In the Wake of Love, Hopelessness Disappears


IMG_0813The vast rat race of modern life

Have we all bought into the lie

Money makes you happy, so find success

Acquire all the money you want, then die

 

Death is the great equalizer of us all

Something that transcends race and class

We cannot escape its omnipresent grasp

We cannot overcome, nor can we surpass

 

What then do we live for

Why continue if the edge is our end

What is the glory of wealth

If hope it cannot land

 

And what of happiness on a September day

If tomorrow it shall rain

Life is more than the moment

For it all culminates to be vain

 

Do we pass on forever in our children

But they too succumb to eternal rest

Our children’s children will one day cease

The hope of life a cruel jest

 

And of the bond between lovers

A tale more fiction than fact

For all lovers end through choice or death

If two become one eventually one will subtract

 

Live for the moment I hear you say

But what of when the moment passes

In the quiet dark when reality appears

When the fear of our end amasses

 

Or do you ignore such questions

Do you push forward deaf to silence

Are you a mindless animal

To reason you must recompense

 

To ask these questions I ask

To face the world with fear

Not about survival, but about life

This differentiates us from animals, it’s clear

 

O stupefied and simple man

How easily you are led astray

Distracted by things of decay and rust

You ignore the night and no longer appreciate the day

 

We fill ourselves with drugs

To push away well-founded anxiety

For what are we in a sea of atoms

What more are we if not concentrated energy

 

What does it matter if I die today

What is gained if death awaits ’till tomorrow

I am but one life in an existence of billions

In my death or yours the universe does not sorrow

 

But what of beauty in this world

Of sunsets, lovers, and manmade art

Surely this is what we live for

This is found at the center of the heart

 

To this I emphatically say no

For what is beautiful shall not persist

The young vixen, the Rembrandt, the cathedral

All will fail and nothing now shall subsist

 

What of the form of beauty

Is this not eternal, for what we strive

What worth of an empty, mindless form

Why, for this, should I survive

 

Why, then, do we continue to avoid death

This all-too-natural unnatural reality

For what purpose do we live

Lest all actions be mere vanity

 

Perhaps we continue on in the name of love

Not mere romance, but something grander

But should the universe collapse on itself

Would not also love capitulate and surrender

 

Or is love beyond the realm of the seen

Could it be that love is the true reality

All now merely shadows, a simulacrum

And love directs us toward an eternity

 

If what we see is all we have

Then there is no point to this life

But if there is more, an unseen extravagance

Perhaps there is meaning to this strife

 

This love cannot be a mindless force

For then it could not be love, no intention

It must be intelligible and full of vivacity

Yet so vast a mystery, one without definition

 

This love must be our object of desire

Our Penelope on the odyssey of being

To run from this love the beginning of misery

Avoiding a contentment that sex and money cannot bring

 

We shall die and decay, but love live on

This love will rescue us from the grave

It will descend to any depths

For there is no soul it will not save

 

Our moments suddenly matter enveloped in love

For they shall continue forever and ever

Love will keep us and protect us

And seek us, to the end’s, wherever

 

Though my soul shall crumble to the abyss

And life collapse and tumble down the slope

I shall no more fear the darkness

In the arms of love I find hope

 

To the abyss love will find me

Love will break open the gates of death

The end of all shall be reversed

As love breathes a life-giving breath

 

Let meaninglessness win the day now

But let not death control history

There is more to life than our senses

Let love reign today, for love has eternal victory

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Morning Must Come


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A big beautiful ball of life
Adrift in an ocean of black
Surrounded by an expanse of strife
Yet here a lack of nothing where nothing lacks

Chaos found a way to this blue haven
Where man kills his brother
Simplicity we have forsaken
And sell our humanity for a dollar

Do we cherish this tiny island of hope
Or toss it away to busy lives and waste
We traverse down a destructive slope
But beauty is something for which we have taste

Man will one day awake anew
To a world familiar yet unseen
He will embrace the love he always knew
And eternally rest in creation redeemed

The day will be brighter but not hot
We shall all laugh and play
An eternal holiday for the wearied heart
How we all anticipate that day

Toil now on his earth
Let the sweat pour until reckoning
For it all has eternal worth
When we shall leave this night for morning

On Christ’s Entry Into the World (A Poem)


IMG_0813(This is a poem I wrote a few years ago, but wanted to publish it here. I should add that a lot of it is poetic wording, such as the Trinity was not actually divided in the death of Christ. This refers to more of the existential outpouring of Christ’s death rather than any ontological consequences. Please keep that in mind while reading)

Look upon the lonely world and all its error
See how much it is fallen, so lost in despair
Some worship gods, objects made at their own hand
While others make pleasure their only demand
Look upon this fallen world and find it torn
Orphaned, murdered, alone, so depraved we kill the unborn
Some see God’s laws written down, meant to prevent this depravity
But in following this stringent code they place themselves in slavery
What hope do you have, O Sinner, in the mess in which you live?
In our fallen mess, could we dream of a God who could forgive?

It does not please God to see His creation groan
He is love, and displays His love in a way never before known
Our God we witness as He reveals He is Holy Trinity
The Father, Son, and Spirit in love from all eternity
A perfect union that cannot be undone
Distinguished in three, but being in one
The Son is God and is eternally begotten by the Father
But is one in being with God and not a wholly other
From the Father proceeds His Holy Spirit
Distinct but fully God, between them there is no split

This Holy and loving God looked upon the world
He saw the destruction into which it was hurled
In the Incarnation, the veil between God and man was torn
The I AM humbled, to a human mother He was born
Under the curse of sin His chose to live, but no sin was in Him
A perfect life He led, knowing His eventual end was so grim
The same One who had once said, “Where are you” to humanity
Now adorned Himself in their flesh, but with no pomp or vanity
He took compassion on His brothers, on His fallen children
He provided substance in a world that was spiritually barren

Ever-present that sin broke the relationship between His Father and men
He sought to create a relationship to be broken never again
He took the flogging of the Roman condemned
All for our rebellion, for Him to mend
But His pain was so much deeper than the cells of His skin
In His spirit is where He felt the brunt of our sin
Look upon the cross and see a divided Trinity
Father forsaking Son whom He had loved for all eternity
But even in this, the Father took pleasure in breaking His Son
As the spilt and forsaken blood of Christ meant our sin was undone

The Father did not leave the Son in the grave
The Spirit came and raised Christ out of the cave
In His victory all sinners took delight
As God spoke into the darkness once again, and there was light
Light for those trapped in despair and pain
Light for the hopeless to tell them their lives aren’t in vain
In His resurrection He opened the path for fellowship with God
A belief no pagan could fathom, a belief that to the Jew is odd
To be guilty before God, to be His enemy, we are the ones
But in Christ’s resurrection we are adopted as sons

Into the slum, the ghetto, and the shanty town
Rise up all ye hopeless, stand up those who are down
To the blind, look upon Christ all day long
To the deaf, listen to His beautiful song
To the lame, run with Him forever, from west to east
To the hungry, sit and rejoice with Him at His feast
To the weary and worn down, in Him find your rest
To the diseased and unwanted, collapse in His chest
For we are adopted by God and have not a bother
For in our troubles we can cry out, “Abba, Father!”

A Confessional Prayer


This was previously posted in 2010, but it feels appropriate to post it again:

What among your creation is like you, O God? What in your creation can be compared to you? Shall we point to the tallest peaks in order to match your majesty? Yet your majesty towers over them. Shall we look to the furthest galaxies and the vast expanse of space to find something as big as you? Yet you contain it all within your hands.

All is contingent upon you, O God. A dove does not fly, a drop of rain does not fall, a wave does not churn, an atom does not move without your constant reflection upon their being. Were you to ever turn your gaze from your creation it would disappear. Nothing in your creation can ever compare to you for you are infinitely above it.

I confess that you are not weak. Your piercing gaze tames the untamable lion. When the storm rages and the seas refuse to cease and yield their might to no one, they are calmed by your whisper. What man can bring down the planets or the various galaxies? What man can ever hope to travel light years, to traverse billions of miles within a human lifetime, to visit these distance lands? And yet with your mere word they came into existence. You are above your creation and control your creation.

You are not limited to any space. We do not need to climb a mountain to find you or travel to a distant land to seek your wisdom. You are eternally present in all your creation, though your creation remains distinct from you and is not in you. For as the Psalmist says, if I should make my bed in the deepest valley, you shall be there. I cannot escape the presence of my God for my God is beyond all of creation.

You are ignorant of nothing O Lord! Nothing escapes your knowledge; you are infinitely wise, so much so that you know what could have happened even if it has not happened. What is man’s knowledge compared to you, O God? We are but foolish children in your presence, but this still does not display our knowledge to yours. We are ants to you, but an ant’s knowledge is closer to a man’s knowledge than a man’s knowledge is to you. You are far above us, O God. You know the placement of every electron in the universe and you know where they will be located tomorrow, the next day, or the day after. Nothing escapes your knowledge or foreknowledge.

I know that you are not evil and are held to no standard but your own. In all that you do, O Lord, you are good. It is in your goodness that you chose to create and it is your goodness that prevented you from eradicating your creation when we turned against you. No evil is to be found in you and no judge can condemn you, for you are the standard of good. We know what is good because you are good.

In all, you are love, but a love that we humans cannot fathom. Who would dare to put your love into words? This is why you did not sent a poet to sing of your love, a philosopher to explain in intricate detail how you love us, or a skilled rhetorician to sooth us with the knowledge of your love. Instead, you sent your Son to die on our behalf so that you might display your love, but even so we shall never comprehend your love.

Who are we to you O God? We are but infinitely small and insignificant rats who rebel against your glory!  Have mercy upon us, O Lord! But in your love for us, you have stayed your perfect judgment – for no judge is as just as you, you give to all what they deserve and require due penance from those who should pay – in your love you created us.

What is greater than you, O God? There is nothing greater than you. When you created, something other than you existed and imperfection existed. Only you are truly perfect; we met your standard of goodness, for we were as perfect as a created being can be. The creation of us was a sacrifice, to have to deal with that which is lesser than yourself, but you chose to do it anyway! When men see the darkness of this life they curse you for the gift you have given them! Job cursed the day he was born, but did not take into consideration that his mere existence was an act of love on your behalf. O Holy God, have mercy upon us sinners!

What was before us? What was before you spoke into the black void of nothingness? You existed in perfect harmony with yourself, in three persons sharing in one essence. Father, Son, and Spirit existing in perfect harmony and love.

I know that you are Trinity, O God, for how could you love if you were anything else? If you were one person, how could you love when no one else existed? I confess through your example and through your words that the greatest love is sacrificial, for only one who loves would lay down his life for his friends. But if you were one person then to whom did you sacrifice? To whom did you give your love?

In this we know that there were three; the Father loved the Son and both loved the Spirit. For you are perfect in your love and perfect love shares. The love between Father and Son would have been selfish and so, in your nature, you loved the Spirit as well. O Holy Trinity, forgive me for being so inadequate in my language about you. Please have mercy upon me on the Day of Judgment if I have offended you with my simple words!

You have revealed to us that the Father has eternally begotten the Son, not in the carnal begetting that we experience, but in a begetting we cannot understand. But I confess that you did this without changing and that the Word had no beginning. Lord, you are begotten, but not created. Just as the rays of the sun are begotten from the sun, but co-exist with the age of the sun so too is the Word to the Father, begotten by the Father, but co-eternal with Him.

And what of your most Holy Spirit? We praise you Spirit, for you are God and proceed from the Father. You have revealed that your procession did not begin within time, but that you are co-equal with the Father. Just as the heat from the sun’s rays proceed from the sun, but co-exist with the age of the sun, so too do you proceed from the Father, but co-exist with him.

Who am I to even understand this much about you, O Lord? How have I, a sinful man, been found worthy of your grace for you to allow me to understand this portion about you? May my mind never seek to go beyond what you have revealed. Who am I to understand the mysteries of you, O God? Should I ever attempt to understand you who are unbegotten and begotten, who proceeds and causes the procession? Shall I ever attempt to define you, you who escape all definition? May it never be Lord! May you strip me of my rationality should I ever say that I comprehend you! May you block my path and eradicate me from all existence should I ever attempt to go beyond what you have revealed!

Who is man that he might elevate himself over you? Who am I that I might take pride in my knowledge when you are the giver of that knowledge? What can I claim on my own behalf? That I can turn a page and read the words on it? You can move a mountain with no effort. Nothing is hidden from you and you know all things; I confess that I know nothing unless revealed to me, so what pride am I to take in that?

May I ever take refuge in you O Lord. May I have an eternal vigil in your presence. I am not worthy to know who you are, but you have allowed me to know. O glorious God, I worship you and thank you for who you are. Have mercy upon me, a sinner.

A Confession Poem


Look upon the lonely world and all its error

See how much it is fallen, so lost in despair

Some worship gods, objects made at their own hand

While others make pleasure their only demand

Look upon this fallen world and find it torn

Orphaned, murdered, alone, so depraved we kill the unborn

Some see God’s laws written down, meant to prevent this depravity

But in following this stringent code they place themselves in slavery

What hope do you have, O Sinner, in the mess in which you live?

In our fallen mess, could we dream of a God who could forgive?

Continue reading

The Dark


The darkness refuses to lift
In the deep of this valley
I cannot seem to sift
Through all my countless folly

The troubled sea will not calm
Inside this troubled heart
This injury has no healing balm
For a remedy I know not where to start

I want to become bitter against You
To blame You for my mishaps
But you know exactly what to do
For You are the one Who guides my steps

The future looks so dark and cold
But you contain it in Your hand
You shaped it from the days of old
And will bring me to the Promised Land

I am fearful and frightened at the dark clouds
And wonder if I will survive
But before you all storms must bow
And you will bring me through this alive

So bring comfort to this fallen child
Let me turn from this doubt and sin
For even though all hope is killed
In You I find hope again

Theodicy


O sovereign Lord of all

To You we lift our eyes

Before Your holiness we fall

O Father please hear our cries

 

Though trial and tribulation abound

And great evil we cannot ban

Our worries, You say, are unsound

And we should seek solace in Your plan

 

We do not know whom evil will select

Or why the innocent must suffer

But You promise to preserve Your elect

You are the Holy buffer

 

And when we feel tempted to ask why

We merely need to look Heaven bound

And to our Father we can cry

Only in You can comfort be found