Saturday, April 3, 2021

Benediction For Easter 2021

 


To One who knows each sparrow's fall,
And feels each bullet's thud;
Who cries for grief at graves
And for joy at births;
To the God who put on flesh;
Partied with sinners
Died at the hands of torture,
And when He rose from the dead
emptied hell for the first,
but not the last time.
THIS is the Risen Christ we praise.
To THIS God be praise given forever,
This redefined majesty be ever before our eyes.
Let the Kingdom He promised come quickly,
Transform this world completely,
And continue forever.
AMEN

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Psalm For A Holy Saturday

Come on this Holy Saturday                                                                                                                          When it feels all hope is gone

Sit by the tomb
Stare at the stone and weep
Weep, but do not flee this moment.
Stay
Sit by the tomb, but not alone
Sit with all the broken, weary ones
Who, like you, wonder if the morning
will ever come
Til
Beneath your feet
Can you feel it
The tiniest quivering rumble of earth
Strain your ears
Can you hear the distant voice singing
Faintly
Holy, Holy, Holy
Even in the depths of hell.
The gates there have burst open  as they will again.

Friday, March 5, 2021

Oreo In The Morning

 Jesus talks about a widow                                                                                                                            and an unjust judge

to tell us how persistent
we should be in prayer.
Oreo, my dog,
has been sneaking scripture.
Otherwise how could she be
so persistent each morning.
Long before I am ready
she decides that I should wake
To rub her belly
and run my fingers thru her fur.
God forbid that I should stop
or pause
or, horror of horrors,
fall back asleep.
Her indignation knows no bounds.
I have learned to do these things
from that place between sleep
and waking
And realize that this is just
how she wants to start her day.
Being loved and touched
by one who loves her
Til she rests content
with just my hand on her coat.
O Jesus let me learn to be
this persistent in wanting
just to hang in Your presence.
To push and prod just to feel
Your hand on me
To bring my joys to You
like a Oreo with a ball
My needs to You
like Oreo with her bowl.
Jesus teach me how to be
like Oreo in the morning. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Lent With God's Puppy

 When she was a puppy                                                                                                                                   She was tiny and cute                                                                                                                                     And new.

After months of caring
for a dying dog
Her boundless energy
was a joy.
Now it is a demand 
dragging me out into rain and snow
She takes up more room on the bed
not to snuggle
but to claim ownership
She is still a joy,
but one I now take for granted
And the lessons about life with God
that I learn from life with her
aren't always ones I want.
For I can come
Often do come
to take my life in God
for granted.
What was joy
after nursing a life that was dying and a walking grief
Now feels like demands
to go out into freezing rain.
And face it
God takes up way to much room on the bed.
Yet we are a bonded pair
Just as I cannot fall asleep without touching soft fur
behind flooping ears,
Neither can I bear
a day that does not bring
some wispish faint reminder
of early joy;
some invitation
to go romp in the world
despite the cold;
A day that reminds me
that there is a difference  between the warmth thrown out by a lifeless furnace
And the Living Warmth
of a dog, or a God
who takes up too much room on the bed

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

America Is A Junkie; Will It Ever Get Sober

 America is a junkie 

who will shoot almost anything that will give it 

the rush, the high of racism, violence and white nationalism

Having lost the Oxycodone of slavery 

it has a long history of using

Jim Crow and the KKK

booted thugs and violence against people of color

Black men die in the streets. 

Brown children are caged at the border.

The rush for Junkie America is incredible 

so it will do anything to get high.

Today Junkie America broke into it's parent's house

to steal the keys to the family car.

America's parents need to sent it to treatment

have it committed 

as a danger to self and others

Now

It will take some time.

America will kick and scream and curse

it may spend some time in seclusion.

But maybe, just maybe

one night, drinking bad coffee

it will sit down next to a grizzled old ex-junkie

with scarred knuckles and broken nose

named History

and listen

Admit that it is powerless over it's bigotry and hatred

and it's life has become unmanageable

Then it must make a decision.

It will be a bitter pill to swallow.

But it won't be the hardest one

Dear America,

I hope you get sober, but I need to warn you

That 5th Step is a bitch

and Step 9 will nearly kill you.

But if you do it, if you work your program

The world will look at you again with respect

and your family might actually have a decent Thanksgiving Dinner again


Sunday, December 27, 2020

Rachel Weeping For Her Children

 

Christ is born,

and Rachel is weeping for her children.

Rachel seems to be always weeping for her children.

I wonder how much comfort it would have been

to the mothers of those boy babies in Bethlehem

to know that Christ had come?

Some smart biblical scholar ran the numbers and found that probably

No more than a dozen or so this small number

escaping the note of historians like Josephus 

After all, what's one Jewish baby more or less

Rulers lives matter,

Herod was not about to see himself usurped

not even by his own family (he'd had three of them killed)

Much less some backwater baby from Bethlehem

No more than a dozen

I'm sure that was cold comfort

to the mothers

weeping over the bodies of their babies

Christ has come,

Rachel is still weeping.

Black men die in the streets

Bombs go off in Nashville

While mothers and grandmothers

grandfathers and fathers

Die in isolated hospital rooms

saying their goodbyes on Zoom

to families that will not even be able to hold funerals

Christ has come

Rachel is still weeping.

I heard an old preacher say once 

that there is always enough pain in the world

to believe a Messiah will come

But there is also enough pain in the world 

to make one doubt that a Messiah HAS come.

Christ has come, Jesus is born

Our world is in agony, where’s the Good News in that.

From the day He was laid in the straw

to the day His momma and daddy

became refugees on the road to Egypt

Their journey financed by the gold of strangers from the East

Til the day He hung, dying, naked on the cross

Jesus made His place among the broken, the forgotten, the marginalized.

Emmanuel, God with us

Bleeding, torn, His gut wrenched with compassion for our troubles.

That’s not the Messiah we were looking for

Unless, of course, you’re Rachel, weeping for her children.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

ENRA666ED

 ENRA666ED

The blood of the angels boils
And vomit rises in the throat of God
That these little ones
129 of them
under the age of 5
when they were torn from the arms of their parents
Should be so inconsequential
to those who separated them;
That no one knows how to reunite.
Surely their number
666
Is a coincidence
But it is also a reminder.
The numerology of those who heard
the Book of Revelation
read in worship
Knew this as a symbol
for ultimate evil.
And they heard the words
"This is also the name of a man."
They heard, and for them
that man's name was Nero
burning the carcasses of Christians
suspended in woven baskets
to light his garden parties.
The Black Christian
and the white abolitionist
saw that number suspended
above the head of the slaver,
separating families
under force of the lash
as children were ripped from their mother's arms
Separated forever
as they were sold apart.
Their cries of anguish
like the screams
of burning Christians
Rose to the ears of God.
I see that number today
suspended above the heads
of Stephen Miller,
architect of the policy of separation,
and Donald Trump,
who embraced that policy
ordering it's implementation.
Be not deceived, God is not mocked
what each of these,
and those like them,
have planted,
on the fruit of those plants
they will gag and choke and die.
The cries of their victims
will combine
with the blood of modern martyrs
To twine around
the throats of the wicked.
The prophets Peter, Paul, and Mary
Sang of this four decades ago
"The world's not waiting
for the Lord's command
We've built us a fire
that's going to sweep this land
There's a thunder out of heaven
and Gabriel's call
The sea's gonna boil
And the sky's gonna fall."
The Day of the Lord
looms on the horizon
The time for repentance is now
Repair the world
reunite the separated
heal the wounds of God's people
God's arm is not shortened
that God cannot save
What grows short is time.
This is the Word of the Lord.