May Day

A poem for May, from Sara Teasdale:

May Day

A delicate fabric of bird song
Floats in the air,
The smell of wet wild earth
Is everywhere.

Red small leaves of the maple
Are clenched like a hand,
Like girls at their first communion
The pear trees stand.

Oh I must pass nothing by
Without loving it much,
The raindrop try with my lips,
The grass with my touch;

For how can I be sure
I shall see again
The world on the first of May
Shining after the rain?


Holy Week: Friday

Today you’re in for a stylistic change.  The kids and I have been listening to Shai Linne’s album The Atonement for over a year.  It’s a rap album.  Before today’s song selection, a sermon snippet appears on the album, which I have included below:

And here’s the song I’m introducing you to today: “The Cross (3 Hours)” I picked a video with the lyrics included so you can keep up.
And the bonus track today is one that I use as a catechism of sorts; it’s a Q&A.

It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent!” And all the crowds that had assembled for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts.
Luke 23:44-48

Holy Week: Thursday

This is an oldie but goodie. If you don’t know Michael Card’s music, you should check it out.

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”

(John 13:1-20 ESV)

Holy Week: Tuesday

There is no crucifixion, burial, and resurrection without the incarnation.

And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

(Philippians 2:8 ESV)

She’ll know I am coming before I am here 
When she hangs her head she’ll see me there 
And then when I come she won’t turn away 
All the beauty and joy will return to her face 
And what of the loneliness? 
Now it is gone 
Lost in the bond of the mother and son 
Every sin that she suffered at the hands of men 
Every single disgrace will be washed clean again 
I will love her completely and when I am grown 
I will carry her out of that tenement room 
I am doing a new thing and soon you will see 
I am coming among you and my name shall be 
Emmanuel, Emmanuel

a conversation about this song

Everybody Smile


This is My Second Post in the Month of May

Just for fun, I thought I would show you the difference two years makes…

Taken at the Memorial Garden in Concord, NC in March 2009
Taken at the Memorial Garden in Concord, NC in March 2011
At least Maddie likes them better now.

Glory Seen and Unseen

I enter the van post-shopping trip, nerves frayed and patience gone.  There was too much touching in the store, not enough listening and obeying.  A young woman greeted me in the aisle and counted aloud, and then informed me that she wasn’t surprised that there were two bottles of wine in the cart.

As we click our safety belts and settle in for the ten minute ride home, a request comes from the backseat for “a popular CD.”  OK, I think…rustling through the mismatched CDs and their cases, in search of something to satisfy the various musical tastes.

Found it.  It’s Holy Week.  Time for a weeklong reprieve in the storage of Behold the Lamb of God.

As we back out of the parking space, Andrew reads to us of The Story, of a young hero coming to rescue the one that He loves.  The children fall silent, awaiting Osenga’s opening chord.  They know it well.  They’ve known it for all of their short lives.  Then Garrett comes in with the steady driving beat, calling them to pay attention…to listen.

And suddenly, I am listening and seeing again.  The music is loud — probably too loud for their young ears — but I don’t care.  They must learn what it is to drive in the sunshine with the windows down, music blaring.  The road stretches out before us, calling us forth.  At every turn, a new color declares its Maker.  The azaleas are showing the first signs of blooming.  The daffodils are showy, delirious in a springy yellow haze.

Gather round, remember now/How creation held its breath/
How it let out a sigh/And filled up the sky with the angels

We turn a corner and I see the border of suburbia, that ludicrous line where the pastureland abuts the building lots.  The white cows are beyond the treeline today, but I can still see them scattered across the green as they eat a late lunch.  Their rural tranquility mocks the stucco house a few hundred yards away.  A bradford pear demurely shows its last few blossoms as the dogwood shouts out a song.

So sing out for joy for the brave little boy/who was God, but He made Himself nothing/
He gave up His pride and He came here to die like a man

We pass through a construction site and I roll the back windows down a bit further, hoping to bless the signmen with the music.  As we do, the opening strains of “Passover Us” remind me of the reason for my errand.  Enclosed within the sacks on the floor are horseradish, parsley, matzoh, wine and other makings of our annual Seder supper.  We will celebrate as the Jews did, but with a different ending.  We know the fulfillment of the prophecy personally.  The herbs are bitter and remind us of the pain of slavery, the saltwater reminds us of the slaves’ tears, but the wine becomes sweet as we anticipate drinking again at the marriage supper of the Lamb.  “Next year in Jerusalem!” we cry out in Hebrew with raised glasses.  Lord, come quickly.

That night all the children of Israel prayed/
“Lord, let your judgment passover us/Lord, let your love hover near/
Don’t let your sweet mercy passover us/Let this blood cover over us here” 

We turn the corner into the neighborhood and Andrew, Jill, Andy and the rest are belting out the chorus a few more times as Garrett hammers the drum solo home in the background.  There’s a part of me that wants to keep driving, but babies need naps and preparations must be made for our dinner.  I give thanks for this short moment, this window into the eternal, this showing forth of glory seen and unseen.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.  For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.  And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.  For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
Colossians 1:15-20