It has been 9 months since I’ve written here. An interesting time frame. Perhaps something has been incubating and maturing, growing within, in a hidden place, unable to shared until it is ready to be born.
For now, the rich simplicity of the Christmas message has struck me anew.
God with us. God came to us. In so many ways:
to Mary as a prophetic declaration
A promise and plan beyond her wildest dreams with a reassurance
- Fear not, you have found favour -
to Joseph in dreams with instructions
to Elizabeth as a leap of joy within
to Herod as a threat
to Bethlehem as someone needing a room
to Shepherds as a glorious, joyful host of angels
to wise men as a light in the dark
to Simeon and Anna as a promise fulfilled.
to earth as a new Hope, a Promise, a Grace, an Open Door to Eternity.
How will I receive him?
Come, Lord Jesus, Come.
In the beginning
Before heaven was.
Before earth was formless -
There you are
Father, Son and Spirit Holy
Three in one
The sacred dance
And In the end
At earths destruction
Beyond the days of
new heaven and new earth
There you are, dancing still
The dance of love goes on
Graceful and fluid,
Majestic and lovely,
Flowing like water
Entwining and joyful.
It is hard to see where one person ends
And another begins
Father, Son and Spirit Holy.
And mystery of mysteries
You bid us come.
Spirit draws us, Son takes us
In nail pierced hands
And presents us to the Father.
And we are caught up in the holy dance
The eternal relationship of love
Which knows no beginning and no end.
What a privilege to be
Caught up in you
And the rhythm of eternal communion
As we spin and sway and move
to the music of grace
With Father, Son and Spirit Holy.
Hopeless and weary, yet still
Our love for him drew us to the place where he lay
Braving the knowledge that the guards would still be there
Despite the finality of death, we had to see
even his grave
one more time.
The earth shook as we approached.
We shook, too.
Though we had thought that those last dark days had wrung out every last emotion,
We found we were wrong
but still our love drew us.
A light too bright to look into
Words issued by an angel
Words too bright to believe entirely
but unbidden, a strange forgotten joy was birthed. It was hope.
We ran. We ran to call the others, but stopped in our tracks.
He was there. Radiant.
“Greetings” he said.
Are those words from beyond the grave…….? “Greetings”
even now it makes me laugh.
And we who had thought to never feel again
were filled with joy.
Laughter spilled out, love overflowed, struck down with awe we lay flat
and clutched at his feet with love whilst we could barely breathe.
“Fear not” so gentle his words that banished fear forever.
and now we could let him go
For we knew he would never leave us again.
The second day
was a day when you were gone.
No gospels written then
The certainty of victory concealed
The second day
smelt of bloodshed
and dirty linen used to wash thy torn pure form
lay soaking in a bowl.
The second day
we were bereft and weeping.
No comforter then.
I turned to a friend for a hug and a smile
but saw only pain.
The second day
and you loved us too much
to leave us there
in the bleak darkness
hopeless and lost
for more than a day.
oops – forgot to post yesterday, so two offerings today. Here we are, Good Friday, remembering the darkest of days. We know the events through the bible and with hindsight. I cannot imagine how the mother of Jesus, or his friends felt at the crucifixion, not knowing what would follow.
I watched a much loved sister die over a relatively short period of time a few years ago. Sitting at her bedside, watching her lovely face grow thinner, seeing her slipping away in front of my eyes, was agonising. Yet I kept thinking about Mary, watching Jesus die before her eyes, an unimaginably more painful death with no pain relief, no nurses, and so alone.
He would have been naked, exposed, his skin gouged, his face beaten…publicly derided and humiliated. I cannot imagine watching that happen to a much loved son, to someone you loved more that yourself.
Mary watched and wept
as the torture proceeded
not knowing that each and every
savage, painful moment
drew You closer to home
to the place where
tears are tenderly wiped away
and glory is inhaled with every breath.
Every step on the highway to death
forged a path to a life that will never perish.
And when deepest blackness
darkened the sky
and utter bleakness
stole Your soul
that was the last grasp of evil’s fingers upon You.
Never again can the tentacles of death
trap those in whom Your Spirit inhabits.
For we are free
and more alive than we will ever know
even while we die.
I will fear no evil. For the Good Shepherd is by my side.
Father forgive them, they know not what they do
The only certainty more sure
than our past, present and future
to the killers.