Note to My Readers: from mid-June to mid-August (6/18 - 8/20), I will be taking a summer break from posting new articles for my Thursday and Friday slots. This will only affect my Thursday series on the global growth of Christianity, and my Friday series, the "Theological Bestiary" of birds, both of which will resume in late August. During the summer, I'll be dusting off some of my best essays from the first few years of this blog (a decade ago), as well as my verse play "Thus Ends the World," and re-posting them in the Thursday and Friday slots. All other weekdays will continue to feature new material throughout the summer.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Two Short Poems


May God be your grace in every journey,

Your hope in every sigh.

May Christ be your light in every darkness,

Your refuge from the storm.

May the Spirit be your joy in every moment,

Your peace, your shield, your breath.

And may God be your God,

Now and forever,

Now and forever.

-------------------------------------------------

The trumpets sound from Tarvo,

And I am overwhelmed.

Grace, grace,

Oceans of unending grace.

How shall I find words

To write the heartbeat of the stars?

How shall I find music

For the song the mountains sing?

Unbounded, unresting,

Unparalleled grace!


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Behold the Cross

Behold the Cross,

The Sign of Love,

Where the Everlasting God

Has been crushed for us.

Behold the crown upon His brow,

And there the piercing thorns,

The weapons of a twisted world

That wants no king like Him.

Behold the wicked nails,

Driven deep through hands and feet;

The sins of those who love Him

And of those who never knew,

And for love’s sake He receives them.

Behold the spear and ragged wound,

The piercing mark of our treachery;

Here Christ bears the torment

Of poverty and war and death,

And here he drinks its pain.

Behold the crimson blood,

The life of man and God,

The blood that covers all our sins.

Behold the man of all mankind,

The sum of all we are

And all we could have been.

Behold the endless God,

Who drinks humiliation

To save disloyal sons.

Here humanity has been joined

With eternity;

And here we live the life of God.

Our sin has made us cursed in life,

A curse which leads to death.

And Christ has come to taste that death:

Our Blessing drinks our curse.

The curse will break,

The sin will heal,

And death will be undone.

Behold the fall of Death itself,

As in Christ’s death it dies.

Behold the fall of Satan’s power,

Undone by sacrifice.

Behold our freedom in his life,

Our freedom in his death;

Behold our wonder in his grace,

Our ransom, and our rest.

The death that claims him even now

Cannot bind him down.

He lives through all eternity,

And he will live again.

Behold the dawning of our hope

As now he bears the load

Of all we are,

Of all we’ve done,

And all that we will be.

Bruised and torn,

Upon the cross,

Our victory is won.

And now dies the Immortal Christ—

Dies, that we may live.