Poetry

Kester Brewin Waxes Poetic on Descartes

Kester Brewin‘s blog went dark after he finished his book Signs of Emergence. Really, it went dark after the book had been out in the UK and in the US for a bit. Recently he began writing and putting his stuff out there again. I saw this poem and thought, “How brilliant?”

The polymath Rene Descartes,
Described life at its thoughtful heart:
â??Je pense donc je suisâ?? â??
Itâ??s thinking makes me
Was a â??sophical work of art.

But the converse of what he had said
Brings an interesting thought to my head:
When they rage in their cars,
Elbow people in bars
Is it true that the thoughtless are dead?

Poetically Provocatively Jesus

6a00d8341c1ad253ef01156fe0e1ae970b-800wijpgMy friend Barry Tayloris posting in concert with Holy Week. He offers a gem from his reading for the week. If you like poetry then this one is for you. Sometimes the character in the Jesus story that most resembles us is not the impulsive, impetuous Peter. Instead, many times we more resemble Judas. If Peter Rollins is correct then in some ways we betray what we say when our praxis fails to exhibit the character of Jesus. Holy week should be time for holy reflection. Far too easy to become ensared in the commercialization of the resurrection with many displays of pomp and circumstance. The really provocative moments are often left out of the “presentable” pieces. The poetry Barry selects to offer gives us the kind of “gut check” needed when we consider the implications of Jesus and living the resurrection.

Here are the first few lines.

I have never seen him and I have never seen
Anyone but him. He is older than the world and he
Is always young. What he says is in every ear
And has never been heard before.
I have tried to kill him in me,
He is in me more than ever.

What are your thoughts?

Story of Contrasts and Common-ness

Sunday I read this poem written for our Christmas presentation of, “It’s (Not) Beginning to Look alot Like Christmas”

Narration requires a story.
Story draws attention.
Attention to characters and plots.
Plots fill our lives and yet there is one plot that takes in them all.

All we experience comes under the story of God.
God creating, sustaining, redeeming, loving and caring.
Caring for what God cares for has been entrusted to us.
â??Usâ? who embrace the Word of God become flesh.

Flesh and blood, living and breathing
Breathing the air we breath and walking the earth we walk
Walk with us through a story.
Story of contrasts and common-ness.
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Where do you stand?

Tuesday I read a poem by the late Samuel Moor Shoemaker. It was part of my morning devotional reading. The words stirred me. The song writer wrote about being a door keeper in the house of the Lord. Shoemaker wrote about a place by the door for those coming and thinking about leaving. It is a fitting poem for “The Edge of the Inside.”

Here is an exerpt,

I stand by the door.
I neither go too far in, nor stay too far out,
The door is the most important door in the world –
It is the door through which men walk when they find God

Thereâ??s no use my going way inside, and staying there,
When so many are still outside, and they, as much as I,
Crave to know where the door is.
And all that so many ever find
Is only the wall where a door ought to be.
They creep along the wall like blind men,
With outstretched, groping hands,
Feeling for a door, knowing there must be a door,
Yet they never find it – – –
So I stay near the door.

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Glimpse of the Relief for the World

Early this morning I boarded the treadmill. The on board computer offers a variety of ways to measure progress. One readout I watch is “distance.” My goal is at least 2 miles of cardio. The other display I watch is “time.” I like to get my two miles, walking and jogging, in about 30 minutes. Since my workouts have been irregular Monday mornings present something of a “shock.” My body pays careful attention to the time knowing relief is in sight.

The promise of Messiah offered hopeful encouragement for people given to watch for his coming. Relief would soon come. Jesus’ sojourn brought relief to a variety of human suffering. Some found release from the pain of illness, disease and broken bodies. Others were set free from oppression be it demonic or cultural. People came from all around to find relief. The King had come and gave a sign and foretaste of life in the Kingdom of God.

Sin is insidious. Its effects are felt, as Scot McKnight notes, in all of our relationships – self, others, God, and the world. Sins personal and systemic keep us all in need of relief from the its presence.

Kester Brewin offered a poem to signal indicators of the kind of relief brought in the Resurrection of Jesus. The reference may be to the giving up of Jesus by the earth which could not hold him, but the implications reach far and wide. Thanks Kester for the thoughts.

It wasn’t so much that
the stones couldn’t hold him.
More that they refused to.

All had been silent, struck dumb by deathly silence, but
“All down here is petrified but him” they cried out,
as he said they would.
“He could no more be made fossil relic by us than
the sun that melts and sublimates”

Don’t think it was some angel.
That morning,
the earth opened itself,
and gave him back.

Happy Easter.