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…
Continue reading “Questions for a Jehovah’s Witness”
Our stories revolve around the sons of…
Of harpy and of Jacob
From which fathers are they?
Is their devotion to violence in the alley
Merely a skewed reading of scripture
They call themselves the sons of…
Of ones whose hearts are all-consuming fire
And disgust in the bedrooms.
Their loyalty unfaltering, unmoved, and solid
Their causes horrifically misplaced
These are the sons of…
Broken men following broken men following broken men
But believing in something real.
Enforcing the laws of the land
They forget the good news that made them
The person and work of Jesus Christ –
His sinless life –
Can be yours
By faith alone
And I’m spiteful
And I’m so angry
And my heart is rotten
And I fall short every day
But you love me. All is well.
Words? In devotion to me?
No. No my name is small and can’t be heard
Yes, yes, yes, Your name
Should be sung loud
Let us sing loud!
“O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be…”
Which facet of this Diamond should we sing of tonight?
What color is Your character?
What color do you see, brother?
Every color is beautiful
In its own way
And we look to this, our Prism
The grace-giving summation of everything good
We look to Him
I look to Him
Without Him, none of this means anything
It’s all just a useless few years
In which we keep yelling our names
Never to be heard
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
I was working in the yard
With earth up to my elbows
The dirt was dark and cool
Figure eights between my
Fingers. Beetles came to
The surface to inspect. My
Knees were deep in the dirt
I filled my hands with scoops
of land. I washed them with
Cold water. It all brought true
Satisfaction and it occurred to
Me what God must have felt
When he was at work, seeing
Creatures come into being.
Feeling land between his
Fingers and cold water clean.
I’m envious of the Maker
Of all things.
Photo credit: “baby grass [mother’s day present]” by Flickr user woodleywonderworks
Two grandmothers – two Bibles
One, a well-worn testament to a life spent searching
Tears, pencil & pen marks, highlights bright and faded
Dog-eared pages for purposes we’ll never know
Prayers resting inside the back cover
The other, a disregarded vestige from a life lived at garage sales
Rotting in a box next to old rat traps
Buried under Life magazines with more experience
The pages filled with the word of God yet untouched
Photo credit: “Psalm 71” by Flickr user Carson Coots
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
The father; the first
The creator of all things
He gave us his son,
His mission: to liberate
Died on the cross. And
Promised his Spirit
Which dwells inside all of us
The giver of life