Easter Sunday

The Son of God was lying in the grave
and so the Serpent bragged, “I’ve struck His heel!
For how,” he reasoned, “can a dead God save
once all the power of Hell has been revealed?”
A large stone blocked the entrance of the tomb
and those who’d followed Him would face great strife
For now, the Serpent revelled in this doom
But Grave could not hold Him who’d authored Life!
An empty place marks where his body lay
for all Death’s victories had been undone
the mighty stone was simply cast away
and brighter than the sun-rise rose The Son
For Christ, in rising, crushed the Serpent’s head
Life conquered Death, and death itself is dead

Holy Week – Saturday

Earlier in the week, I commented that my prayer this week would be that I could “dwell in the middle” of the story of Holy Week. That I would be able to ponder and contemplate the week that lead up to Christ’s execution and burial without rushing ahead to Sunday, If anything, though, captures the “middle of the story”, I think it might be Saturday – the day that falls in between when Death crushed life, and when Life crushed death (the capitalization and lack thereof in death and life in my last sentence was deliberate)

We come now to the center of it all
the day when Christ’s death started sinking in
when those who followed knew they’d seen him fall
when thoughts of Christ were thoughts of broken skin
Christ was dead, and dead, too, was their hope
and they knew that their lives were at risk too
so now they hid, not knowing how they’d cope
false seemed the only One they’d thought was true
They thought the story now was at an end
Christ’s body now was rotting in a tomb
had all His talk been truly just pretend?
such wretched agony filled them all with gloom
But now was not the ending of the play
Another act will follow the next day!



Holy Week – Thursday

I wonder what all went through the disciples’ minds at that Last Supper when Jesus, the master, took on a servant’s role and washed his disciples’ feet. I have tried to capture what might have been the thoughts of Peter.

~~

The One who’s sandals I’m unfit to tie
has turned the tables, kneeling at my feet
with water-bowl and cloth to wash and dry
while I, who should serve Him, stay in my seat
His humble action humbles all my pride
His servitude makes me desire to serve
that Christ has let me travel at his side
is more than I, a sinner, could deserve
But when I say “Lord stop! It should be me”
with love so deep, he looks me in the eye
and says, “My child, do you still not see
I do this now to show that you are mine”
Lord let this foot-wash merely be the start
for I need You to cleanse my sinful heart

Holy Week – Wednesday

The feet of Christ were spoken of by John1
who claimed he was unworthy to unclasp
the sandals that the Holy One had on
and so when Mary2 took and broke a flask
of costly perfume over those same feet
and then went on to wipe them with her hair
some of those present didn’t waste a beat
condemning what she’d done – how could she dare?
But Christ saw value – not unworthiness
He saw her love and loved her in return
where others cursed her, Jesus deemed to bless
accepting her when others tried to spurn
Each act of love, like perfume being poured
becomes a fragrant off’ring to the Lord

~~

1 – John the Baptist
2 – Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus

~~

My poems and thoughts this week have been largely inspired by “The Pilgrim Year: Holy Week” devotional book by Steve Bell (can be purchased from https://pilgrimyear.com/), as well as the poetry of Malcolm Guite’s book “Sounding the Seasons”, which I believe is available on Amazon. Malcolm has also been posting his poems on his blog, where you can also listen to him reading them (malcolmguite.wordpress.com). If you are not familiar with this poet, he is well worth the read/listen. He has a depth to his poetry that often leaves me speechless.

Palm Sunday

“Hosanna!” roared the multitude
while they cast to the ground
their cloaks and branches cut from palms
for He who would be crowned

to cast from them once and for all
that foreign Roman horde
They’d fin’ly have one of their own
to be their king and lord

A king who’d rule on their behalf
is what they came to make:
this man who rode a donkey’s colt
should make the Caesar shake!

He’d take Jerusalem by storm
is what that crowd all thought
what would they do though when they found
that’s not the kind of King they’d got…


Witness to His Life – Our Response

The story of the birth of Christ
took place two-thousand years ago
and there are some who’d tell us that
it’s fiction, fantasy, or myth

And there are some who will admit
that yes, there really was a man
named Jesus, but he was no more
than that: a man who did good things

But who is this Jesus, really?
who do we believe that he is…
a good man, a teacher, a myth
or do we believe something more?

Are we willing, like the shepherds
and magi of so long ago
to seek the truth about this man
to know that he is our Saviour?

Will we join with the apostles
to be disciples of God’s son
obey Him, regardless of cost
and reflect His Light in darkness?

Oh Lord, let these words be true that:
“We are a community of
disciples who passionately
seek, obey, and reflect Jesus”

~~

The last 3 lines of my poem is the vision statement of the church I attend. I thought that these were fitting words for a Christian’s response to the story of Christmas.

Poem is written in blank verse (although it contains metrical structure, it has rhyme scheme)

Witnesses to His Coming – 3rd Sunday of Advent (The Shepherds)

You should have seen the stars that night
against a sky so vast and deep
we’d never seen them shine so bright
upon us and our flock of sheep

But then came something so profound
we all forgot the stars were there
in fear we fell down to the ground
all of us in great despair

An angel of the Lord Most High
stood mighty, tall, and far too near
we all believed that we would die
until he told us “Do not fear”

And then he told us wondrous news:
the One that we’ve been waiting for
the promised Saviour of the Jews
is here! We have to wait no more!

Then suddenly the sky was filled
with angels singing praise to God
no human choir is so skilled
it left us breathless, thrilled, and awed

Then just as quick they went away
but we recalled what we’d been told:
we’d find Him in a trough for hay
and not a palace filled with gold

So off to Bethlehem we went
to find The One who’d bring great joy
The One whom God Himself had sent
the Saviour King…an infant boy

When we had found that manger bed
and met the Holy Promised One
ev’n memories of angels fled
for we had met God’s only Son!

Witnesses to His Promise – 1st Sunday of Advent (Zechariah and Mary)

I have been asked to write a series of poems for our church’s Advent season. I thought I would share them here with my readers as well.

Today is the first Sunday of Advent, and the topic of our church service today is “Witnesses to His Promise”, and the two Bible characters being looked at are Zechariah (father of John the Baptist), and Mary (mother of Jesus).  I have written 2 sonnets…one from the perspective of each of the above mentioned people.

~~

I’m Zechariah of the Levite tribe
and I am proud to be a priest of God
While serving in the Holy Place – I can’t describe…
what happened there still leaves me over-awed

My wife Elizabeth and I are old
our child-bearing years were long since done
and yet an angel came to me – and told
that soon I’d be a father to a son!

There’s nothing beyond God’s ability,
but that my faith is weak there’s no dispute
in my great doubt I asked, “How can this be?”
and for my disbelief I was struck mute

Until the birth of John: my precious son
who came to lead us to God’s Holy One!

~~

God’s messenger Gabriel visited
He called me favoured!…Said I’d bear God’s son!
I don’t know why I was so privileged
that God made me his special chosen one

Though of Judah’s tribe and King David’s line
I, Mary, am a peasant.  Nobody!
and yet…I was chosen by the Divine?
to be the mother of Divinity?

I am betrothed, but still a virgin…so…
the angel’s words confused me.  In wonder
I asked “How will this be?” Although
I somehow knew, YES!  I’d be a mother!

Though all the earth’s too small to grant him room
The One who made me moves inside my womb!

Parables of Earth – Part VI

“The grass withers and the flowers fail, but the word of our God endures forever.” Isaiah 40:8

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

The crops that grow will struggle to survive
in those years when the sky seems hard as brass.
When rain is scarce, how can anything thrive?
All fades…withers…like the flowers and grass

But if you watch the Farmer, you will see
that he toils all day long, bringing pail
after pail of water from the stream. He
won’t willingly allow his crops to fail

Around his land, the earth is cracked and dry;
The Farmer’s fields, though, are fertile and green.
It’s when rain clouds don’t appear in the sky
that the Farmer’s work is most clearly seen

Though our lives often don’t go as we’d planned,
the Farmer won’t let things get out of hand.