Prince of Glory

by Mary Beth on April 19, 2019

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Throughout Holy Week believers remember how our Lord Jesus suffered.

Through sufferings,

He struggled in deep anguish physically, emotionally, and mentally-

specifically the pain of rejection from

religious priests, the very crowd who praised Him earlier,

including his disciples who later deserted him.

Their lack of understanding to

His kingdom call as our suffering Savior, was painfully evident.

“All the disciples left him and ran away.”   ~Matthew 26:56

-The Prince of glory suffered greatly for us.

The book of Lamentations 1: 12, 16, 21,

foretells the painful sufferings

Jesus endured the last week of his life.

As disciples and ambassadors for Christ,

we’ll encounter our own experience of misunderstandings

or recurring memories of rejection and betrayal

from those closest to us,

even chosen friends.

A few years ago while traveling in Italy during Lent season,

I wrote this poem while encountering a painful struggle,

specifically betrayal from a close friend.

When friends flee causing similar pain,

-Christ offers us his example to love patiently and endure pain.

*

The Veil

Such friends are but trouble,

Unless walking side by side.

The soul exposing an imposter; a double.

Truth that sharpens, cuts and divides.

Many claim boldly to love.

Bringing a shadow of service,

What is the kiss?

Betrayal or an honest answer?

Conditional, upon the well they sip.

God of all comfort & compassion oversee,

A boldness must breathe, rest and plea,

Content in their deeper soul, I pray.

Mighty Warrior of the soul,

Tear the veil, chip away, and awaken hearts!

Reign through your beauty and art.

*

-Jesus Christ was fully human and fully divine.

Jesus experienced the struggles and pains of our humanity, even more, as the Prince of glory! He suffered greatly the shame of dying on a cross.

On the cross, justice and mercy met together

in the greatest beauty that bears fruit for God’s glory.

Fully human in his prayer to the Father; fully divine in His declaring,

“It is finished.”

C. S. Lewis encourages us to press into the Lord of all truth:

“{Pain} removes the veil,

it plants the flag of truth within the fortress of a rebel soul.”   

*

“But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is,

there is freedom.”  ~2 Cor. 3: 17

*

“How painful are honest words!

Does He not see my ways and count my every step?

          If I have walked in falsehood or my foot has hurried after deceit

—let God weigh me in honest scales and He will know that I am blameless

  –if my steps have turned from the path,

if my heart has been led by my eyes,

or if my hands have been defiled,

           then may others eat what I have sown.”  ~Job 6:25, 31: 4-8

*

“Therefore, my brothers, therefore, sisters dear,

However I, troubled or selfish, fail

In tenderness, or grace, or service clear,

I every moment draw to you more near;

God in us from our hearts veil after veil

Keeps lifting, till we see with his own sight,

And all together run in unity’s delight.”

~George MacDonald, Diary of an Old Soul

*

God’s tenacious love, truth and faithful call for our obedience to *be holy* will show forth as fruit on a tree. Even Job knew & experienced truth that sharpened his soul among friends. Rabbi Abraham Heschel states:  “Faith like Jobs cannot be shaken because it is the result of having been shaken.”

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Courage to Craft

by Mary Beth on February 27, 2019

By faith, Noah in reverent fear built his yacht,

Created to save from water, by water.

By faith, our fear of the Lord stirs courage to craft,

Equipped to build in the Spirit’s fire, to save from eternal fire.

“The ruah of God hovers over the face of the waters,” 1

for “the deep gave forth its voice.”

I’ll be the poet who sings your glory-and live what I sing everyday.

-mbanderson

  1. R. Luyster, Wind and Water: Cosmogonic Symbolism in the Old Testament 1981

ESV, Hab. 3:10, Job 30:18, Psalm 61

It takes focus to walk by faith. It takes intentional space to listen well. It takes a hungry soul to consistently trust in the promises of God. It takes confidence to not be afraid. It takes time and wisdom to discern how to be effective as His disciple; His image bearer.

Yet, as Christ builds His government within us, by grace we’ll eventually move towards His purposes and pleasure. How and why is God hovering over the deep waters of our soul? A purpose to which end? Yes, God’s will is for our sanctification but His ways are beyond finding out! Let’s consider, by faith Noah built a massive ark. What about Moses and God’s counsel by the burning bush? And Sarah’s laughter? Pharaoh repeatedly hardens his heart, “Who is the Lord?” Paul’s aim to press on.

The mighty Spirit of God, our great Comforter and Counselor helps us to create, engage, evolve, and produce fruit, in its season, for His kingdom and glory.

May I not be unfaithful to my commission. Thy will but holds me to my life’s fruition. I’m thankful our Abba, Almighty is within us and goes before us.

“But when I turn and grasp the making hand, And will the making will, with confidence I ride the crest of the creation-wave, Helpless no more, no more existence’ slave; In the heart of love’s creating fire I stand, And, love-possessed in heart and soul and sense, Take up the making share the making Master gave.”

-George MacDonald

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In the Great Hand of God I Stand

by Mary Beth on January 22, 2019

“Nothing is alien in thy world immense-

No look of sky or earth or man or beast;

“In the great hand of God I stand, and thence”

Look out on life, his endless, holy feast.

To try to feel is but to court despair,

To dig for a sun within a garden-fence:

Who does thy will, O God, he lives upon thy air.”

~George MacDonald

As we travel through different seasons of life,

often the hymns,

“This is my Father’s world”, or “Great is Thy faithfulness” will comfort,

encourage and remind us to rest in God.

For He is our provision and protection especially when, at times,

we find ourselves feeling a bit alien, surprised or alone in our circumstances.

Our trust in God may appear to be tested or refined,

yet we find our hearts can return once again,

to walk in the fear of the LORD.

“To love God with “all our heart” is to know the spiritual passion
of measureless gratitude for loving-kindness,
and self-devotedness to goodness;
to love Him “with all our mind,” is to know the passion for Truth
that is the enthusiasm of Science,
the passion for Beauty that inspires the poet and the artist,
when all truth and beauty are regarded as the self-revealings of God;
to love Him “with all our soul,”
is to know the saint’s rapture of devotion and gaze
of penitential awe into the face of the
All-holy,
the saint’s abhorrence of sin, and agony of desire to save a sinner’s soul;
and to love Him “with all our strength,”
is the supreme spiritual passion that tests the rest;
the passion for reality,
for worship in spirit and in truth,
for being what we adore, for doing what we know to be God’s word;
the loyalty  that exacts the living sacrifice,
the whole burnt-offering that is our reasonable service,
and in our coldest hours
keeps steadfast to what seemed good when we were aglow.”
~J. H. Thom

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