Tag Archives: father

Unthinkable: spoken word for Good Friday

This Good Friday, join me in meditating on the unthinkable humiliation God endured to reconcile with humanity. Listen to the spoken word and watch the lyric video:

Click here to watch it on YouTube. Here is the full poem to read more slowly:

Unthinkable

True Israel wrestled with God
drinking judgment upon himself.
Defeated the devil in the garden
resolving to ascend to the throne
by a thorny coronation.

Soldiers arrested
the Commander of heaven’s armies
who healed the enemy’s slashed ear
even now, “Let him hear.”

The Friend of sinners
friendless.

The teachers of the law
condemned one greater than Moses.
The high priest charged
God
with blasphemy.

The Lord submitted silently to torture.
Do not the miracles and the scrolls speak loud enough
of who I AM?
If these clashing counterfeits outweigh
divine dreams,
my testimony, the voice from heaven, and the dove…
what is truth?

The powerful washed their feet
the powerless washed his hands of it.

The Almighty accepted help
inviting someone to carry his cross
and follow him
for real.

The carpenter’s son
nailed to the wood
arms stretched wide
in a willing embrace.

Lamb born in a stable
no bone broke
spotless became sin
righteousness became curse.

Stripped –
the one whose robes filled the temple.
“Don’t tear the underwear”
while the holy curtain ripped.

Jesus’ manhood uncovered for all to see
the shame of Adam on a leafless tree
at the crossroads of all time.

Again refused an angel rescue team
to gain the kingdom.
Would save everyone,
save himself.

The guilty condemned the Judge
the Convict issued a royal pardon.
Eternal Life
flanked by murderers.

“I thirst,”
said the well of Living Water
and sipped at cheap wine.
They pierced his side
the wineskin burst forth
water and blood
our passage into his new life.
The bread of heaven
sliced to nourish our bodies.
L’chayim.

He whose breath
animated clay with spirit
gasped for oxygen
limbs throbbing to lift his lungs
committed his spirit
with his last breath.

The Author finished.
The Light of the world
went out at midday.
The earth shuddered
at thought of receiving its Maker
dust to dust.
Grave’s guards fled their posts
as holiness entered Hades
tied up the strong man
and plundered his looted lair.
Jailbreak.
Jesus loved us to hell and back.

The eternal loving union
of the universe
endured agonizing separation.
To reunite with his creation,
God was godforsaken.


God’s Children in an Era of Identity Crisis

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In the US there have been many recent and competing conversations about different identities. It’s not wrong to identify with being a mother or a doctor or a pastor or a Republican or a Democrat or a Vikings fan or a Doctor Who fan or a woman or a person of color or a white person or a citizen of your country. So many of these identities are actually gifts from God – such as the talents, education, or job we have, the family and relationships we have. So many of these identities reflect the good and beautiful diversity of who God has created us to be and what we each appreciate about his world.

But our many good identities get warped into our whole self-image, which they were never meant to be. So our sense of self becomes so fragile that we can’t really love each other and work together because we’re insecure. There is a lot of pressure for us to put our main identity somewhere that will ultimately fail us. For the sake of ourselves, but also for the sake of the fabric of our whole society, we desperately need an identity that brings us together.

We are in an era of identity crisis. As Christians, we need to have better news than the news on TV. We need to have good news for this world. And I believe that part of that gospel is bringing people back to who they really are. I believe that this generation in this diverse society is hungry for a story that makes sense of who we are, which will then inspire us to live a transformed life.

Today we’re going to dig into one piece of who we are according to the Scriptures. It’s Father’s Day, and I do not nor will I ever have personal experience being a father. But I do know something about being a child. So today we’re going to talk about what it means to be God’s children.

That’s a snippet of what I preached at Bethel Christian Fellowship. Click here to listen to the rest.