Questions for a Jehovah’s Witness

I recently started reading Philip Yancey’s The Jesus I Never Knew. With only the first two chapters under my belt, I’m already beginning to think about Jesus’ life and work in a new way.

For instance, I’ve been thinking hard about just how difficult it must have been for Mary to bring a son into this world, seeing as she was subject to the law and to a society which viewed her birth as scandalous. That’s how Yancey’s book starts: revisiting this man Jesus we’ve heard about for so long and in so many different contexts and reexamining the birth story I heard every Christmas Eve as a kid (usually while obsessing over the presents I knew were waiting in my parents’ closet). Yancey’s book is a necessary eye opener for sure.

I bought the book a few days ago, and on that same day, I saw two Jehovah’s Witnesses walking down my street. In the past, whenever I saw Jehovah’s Witnesses come to my door, I recoiled in horror at the thought of talking to two stranger’s at my doorstep. Perhaps because my view of the life of Jesus was fresh in my mind, I realized that I wished they would knock on my door. I had a few questions to ask them…

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The Rock

Moses struck the rock and dispersed water

The cool stuff of life freely given

The Spirit in the rock from the father

God’s gift and the flesh interwoven

 

Jacob, in distress, chose to flee

Stopped in Luz to rest his head

Experienced dreams from the Head of three

On a pile of rocks made his Heavenly bed

 

A rock is not merely a rock

As Christ is the Rock of Ages

The mission of the Spirit Christ’s body unlocked

And on Christ’s body did Jacob lay his

Smoke and Sadness

I remembered this today:

My buddy and I would stand and stay

In the dark we would sneak cigarettes in the backyard

We would criticize Christ

We would laugh hysterically at the absurdity of God

We would snarl our smoke yellow teeth between coughs

We would share bewilderment that anyone could believe

Something so obviously impossible

We would open another pack and pass the lighter

Back and forth back and forth back and forth

Into the black night we would hurl our insults

Hoping to God that someone would hear us

We were proud enemies of God proud enemies

Of the truth

When we were spent we would walk inside leaving behind us trails of ash

We reeked of smoke and sadness

 

Photo credit: “Ashtray” by Flickr user Franco Dal Molin

My Only Request After Death

I’m not so concerned with what my tombstone will read

Whether or not the granite will be clean

If I get a plot with a view

If there’s a bench with my name on a plaque

If I’m laid by a busy road

I don’t even care about the bones within
I only care that the owner of those bones was found acceptable to God

That he followed Christ until the end of his days

That he was able to finally be called righteous

Surrender

Within the human heart there is:
Depravity
Expectations
Conditions
Deadlines
Changes
Improvements
Immorality
Sales pitches
Hidden meanings
Deceptions
Lies
Rage
Power grabs
Backstabbings
Double entendres
Depression
Murder
Cruelty
Innuendos
Impurity
Limitations
War
Taboos
Brokenness
Dread
Fear
Anxiety
Poverty
Loneliness
Shortcomings
Wanting
Confusion
Hunger
Hopelessness
Callousness
Anger
Pride
Greed
Lust
Envy
Gluttony
Wrath
Sloth
Theft
Addiction
Instability
Conflict
Misunderstandings
Sin
Corruption
Adultery
What-if’s
Idolatry
Indifference
Boredom
Violence
Weakness
Blame
Failures
Self-inflation
Doubt
Selfishness
Disappointment
Terrorism
Worship

We can’t escape the problem we are
The problem
Let us surrender – let us give up our lives
Give them to God
That he may provide comfort in the midst of that list

Encouragement for Amy

You dream of the serpent
And you say it’s vivid
A black mamba to be exact
Lunging its aggression on you while you sleep
And I wish I could fight it for you
Satan’s dream-induced minion trying to prevent you from crossing the ocean
And giving of yourself
Loving the Lord and loving people
Do not be moved, Amy.

“The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”

The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent
So, close your eyes and sleep
When you open them, be the hands and feet of Jesus

A Wedding Scene

Invitation lost in the mail
We’re crashing this wedding
 
With our clothes tattered
We can eat for a minute until
The King comes in –
Duck under the tables
Rips, bruises, dirt under our nails
 
Put on our Sunday best
Search and seizure
Food and wine soak the ground
Tables turned over
I hear a weeping and moaning and gnashing of teeth
The guy next to me is thrown out
We told you! We told you!
 
But few are chosen
God help me. God help my brothers and sisters.