Showing posts from May, 2013

Sons of Thunder

He doesn’t seem to hurry. Yet He has told us that many villages must be visited during his allotted time. Allotted? Does that mean that he foresees some abrupt end to this marvelous circuit?

He leaves us most nights, from  hospitable quaint home or makeshift roadside camp. It would seem that prayer is so very much more important to him than sleep. But the following day no signs of lagging or fatigue. The crowds never let up. They press in smiling; straining to hear or watch.

Becoming almost rude in their eagerness.

At the most unpredictable times he will step off to the side, seat himself upon a wagon or boulder and tell one of his stories. Straight out of where they live. Challenging them to forgive, to share, to seek no haughty posture, to approach the Almighty as a father, involved and merciful and in the commonplace.

He knows the prophets, but does not swing such knowledge around as a hammer of condemnation or of authority. The bunch of us try to clear the way for him, village t…

Bull's Run

Never saw the likes. Preacher had ridden into town. Gone directly to the Market Square. Stood up on a stoop about 2PM.

With Bible in hand he asked the people to consider Jesus. Every sort of response could be seen in the milling crowd of shoppers. Slight curiosity. Irritation. Due respect for the Good Book. Buzzing conversation unaffected.

His horse stood patiently to one side. Feed bag in place. Tail swishing away the flies come over from the meat stalls. Obviously he had heard it all before. The many miles traveled each week were meant to accomplish this, town after town.

But Harry and I had another idea. Foolish blokes that we were. Old Ebenezer’s bull was in a pen three blocks distant. He had serviced a couple of dames that morning, and was still in an agitated state, sullen eyes all red with menacing. With a couple of walking sticks we fueled the fire for about five minutes and then opened the gate.

Off he stormed, upsetting a couple of stalls, but obviously intent upon the gath…

'Til the Branch

No great Leader
Impartial and compassionate
Rescuing the poor
Uniting all men’s hearts
Setting down weapons
Of avarice and bigotry
Giving words of holiness
And Heav’n the focal part.

No great Standard
To gather all in confidence
No great City
Where gates are open wide
No great Highway
Of passage safe and singing
Drawing the nations
To plenteous peace inside.

No great Justice
That crushes wicked scheming
Granting the verdict
To diligent and true.
No great Banquet
Where hunter and the hunted
Feast royal provender
Their chase- and- kill now through.

Wait for the promise
Yes, just around the corner.
Started with David
The man who knew God’s heart.
Ends with Messiah
The Righteous Branch of wisdom
Ends with the Family
Who sing “How great Thou art.”

Isaiah 11

Of Fathers and Forgiveness

In a chat with a friend the topic got around to the Prodigal Son in Luke 15. We were agreed that the dark cloud in the story was not the returning wastrel but rather the self-righteous elder brother, who confirmed that he had always operated out of painful duty to honour his father (not out of love or thankfulness).

I would suggest that the story infers another dark image; the farm neighbour down the road who earlier saw the boy hiking in rags and filth and a hang-dog countenance, and got “on the telephone” to forewarn the Father:
“Chester, it’s Lloyd. How ya doin’? Say, Chester I want you to know that that no-good boy of yours Flip is about five minutes from your front door. He looks awful. He must have really blown whatever opportunities he thought that he might have had. Has nothing to show for it. Probably frittered away a lot of your hard earned cash in the process. I wouldn’t blame you man if you refused him into your house. Thankless young punk. Just like so many of them today.…