Friday, April 21, 2017

Reading Some ...

Reading some Psalms this morning, and
Then a poem by Edward Thomas, who
Died on a WW1 battlefield.

And then the note about Robert Frost, and
The Road Not Taken.
A joke for his friend, Edward Thomas.

Who could never quite decide what road to take.
And then would sigh.
For want of taking the other.

Melancholy is the mood sneaking around in my mind.
A gentle sort of feeling, a quiet sadness, not quite so sad:
Things come, and things go.

And roads are taken.
And young men die in the mud of ancient battles.
Roads to take no more.

Such is life, as it unfolds.
Like some kind of spring flower.
Only to dry up and blow away.

Having done its critical thing.
To produce a seed, in hope.
For another day.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

God's Joyful Judgment - Early-Morning Thoughts

From Psalm 98 ...

Let the floods clap their hands;
     let the hills sing together for joy
      at the presence of the LORDfor he is coming
      to judge the earth.
      He will judge the world with righteousness,
      and the peoples with equity.

For some, the judgment of God has been used as a tool to inspire fear, because fear is a handy tool to corral the folks, get 'em in line, fleece 'em and fool 'em.

How many children over the millennia have gone to bed terrified of god, dreaming of a lurid end, with the sounds of some screaming preacher or priest echoing in their little minds.

And how many adults have emotionally crashed and burned in the fear of committing the "unforgivable" sin ... crossing some invisible line, and not ever knowing it until the Last Judgment, when its too late to do anything about it.

But here in the Psalm, and plenty of other places, we have a joyful anticipation of God's Last Judgment ... and a good one it is ... because God is utterly and completely righteous, i.e. faithful to God's creation, to all of its creatures, rocks and stones, and to you and me, brother and to you and me, sister.

Faithful to save.
To love.
Forgive and make new.

To welcome and receive
To bind up and heal.
To restore the lost.
Give sight to the blind.

Release to the prisoner.
Food to the hungry.
Rest to the weary.

Utterly fair, utterly kind, comprehensive and inclusive, God's judgment sets things right, recalibrates the mechanisms of life, fine tunes the whole thing, to be sure that it's working just right, as God intended.

No fear here.
No nail-biting and angst.
No threats, no hellfire and damnation.

Only joy.
Clapping and singing.
Because the LORD is coming.
To judge the earth.

Hallelujah and Amen!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Holy Saturday Prayer

Holy Saturday Prayer, 2017

Now what, dear God?
Now what?

Pilate has retreated to his palace.
The soldiers to their barracks, except for a few:
Guards at the tomb.
Sealed with a stone.

Where they buried my LORD.
Yes, my LORD; that’s what I said.
Can it get any worse?
My LORD, I said.

My LORD: I cried.
It’s what I believed.
It was my hope.
He was my prayer.

So, there they stand.
In their rough and ready gear.
Hardened soldiers in a troubled land:
Palestine. Filled with fear.

There they stand, relaxed, mostly.
They have a job to do.
They’re ready for it.
They can handle it.

These soldiers do their duty.
A thousand days before, and more to come, they know.
They’ve killed plenty along the way, and they know they’ll kill again.
They know how to do it, swift and hard. These Palestinians are nothing.

It’s been a long night for them.
Chilly and damp. 
They’re tired. Me, too, O God.
My heart reeks with weariness.

Now what, dear God?

Now what?