Friday, April 17, 2015

Twenty-Eight


Great are the works of the Lord,
studied by all who delight in them.
Full of splendor and majesty is his work,
and his righteousness endures forever.
He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;
the Lord is gracious and merciful.



"Thou hast taught me that
    the finding of this treasure of all grace in the field of Christ
       begets strength, joy, glory,
       and renders all graces alive.
Help me to delight more in what I receive from Christ,
                               more in that fullness which is in Him,
                                    the fountain of all His glory" (The Valley of Vision, 19).



Yesterday was an anniversaire of
Few knew;
No one remembered;
But twenty years ago,
The angels danced.
~crm, 4/18/2007

This grey April morning, I'm quietly, thankfully remembering God's grace in opening my eyes 28 years ago today to my sin, His holiness, and the sufficiency of Christ's death and resurrection for me.  I cast myself on His mercies--how could I not?--and life has never been the same. 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter Lily

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb,taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.

Luke 24:1-3, ESV





In unseen Saturday silence
Petals unfurl, 
Mute trumpets crying out 
With rolled-away stone: 

"Take hope! Take heart! 
Why do you seek the living among the dead? 
He is not here; He is risen! 

"Your trust, your toil, the promise are not vain. 
Death will be swallowed up in victory. 
This body of death, 
This broken life, 
This night of tears are not the end. 

"At last trumpet's fanfare 
Dead shall be raised, 
Dustless, 
Deathless, 
Glorious." 

White heralds soundless sound: 
"Christ has died; 
Christ is risen; 
Christ will come again." 
Hallelujah!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Silent Sabbath


In silent Sabbath after Cross,
Disciples hid themselves away
For fear they’d share their Rabbi’s fate.
How little did they dream the hush
Was prelude to defeat of death
And their salvation by His life,
Just as He promised: Christ would rise,
Defying unbelief—locked doors,
Blocked tomb, locked hearts no obstacle
To Resurrection, Life, and Light.




N.B. That the disciples had already hidden behind locked doors on the Saturday immediately following the Crucifixion is an extrapolation. The Scriptures say clearly that they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment and that by Sunday they were sequestered behind locked doors for fear of the Jews (Luke 23:56 and John 20:19). The suggestion in the poem seems at least plausible, but in truth the Scriptures are silent about that Saturday, so take the idea with a sprinkling of salt.

That said, dear Crumble, if you await resurrection in some deep sorrow in your life, take heart. God's apparent silence does not denote His inactivity or His intention not to bring about eucatastrophe in your dire need. If we learn anything from the silence of Holy Saturday, let it be that. May you and I find strength to persevere in trusting God in the waiting.

Friday, April 3, 2015

"That's My King!"



This well-known sermon excerpt by the late Dr. S. M. Lockridge has not yet lost its power to capture some of the wonder and majesty of the Lord Jesus Christ, the King whom Christians celebrate this week. May the Lord bless, in this Easter season and always, your remembrance of His saving death, burial, and resurrection.

Here is a link to a transcription, if you'd rather read than (or as well as) listen:
http://www.rpmministries.org/2009/12/thats-my-king-do-you-know-him/

Monday, March 30, 2015

Palm Sunday {A Poem}

The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written,

“Fear not, daughter of Zion;
behold, your king is coming,
sitting on a donkey's colt!”
John 12:13-15, ESV


In high school, just shy of the first anniversary of my conversion to trusting only in Christ for my salvation, I wrote a poem on Holy Week for a poetry project for Mrs. Best's English class. Then I put the words to music, for reasons I don't recall except that choral and piano music filled much of my life then. Yesterday, Palm Sunday for the Western church, I remembered this and thought to share it here, a virtual back-up for the family album. As far as I know, it's the earliest poem I still possess.

The music is already yellow and tearing around the edges. My faith, too, shows some wear and tear since those early days. The writing and theology (especially the third stanza) are pretty immature, but for this post I'll leave the piece be as a reminder of the incremental nature of so much of our growth in understanding Scripture, our growth in knowing God. In many areas, we don't even know what we don't know. At no point in our walk with Christ do we fully understand the fullness of revelation, but with grace we can learn more as we go. Rather than "gospel truth," please regard this (anything on this blog, for that matter) as an old snapshot of my understanding of the Passion of Christ and take only the Word of God as your authority and mine.


"Hosanna in the highest!"
The little children cried
When they the King of kings did spy
As He on donkey nighed.


They spread their garments on the road;
Palm branches did they wave.
They welcomed Him, the Lord of hosts,
And royal reception gave.

This sip He had of earth's sweet wine
Caused many a tear to fall
When He a bitter cup did drink
Beyond that garden wall.

He soon stood next to Pilate as
His people a murd'rer freed.
As for their King, they shouted,
"On us let His blood be!"

All this was but a shadow that
Before the Lamb did lie;
As people shouted blessings,
He a lonely cross did spy.

Friday, March 27, 2015

A Day of Celebration

Christmas Day 2014
Today is my Amore's birthday, although it doesn't feel like it. He celebrated early with his colleagues, church friend, and me because we had travel plans this weekend. Then I acquired my third cold and sinus infection since Thanksgiving, so now we're home after all with no special plans. (Family circumstances have provided additional confirmation of the decision, so we're at complete peace with the change.)

But still it is a special day, a day of celebration: the anniversary of my beloved's birth and the anniversary of the night he asked to court me.

Will you indulge a fond wife, then, if she offers a few things she loves about him? If not, you should probably close this browser tab now.

He is wonderful with Ebony, who acknowledges him as the Alpha Dog of our household. Ebony will obey Amore when he has been completely ignoring me, for example, when Eb is refusing to interrupt his perimeter sweep of the backyard though I'm calling him inside. All Amore must do is appear in the doorway and say his name, and he'll come running. Ebony may be my shadow and protective detail, but he has no rest in the evening until he has claimed his spot cuddled up against his master on the loveseat.

He is just as talented with our young nephews. Amore is the uncle who wrestles with them, lifts them high above his head so they can pretend to fly, slings them over his shoulder as "a sack of treasure" when they're playing pirates, and has occasionally even been known to join them on their trampoline. Thunder especially adores snuggling up to his uncle whenever possible. His way with them makes me unreasonably happy.

He is a gifted leader who seems to rise to the top of every group, whether at church, at work, or on the mission field. There's something in his quiet manner that inspires respect and communicates credibility. He's comfortable speaking to a crowd in a way that boggles my mind.

That said, if he doesn't know the answer to your question, he is willing to say, "I don't know," or I'll find out."

He serves me well and patiently, even when I fall ill at the least opportune moments or back the car into the garage door. Even when my computer dies in the midst of the holidays and the class he's teaching. Even when ants invade my office on a Sunday afternoon. Alas, none of these is a hypothetical scenario.

We share a goofy sense of humor and enjoyment of plays on words and puns, for which I'm so grateful. If I can make him grin or even laugh, it's the highlight of my day, even if said laugh is at my expense.

And don't even get me started on how handsome and distinguished-looking he is or how his eyes change color subtly depending on mood and clothing.

After 16 years, I'm still smitten with him. Happy birthday, my love!