Holy Alteration

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You save us from idolatry
Through disappointment.
The call to bear the killing tree
Is healing ointment.
“Take up your cross and follow me” –
Divine appointment.

We do not know the depths of sin
Within our being.
We fight against but cannot win;
But you, all seeing,
Stepped into time to work for men
Eternal freeing

From forces that devise the fall
Of your creation.
Depravity common to all
Met its damnation.
Now hear, all broken hearts, his call:
Propitiation.

In you, we hope. For you, we wait.
You are provider.
You know our weakness, our estate;
Your grace is wider.
You bear our sin and fix our fate,
Divine divider.


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Death and Life

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Death will come for all men in the end.
None escape the final reckoning.
All who climb the mountains must descend.
All must heed th’ eternal beckoning.
Righteous men and wicked men alike
Fade at last into obscurity.
Actions matter not, for doom will strike
All. The grave remains a surety.
Is there gain in doing what is good?
Can we earn a single day of bliss?
We still die in doing what we should.
Vanity of vanities is this.
Yet the story need not end in vain.
Death does not possess the highest pow’r.
Life embodied died to end death’s reign.
Now we need not fear the final hour.
Slain upon a skull and then entombed,
Life partook in full the fatal drink.
Life then rose again, the curse consumed.
Hope now lives and nevermore will sink.
Therefore we have purpose in our ways,
For we follow him who doth transcend.
Christ has given meaning to our days.
Now we know that death is not the end.


Photo by Elijah Hail on Unsplash

Perspective

Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil. Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few.
Ecclesiastes 5:1-3

Know your place.

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Comparison

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Compare at your own peril, for your life
Will never measure up to what you see
In others. You will only grow in strife.
You build a prison cell though you are free.
When we compare, we only see in part.
We view another’s gain where we have naught.
We note the diff’rences but miss the art
Of walking in the Way the master taught.
O faulty vision, warped by my desire,
Look not to other men but to the Lord.
Comparison would be to me a fire,
And its destruction I cannot afford.
So fight, my soul, temptations to compare
Or else resign to living in despair.


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Comparison

I wonder if comparison is a nicer-sounding expression for envy. When I read the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20, I can quickly pass over verse 17 under the assumption that I don’t have any problems with desires for the wealth or the family of my neighbors. In fact, I tend to read this verse with specifics in mind, comforting myself that I don’t desire my friend’s Xbox or his car or whatever else he may have. I tell myself envy isn’t an issue for me. But then I begin to compare.

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The Paradox of Flesh

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The flesh is weak, and thus the flesh is strong.
Its eyes, created to behold the light,
Look to be filled by shadows in the night.
Its lips attempt to sing a lesser song,
Changing its subject to subjects. Its hands
Fight to feel control. Its nose calls rotten
All fragrance of the only begotten.
Its mind feigns thought yet never understands.
Strange is its weakness, stranger still its strength,
For, though inferior to its design,
The flesh oft captivates the soul of man,
Distracting all the senses for the length
Of life, lest spirit somehow glimpse a sign
That life was purposed for a higher plan.
Ne’er underestimate the danger here.
Long as you live, the enemy is near.


Photo by Ümit Bulut on Unsplash