Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Path, continued . . .

The Path, continued--

The Morn

Death is not the End!
Life springs forth
From behind the rock

Dawn has cracked
The darkness of the tomb
Sun shines bright
As the Son rises

Morning Robin
Sings her song
On Resurrection Morn

The horrible, torturous Cross
Now blooms
With flowers and New Life

Once symbol of
Caesar's cruel rule
Now, symbol
Of King Jesus' eternal reign

Temporal power,
Curse of death,
Sin's horrible offspring
Now lie in the
Rags of Jesus'
Burial clothes-
Left Behind

With Jesus, we rise
From the ashes of sin and death
To Redemption's Sunny Morn!
@2012, Michael Lancaster

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Path

The Path

The Path took its final turn on Palm Sunday
For Jerusalem, the Holy City
That murders the prophets and those sent to her

The Path had led him
In the womb from Nazareth to Bethlehem--
Least of all the tribes

No cradle, but a meek manger
For the God-Man,
Light of the world

The path had led him to Egypt
Former house of slavery
Now asylum from Herod's wrath

The path led him to
Jerusalem for Passover
To learn with the elders

Were they the same who cried
Twenty-one years later
For his blood?

The path led him to a carpenter's shop
In lowly Nazareth
Tables, chairs, and cabinets would be his wares
Later, people's hearts

The path led him to the
Rivers of the Jordan
Crossed by Joshua ages before

To be baptized--not for sin
But as a model for us
An anointing, an ordination
To the greatest ministry ever known

To a lakeshore where fishermen
Became bishops
A tax table where a crook became
The writer of the first gospel

His path led him to synagogues
Teacher's seats
To leper colonies
To a midnight meeting with Nicodemus

To a hillside where the
Greatest Sermon was ever preached

His path took him to
Long days of teaching
Thick-headed disciples
And stiff-necked masses

To a table where a sinful woman
Washed his feet with the tears of repentance
To an adulterous Samaritan woman

To a tree that held a sinner named Zacchaeus
His path took him to confrontation
With the "powers that be"

A table with blood and body
Shared by a traitor
And eleven deserters

His path took him to
A lonely garden
Where the grief of the world
He bore alone

His path took him
To a beating and flogging
Like no one has every known

The wrath of sin
Tearing at his
Precious flesh

His path took him to
The Cross of Calvary
Love poured out like
Wine at the Passover Table

"Father, forgive them
because they don't know what they are doing."

"Woman, here is your son.
Behold your mother."

"Truly, I say to you
Today, you will be with me in Paradise!"

"My God, my God
Why have you forsaken me?"

"I am thirsty!"

"Father, into your hands
I commend my spirit."

"It is finished!"

His path was the love of God for sinners
Extravagant, Lavish, Limitless Love
That led him to the Cross
Where Love's flesh died for you and me

"How much do you love me, Jesus?"
"This much!"
(And he stretched out his arms on the Cross and died)
Life-Giving Spirit departs

His path had come to its End
In a borrowed tomb
Or had it really ended? . . . . . . . . . . .
@2012, Michael Lancaster