1 Samuel 19; 1 Chronicles 7; Psalm 59; Matthew 4

Leaving It All Behind

I heard you calling me with an invitation too deep to grasp,
like a cataract echoing from a cavern in the depths of your being,
reverberating with life,

offering the answer of the ancient promise
as a feast for a starving soul voracious for any morsel,
yet welcomed to a saint’s banquet.

Who knows what dangers lurk—
eagles, bears, lions, sheep—
along the way I have been chosen to follow

in pursuit of the prophets’ hopes
that ungilds all the investments of my passions,
exposing the miserly truth that I am.

Here, finally, is healing for my fragmented soul—
my crazed body, my anemic mind, my ashen spirit—
unspoiled by chaos crashing around me,

restored to a primordial beauty
that radiates with the resplendence of the sun
in a cloudless sky shining on virginal loam.

You have asked me to join in broadcasting your news
that the forgotten future is free,
scattered like seeds across the land,

budding enchanting flowers and dulcet fruit
that draw mortals with childlike desires to leave behind playing dress-up
so they can march in the band of the parade going somewhere, anywhere.

And I said, “Yes.”

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1 Samuel 18; 1 Chronicles 6; Psalm 11; Matthew 3

It Takes One to Know One

John the Baptist squalled,
“You brood of vipers…”
John Calvin bawled,
“You factories of idols…”
John Wesley called,
“You who wear vice as fashion…”
Jonathan Edwards wrawled,
“You who walk on the edge of the pit of hell…”
Jimmy Buffett drawled,
“It’s a fine line between Saturday night and Sunday morning.”
Are you listening, y’all?

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1 Samuel 17; Psalm 9; Matthew 2

For Crying Out Loud

Weep Rachel, for your babies cry no more,
As infant Jesus wails in exile
And God sobs from the throne.
Weep Rachel, for the slaughter and the gore,
As Rabbi Jesus mourns at the tomb
And God sobs from the throne.
Weep Rachel, for all that goodness deplores,
As votive Jesus prays in the garden
And God sobs from the throne.
Weep Rachel, for the dying we ignore,
As wounded Jesus whispers on the cross
And God sobs from the throne.
Weep Rachel, for your joy has been restored,
As risen Jesus laughs in new creation.

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1 Samuel 15-16; 1 Chronicles 5; Matthew 1

Captivated

“Do not look on his appearance.”
But obviously, he is ruddy.
“The Lord does not see as mortals see.”
But have you seen those beautiful eyes?
“The Lord looks on the heart.”
But he sure is handsome.
“Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.”
But you can’t help noticing he is talented.

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1 Samuel 14; 1 Chronicles 4; 2 Corinthians 13

The Power of One

I’m nothing but a zero
‘Til with the one, a hero
As tensome my spirit grows
To fight my fiercest foes
Keep adding on the zeroes
To this paradox tableau
A crowd of nothings in the throes
So the power of one will show

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1 Samuel 13; 1 Chronicles 2-3; 2 Corinthians 12

I Can’t Help It

I can’t help it,
I have to help God
stay on schedule and get things done.
We don’t have time to wait
for some divine plan or holy ritual.
We don’t have time to wait
on holy men to direct matters.
We don’t have time to wait;
we only have now to act for God.

I can’t help it,
but when I help God
by getting busy and doing godly things
I start acting as God,
thinking my way is the only way.
I start acting like God
demanding others obey my obvious sagacity.
I start acting as God,
wanting all to see my power and glory.

I can’t help it,
I have to have help, God,
stay on your schedule according to your will.
I don’t have time to waste
on frivolous, fleeting enterprises.
I don’t have time to waste
trying to accomplish what I’m not fit to finish.
I don’t have time to waste;
I only have now for God to act.

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1 Samuel 11-12; 1 Chronicles 1; 2 Corinthians 11

A Meek Effort

Don’t seek to be meek if you’re weak.
It takes might to absorb the fight,
To shoulder the boulders crushing you,
Not breaking when taking the shaking.
Bless when people distress you:
Through prayer dare to declare
The love that comes from above,
The kind you find at the cross.

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