Banquet

I wrote this in 2007, inspired by Luke 14:12-24.

* * *

Don’t invite your friends to lunch or dinner, Jesus said;
They’ll return the favour, so you can be repaid:
Invite the suffering and the poor – the ones who can’t repay,
And you’ll have your reward from God at Resurrection Day.

Think about the wedding feast to share up there in heaven –
Many invitations sent, and poor excuses given:
A field; livestock; marriage – these cannot compare
To the wonder of our Saviour, who’s waiting for us there.

So the suff’ring poor come flocking in, with nothing much to give –
Nothing but their lowly spirits, broken hearts and lives:
Jesus looks at them with love; renews their troubled hearts,
And in that great and wondrous feast, they all can have a part.

But as for those invited first, who spurn God’s lovely Son,
How can they expect to taste the banquet that’s to come?
So go to Jesus; ask Him now to wash your sins away,
So you can be included in that glorious wedding day.

Jesus looks at you with love; He’ll gladly wash you clean,
And on that day your righteousness will shine for all to see:
Dressed up in your finery – linen pure and white,
You’re more than just a wedding-guest; you’re part of Jesus’ bride!

Louis

A curious boy – his name is Louis,
Born 1809, just east of Paris;
His father a tanner, Simon-René,
Whose workshop becomes a place to play:
Off Louis toddles as soon as he’s walking,
To the place where his father makes tack for the horses.

Quick as a flash in his three-year-old fervour,
He picks up the awl to puncture the leather;
Drives it down hard – his gaze intent,
And yelps with a sudden stab of pain:
The tool he’d played with so many times
Had struck him a blow; he was blind in one eye.

A child leaving home – his name is Louis,
His parents have far outdone their duty;
His father the tanner made canes for a change,
Walked round the village and taught him the way:
But to further expand his ten-year-old mind,
A school in Paris – the first of its kind.

Every pupil with aspirations –
All of them blind, they craved education;
The school’s founder, who saw the need,
Had a system in place to teach them to read:
He gave it his name and called it Haüy;
It talked to the fingers in the language of the eye.

Raised print on wet paper, pressed against wire –
Though helped by the books, you’d quickly tire;
What they contained was scant at best,
And how could a blind person write for themselves?
Surely a better system was plausible,
And Louis determined to make it workable.

A youth with a purpose – his name is Louis;
From his own words, we can tell he’s displeased:
“We don’t want to be patronised by condescending sighted people,
We don’t want to be reminded we’re vulnerable”;
He yearned for the blind to be treated equally
And in his mind, communication was the key.

Through the news or in person we can’t be sure,
But Louis learned of an officer
Whose ranks of soldiers, there on the ground,
Could talk to each other without light or sound:
Just dots and dashes indented on paper,
That’s all it took to share information.

From that time on, the idea was sparked;
Now he had something to make a start:
Twelve dots became six, and he worked on the shapes –
Ten different ones, from A to J;
Add an extra dot for the following set,
And another to end the alphabet.

A Catholic by profession – his name is Louis;
I see the Bible there in his story:
All works for good to those who love their God;
The same tool that blinded him was used to make those dots:
In 1824, at just fifteen,
His very first prototype came on the scene.

A Frenchman with a legacy – his name was Louis …
Louis Braille.

Him and Us

We’re just the clay; You’re the One who fashions it.

We just live in time; You hold it in Your hand.

To us, things don’t make sense; You understand all things.

To us, our circumstances loom large; You see the bigger picture.

To us, the precious is something to cling to; You ask for our willingness to let go.

To us, letting go means surrendering control; to You, letting go is a compliment.

To us, letting go means trusting; You are completely trustworthy.

To us, letting go means denying ourselves; You want us to look beyond ourselves.

To us, our future is unfathomable; You know every moment in our eternity.

To us, eternity is an open door; You opened the Way for us to go through it.

To us who go through the door, the end is a new beginning.

To Him who burst out of the tomb, His end brought a new beginning – for Him, and for us.

Thank You, Jesus.

Communion

No longer the slaughter, the fear, the hurry,

No longer the punishing God in His fury;

No more the spattered blood on the doorposts –

We’re covered, protected forever.

 

Thank You, my Lord, for dying for me;

There really is nothing like knowing Your peace –

Like knowing the veil‘s been taken away

As You opened the gate for us.

 

Forgiveness and healing flow from Your throne;

I recognise You and I give You my all –

The blessing of gathering here at Your feet,

Surrounded completely by love.

A-Z: Easter Garden

Day 5 of the A-Z challenge, and a poem written a few years ago, when the weather was a bit different from the bitter-cold Easter we had last weekend.

Easter Garden

The cockerel crowing in the middle of the day;

Unusual – yet it reminded me

There was one who denied, and the Saviour kept on loving –

Restored this man, so he could follow Him.

I went on listening, and the birds in the sky

Took my thoughts back to an early morning:

The one who betrayed was filled with remorse, and hung himself;

Perhaps he felt it a burden – having to put things right.

The horse neighing, from further away –

A strong animal, which brought to mind

The powerful soldiers, and all their mockery:

Were any of their hearts touched by the One who hung on that cross?

The tiny lavender-plants, only recently purchased;

Frail – yet their frailty reminded me

God chose the foolish things of the world; His followers are despised and belittled,

But we have One who loves and accepts us.

Relaxing in the garden, I rested my head on my arms;

I felt the wood of that garden table, and I was reminded

Of my Saviour’s body, crucified on a tree

So that I could have life in all its fullness.

And as the sun shone brightly in the sky,

I remembered Jesus – the Son of God –

The Son of Righteousness; He has risen not merely from the tomb,

But also in the hearts of all who will believe in Him.

“Unglued” Chapter 9: A Love Beyond Compare

I read chapter 9 (about comparison), and I’ll be honest; that has been a struggle for me, even though 2 Corinthians 10:12 tells us that:  “When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.”  I didn’t want to write a great long post about the people I’ve sometimes compared myself to, so I sat down and thought how I could do it differently.  This is what came:

* * *

Shall I look at someone greater, and so believe the lie

That what I have to give is not enough?

Shall I look at someone lesser, with an eye for all their faults –

Is that the only way to see my good?

 

Father, You’re so great; You sit in heavenly splendour,

And looking down at me, what do You see?

Your eyes see first the One who sits at Your right hand;

Fervent in His love, He pleads my case –

He’s more than enough.

 

And Father, when You look at me, do You list my faults –

The thoughts; the words; the misdeeds; the unspoken?

Your eyes see first His scarred hands and feet –

A love that hung on a cross to die –

A nail for each of these.

 

Father, I compare myself to no one,

Because You look at me through Him.