He Lies Laying

The v-like manger-cradle
balanced the babe in a bed
so cold but comfortable
    He lay

in the midst of the struggle
the manger-cradle king
with star-found worship
    He lay

when they saw heaven on earth
in the clouds greater than the sun
between the branches of David’s line
    He lay.

Our winter stars shine in adorned
worship when heaven on earth
    lies laying

grace in the midst of our struggle, the
v-like manger-cradle
balances the babe
    lies laying

love in our cold but comfortable
battle worn defense of the fire
    He lies laying

joy when He lay laying
the venom’s lies left
when we left our sins

and truly
the babe lies laying still.




The Lines of Our Joy

Undoubtedly, no amount of writing
describes the unmeasured happy, leaping joy,
the loudly whooping folks and toys,

the happy days,
the mellow ways
the lays, the lines
streaming the tree of time,

doting time,
times of dreams
and dreams in dreams.

I’ll watch them laugh
all splayed with wishes and
ways of yuletide joy

in the measured time,
doting time,
dreams in tracks of time,

the happy days,
doting ways,
dipped in lays and lines
streaming the tree with times,

And no word or measure
defines our happy times and toys
nor the whistling tracks of our timeless joys.




This is the Church

This is the Church

 

It is the beautiful and broken body of Christ.

It is stumbling, faltering, and flawed. Pray for it.

It is vibrant, triumphant, and redeemed. Rejoice in it.

This is the Church

 

It is sacred and marred. Righteous and erring. The blood of the Lamb covers it all; redemption soaking the ground beneath its feet.

It is filled with sinners, hypocrites, blasphemers, and liars saved and transformed by the grace and love of the Giver of all good things.

Coarse and ugly, it is a priceless treasure. Loud and inconstant, it is the apple of Jehovah’s eye. Timid and afraid, it is the army of the omnipotent LORD of creation.

It is God’s reflected light to the world. The hands and feet of the Great I AM. The voice crying out in the wilderness, calling all creation to renewal. It is the bearer of the greatest mandate ever given. It is the prophets, preachers, and teachers proclaiming truth in a world of lies. It is the lovers, nurturers, and healers extending grace and justice to a world of brokenness. It is the missionaries, Gospel-bringers, and martyrs humbly offering the Bread of Life to the starving.

This is the Church

 

Christ is its cornerstone. It is loved and cherished, sustained and protected. It is the bride of the Lamb, adorned and exalted. The gates of hell cannot stand against it. It is chosen and set apart. It is buffeted from every side, yet it will never fail. It is eternal and victorious, not by the strength of its hands but by the power of the LORD of hosts.

Reject it at your peril. Mock it at your risk. No weapon formed against it will prosper. All those who rise against it will fall. It is God’s holy and established institution on earth, His ambassador to the nations. It is the imperfect representation of the Kingdom of God. It is the hopeful expectation of the perfected union of Heaven and earth. It is to be loved, nurtured, protected, purified, and embraced. It is the bride that is loved with a love so fierce and so overwhelming. A love that did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped. A love that emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant. A love that humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death on a cross. A love so amazing, so divine it transcends all human understanding.

That love has called the Church His body.

His love.

His bride.

Therefore, what God has joined together, let no man separate.

This is the Church

 

Redeemed

Forgiven

Eternal

Triumphant

Loved

This is the Church

 

 

 




Approaching Autumn

REO proudly presents Ben Plunkett’s newest poem – Approaching Autumn. We decided to present this one in a different format than usual, hoping that it would capture more people’s attention. It deserves that. One suggestion, please watch it in Full Screen mode for best viewing. Otherwise, the text might be hard to read for those with less-than-perfect vision.

 

 




The Five Hours of World Conquest




The Tick Tock

A little away
the clock tick tocks
the time where
we know He knows
it tick tocks
the clock rocks

away
when all was lost
He left the stars
where love is lush to
touch our hands,
our heads, our souls,

standing
in His thunder
underneath in
the nothingness
of our ticking,
in the sea of our tocking,
in the ticking, the tocking,

away
when life was lost
and deliverance
crossed into our
land where love is losing,
where He touches our hands, our heads, our souls,
where He views this sphere so

away
ticking, tocking,
our sides
plumped with bumps
and clumps and thorny lumps
far away
from His sigh
of mercy,
of death, His death,
of life, His life,
of the tick tock
the clock rocks
today.




They are the One

Life,
it loved,
our lacks it loved,
our lacks and lesions,
our lonely prose,
our din and dark, deflated cohesion,

and
pledges,
pledges of joy,
of sons, of daughters,
every girl, every boy;

expected, cradled,
so softly sailed,
cradled, sailed on an inner sea,
breathing, bending,
end to end, top to toe, nose to knee,
sails glowing, souls moving, thoughts growing.

life,
it loves,
sunny and stirring,
end to end, after and during;
they are the one, the one we love.




Say Lord

Son, said the Father, Son,
say it Son, say I am King,

say
I stand alone,
alone,
I stand alone on a glory-stoned throne,

say
I see,
see,
I see the magi searching for me,

say
I feel ire,
ire;
the shadows of death lurk
against the raging fire,

say
I love,
love,
love Mary and Joseph,
love all men, all women, all children,
love the world,
I love,

say
I know,
know
of Herods and Caesars
and evil and empires
and so, Son,
say
the night
of seraphs and shepherds,

say
the grace,
say the joy,
say John, say Paul, say Peter,

say it is accomplished.

And mankind shall say,
O mighty Kings of Kings, stand upon
the wind and bear the weight of power,
pouring command from lungs
quivering its huge stalactite.

He has summed it all and said it all
and we stand here
signing our names upon the branching
hands of the tree resting tip-to-tip
and we grow and grow
as clouds glow and assemble.




The Tree

Green tree, bright green tree,
dancing joy,
joyous seed,
resting on a lush, green sea.

The bells and bows,
the matchless lights,
shift like lightning,
sing like snow.

Tinsel twirls, bright green tree,
the dancing joy,
the joyous light,
twist and sing on the lush green sea.

Bright green tree,
we watch and wait,
watch and wow,
watch and bow,
waiting, watching the lush green sea.

The angel lauds,
glimmers,
shimmers,
simmers,
applauds and then

a pause.




Father Rakes Leaves

It is early afternoon and
Father rakes leaves beneath a heavy cloud.

He is unafraid of storms and brushes the foliage
beneath streaked branches.

The cloud, it is angry,
a billowing general angry and loud.

Father, he is alone,
but not lonely,
in the red-green-brown expanse.

The cloud, it is angry,
it beckons its brethren,
the looming battalions angry and proud.

Father, he muses in the company of a thoughtful understanding
and brushes the tree-lost foliage across the leaf-splayed landing.

The clouds, they are an angry crowd,
descending their breeze-blown chariots,

and Father rakes leaves.