Monday, August 17, 2020

A Prayer from Hebrews 1

Over 20 years ago, I took a very vigorous Bible study course that required about an hour a day of homework, studying the book of Hebrews.  And at the end of the the homework for chapter 1, they asked us to ask the Lord for a song or prayer that would sum up the things that God had shown us.

This is what came.  In some ways, the fact that it rhymes and scans in a rather trite pattern dismayed me.  Am I just writing rhyming doggerel?  I do not claim that this is great literature.  But it still satisfies me at some deep level, so I share it here.

A Prayer from Hebrews 1

Father,

You have spoken to us through the prophets
In portions, a bit at a time--
And the word that you spoke overwhelms me,
Your law is so awesome and fine.

You spoke to the people through angels,
Great creatures of wind and of fire.
People shook at the visions in terror,
Such fear did their speaking inspire.

And now you have spoken in Jesus,
Not a shadow, but the brilliance of Your light.
The Word that created the planets
is spoken to us in the night.
The Word that holds all things together,
Came down to destroy all our sins.

When the world is changed like old clothing,
The Word that is Jesus will stand.
A better will never be spoken,
Through Him you have reached out Your hand.

The ears that I hear with are shallow,
The eyes I can see with are dim.
Father, speak Jesus into my being,
'Til my life is completed in Him.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Informed Consent

I wrote this close to 20 years ago, but I still feel this way, and need to remind myself of this from time to time.  And because this may not be crystal clear, let me say that the shape of this poem is deliberately a little bit like an exclamation point.

Informed Consent

Yes, Lord, yes!
Yes, I know there are times it will hurt.
Yes, I know there are times it will be scary.
Yes, I know You will lead me down roads
I would never have chosen for myself.
But now, I choose them freely and fully--
Any road that You will walk with me,
That You would choose for me.
And I know You will not hurt me
Any more than you have to.
And I know that I am save
Here in Your arms.
Yes, Lord, yes!


Yes, Lord yes!
I give my full permission--
To last through days and hours
When my flesh may scream, "NO!"
Do whatever You have to do.
Come in power, Lord.
Yes!

Monday, August 3, 2020

Rags

Another old poem, but one that still rings true to me.

Rags

God, I stand before you
Dressed in the tattered rags 
Of my own attempts to get it right,
And you hold out to me
The shining robes of Jesus' righteousness.
No question which is better,
But will I make the change?
Or will I choose to cling to what is mine?

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

The Veil

One I wrote a bunch of years ago, that still feels real to me.

The Veil

Hey!  Jesus did it!
The veil has been torn in two
The way is open now--
You can go straight into the Father's presence

Isn't this the news my heart has been longing to hear?

No more barriers
No more walls between me and the Father.
Uh, wow!
You mean, I can go now.  Right now.
Really got to Him.  Stand in His presence.
Just the way I am.

Oh, gee.
Um.
Really.
Now?
Are you sure?
God, the God of the Universe?
He wants to see me?
My presence is requested?
In the throne room?

But, um, what about the dishes?
And that crossword puzzle I'v been meaning to get to?
And? And?
Now?

Father, help me.
Help me do it
Help me draw near with confidence.
Not lightly, but not afraid.
Not making excuses and hanging back.
Sincerely trusting in the work that Jesus finished
Sprinkled with the Blood, Washed with the Father,
Walking the Living Way that Jesus opened and that He is
Let me draw near to the throne of grace
And find there mercy, and
Grace to help
In time of need
I need you, Lord.

I need you.

Amen.

Friday, July 17, 2020

In these last days...

I had just joined a new church, after some traumatic times at the old church.  A Bible study was being offered on Hebrews, and I signed up to do the most rigorous Bible study I had undertaken for years, on a book which I had previously considered very dry and boring.  And I discovered, as I have learned again and again, that there is life to be found in all parts of the Bible if you look at them seriously and prayerfully.   

In these last days, God has spoken to us in His Son
A meditation on Hebrews 1:2-3

Jesus, You are appointed heir of all things
You're the one the Father chose to have it all.
Keep me from grabbing, clutching things to myself.
In You, I have it all.
Apart from You, there's nothing left to own.

Jesus, through You, the Father made the world,
The ages past, the present,
And all the future there will ever be
Were spoken into being through You,
And You made me.
You knew me and planned me, held me in your heart,
Before the beginning.

Jesus, You are the radiance of the Father's glory,
The light that shines forth from the blazing sun.
Help me be a true mirror,
With veils and masks stripped away,
So that I can catch your light
And shine it truly into the darkness I see.

Jesus, You are the perfect engraving
Of the Father's underlying essence,
The exact representation of His being.
I am like a coin that's blurred and fuzzy
I long to be new-minted.
Melt me in the fire of your love
And stamp your image plainly on my heart.

Jesus, You uphold all things by the word of your power,
By the spoken word that creates and brings forth life
Hold me up, Lord.
Hold me together
And speak Your powerful word into my life.

Jesus, you made purification of sins,
Cleansed, purged, made it right
The work was finished, final, and complete.
Complete it in my heart, O Lord,
Bring your cleansing, purify my inmost being.

Jesus, You sat down
On the right hand of the Majesty of the Father
Your work was finished, You entered into your rest.
Bring me too, into that Sabbath rest,
That having run the race, I may sit at your feet,
And worship You forever.

Amen.

Truth

Someone just handed me a collection of poems that I gave to friends and family in Christmas of 1998.  Some of them are ones I had lost track of, but that I find are still meaningful to me, and perhaps they will be to others as well.

This one I may have originally written as a birthday card for someone, but I found that I liked it well enough to hang onto.

Truth

When the Great Creator
thought of snails, and butterflies,
and sparkling fish scales 
in the bottom of deep blue pools,
You also were thought of
And known

No mistakes were made in your making
Inside and out,
Backwards and forwards,
You are known and loved by God.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Transparent Gold

The book of Revelation is not one that has generally appealed to me, and pictures of heaven as a place with streets paved with gold don't particularly float my boat. It is not a metaphor that I love.   But one day, and I no longer remember whether it was mentioned in a sermon or something that came to me spontaneously, I was suddenly captivated by this notion of people becoming transparent gold.

You can read about John's vision of this city that is also a bride, where tears are washed away and there is no longer a need for the sun because God shines so brightly in Revelation 21 and 22.

Transparent Gold

God showed John a city,
He said the city was the bride
It was a city made of gold as clear as glass.
A city made of people with nothing they would need to hide
It was a vision that will surely come to pass.

Transparent gold, transparent gold.
How I long to see, 
How I long to be transparent gold.

The city needs no sunshine
God's glory sets it all ablaze.
And there's a river there that flows with healing grace.
With every tear forgotten, the people overflow with praise.
And now they call to all who thirst, "Come to this place."

Transparent gold, transparent gold
Don't you want to see,
Don't you want to be transparent gold?