check out the Fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23.  Spend a day focusing on each one with your children, and as you participate in Kingdom growing – know that as Jesus delays coming to complete what He began by becoming Lord – it’s not because He’s optimistic – He’s realistic.  There is so much in our world that’s worth giving the chance to continue growing…