Monday, November 26, 2007

forgotten father...lost sons...

(Luke 15:1-3)
1-3 By this time a lot of men and women of doubtful reputation were hanging around Jesus, listening intently. The Pharisees and religion scholars were not pleased, not at all pleased. They growled, "He takes in sinners and eats meals with them, treating them like old friends." Their grumbling triggered this story.
(the Message translation)

You saw us…the broken ones…
I mean You REALLY saw us!
You saw us the way
No one else ever did…we were
Friends of Matthew…people
Of the street…the

You joined us…coming
To us…to
Our place…to eat
With us…
Staying long enough to
Hear our stories…and
To tell Your Own.

People who were
More socially correct than
Pointed out exactly who You
Were hanging with.
You told them…and
Three stories…each
About things that were
Lost…then found.

A shepherd
Chases down
A wayward sheep…and
A woman
Scours her house for
The one lost coin.

Spoke straight to us
You talked about
The forgotten Father…
Your Abba…Who
Had some lost sons.

One lost son left home
To shed the family identity
To return home
Broken…begging for
Only a slave’s wages.

The other son
Got lost…when
He could not enjoy
His brother’s return…along with
His Father…since
He too had lost the
Family identity.

Both sons had forgotten their
As did the men who
About the class of folk
You loved to be with.
They too
Had forgotten their
One-and-only YaHWeH- of-the-Heavens
Hung in with
A slow-believing Abraham…and
The YaHWeH Who
Wrestled all night with
A lying Jacob…
The YaHWeH Who
A fear-filled Moses…
The YaHWeH Who
A murdering, adulterous

Who is perfect
In every way…
To look for us
He finds us.
Then He sits down
With us…in
Our misery…and
Swaps stories with us…
THIS…is love!

Lawful or not?

1 Jesus then left that place and went into the region of Judea and across the Jordan. Again crowds of people came to him, and as was his custom, he taught them.
2 Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?"
(Mark 10:1-2, NIV)

They asked you for a ruling
On divorce…an
Official Rabbinical ruling…a
Definitive statement.

Why do we do this?

Why do we keep asking for
A legal order?
A legal decision?

Do we really want
More rules?
Do we really want something
Hard and fast…so that
We can know?
For sure?

Is it that we so desire to
Be in control
That we prefer a “law”
We can “lawyer” our way
Around it…whenever
We need to?

Do we look for a way
To discount…
To undermine Your heart,
Lord…just like
We attempt to over-ride…
To discount the heart
Of the wife of our youth…even
As she gains age…and wisdom?

Are we that hard-hearted?
Is the common desire to divorce…simply
That ugly?

I think, Lord,
The answer is, “YES.”
Most of the time it is either
That ugly…or maybe
It shows how lazy-of-heart
We are.

From Your example, Lord,
We know that no love
Grows on it’s own.
Love needs
Our active, constant
Like any other living thing
It dies.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Chosen One from Isaiah 42:1-2

"Take a good look at my servant.
I'm backing him to the hilt.
He's the one I chose,
and I couldn't be more pleased with him.
I've bathed him with my Spirit, my life.
He'll set everything right among the nations.
(the Message)

There is more to Your title, “Messiah”
Than we know.

YaHWeH chose Abraham to father
Many nations…and
Along the way
Asked him to sacrifice his
Only son.

YaHWeH chose Jacob to be heir
To Abraham…and
Along the way
Chose to permanently injure him
So that Jacob could learn
To tell the truth.

YaHWeH chose Moses to lead
His people to freedom…and
Along the way
Gave him 40 years
Of headache & deadly opposition.

YaHWeH chose David
As King & chief poet to
His Own people...and
Along the way
Made him pay fully…for
Each of his blunders
So that YaHWeH’s people
Would not think
That the I AM makes it easy
On the powerful
Without them paying a terrible cost.

YaHWeH chose You, Lord, as
His Messiah…for
All Israel
All nations
All the world.

Sent to You every test
Any of us could
EVER go through…and
Even more.
YaHWeH was with You…
Always…calling You,
“The One-Who-pleases-Me”

Along the way…that
YaHWeH asked You to walk
Was every demon
Known to Satan…seizing people
Destroying their families,
Their hearts…in the process…
You stepped up
As YaHWeH’s Chosen One
As the One-Promised-of-Old.
You destroyed Satan’s campaign
Of destruction…and
Even more amazingly gave to us
In the Name of YaHWeH
In the Person of the Most Holy Spirit
To destroy the enemy’s work!

Even as YaHWeH’s hand
Was heavy
On You…especially
At the end…
So too
His hand lifts us up
Even as
The weight of His calling
On our lives
Gives pause to us.

What we have
That You did NOT…is
Your example to study
Your pattern to follow
Your steps to show us the Way!

as YaHWeH's Own "Chosen One"
You were
You are…and
You will be amazing!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Jesus In A Bathroom

I saw You in a bathroom
At Carl’s Jr. yesterday.

A group of “special” adults
Had arrived in the restaurant.
Each had unique
Physical & mental needs:
That they required outside help
To face.
To overcome.
They needed the adults who attended them.

As I entered the restroom
I saw
What I thought was a drug bust --
A man spread-eagled against the far wall.
But then I saw that his pants were down
Around his knees.
The smell of excrement
Was strong.
Very unpleasant.
A Mexican-American man
Was cleaning him off.
The attendant was moving
With toilet paper
Between man & toilet
Speaking softly,
(As if to a beloved child)...
Speaking comfortingly to the frightened
Man with his pants down.
“It’s okay.”
“But it sure smells bad,” the man said.
“That’s what happens
When you mess your pants,” was the reply.
But don’t worry, I’ll get it
Fixed up...right away.”
He spoke patiently
As he continued to work.
I did not want to stay there
Very long at all.
As I left,
It struck me that
I had been in that bathroom
With You, Lord.
You were that Mexican-American
Cleaning the clothing,
The excrement,
Wiping the butt
Of that frightened man.
You were there speaking words
Of encouragement and comfort
To make the task
Not only lighter for Yourself
And Your charge,
But also to make
It understandable
To an uncomprehending
You served the dirty ones
As well as the ignorant ones.
Isn’t that what You did
On the tree?
You wiped the butt
Of the world.
You cleaned off the waste products
Of our lives.
Our own excrement
You took upon Yourself.
Even saying this,
I want to retch.
Bile rises in my throat.
But isn’t that
What Gesthemane was about?

Perfect God-man.
Perfect life.
Subjected to the Father’s Will.
Become the sin offering,
The excrement-catcher
For the whole world.
Target of the total wrath
The holy wrath
Of the Infinite YaHWeH-God!
The I AM THAT I AM-at-war to purge
His creation,
His people
His kingdom from sin.
It was not the blood.
The pain.
That caused you to pray so deeply
In the Garden...
Rather it was the absolute
Stench of death,
Of decay that our sin brings.
Yet, You carried it all.
Disposing of it in the only possible way.
Forever...“It is finished!”
When it was all over,
I was clean.
I could not clean myself...
For You see,
I was in that bathroom, too!