Communion

In the red hymnal, angled sideways on the stacking grey chair,
There were crumbs from last week’s communion.
I look at them.
I think they are the leftovers that filled twelve disciple’s baskets,
Wandered down from Galilee to this small Washington town.
This is the heavenmade bread that will last forever,
Handed down in the hymnal from the greying to the young,
And when we open to page 204,
There is the life-bread of our fathers,
Brown and crusty.
I plant another crumb-crop.

Economics, Free Market, and Christ

Here’s a series of questions, challenges, and responses about a free market. It started on Facebook, but went to a blog and carried on.

Matt Petersen –
“Carson Spratt and I started having a discussion on a third friend’s facebook wall. I didn’t want to hijack the thread, so I’m bringing the conversation over here.

In response to my claim that “free markets” are not necessarily any more “free” than “free love is”, and so the syllogism “free men therefore free markets” is no more valid than the syllogism “free men, therefore free love”:

“Now you’re equivocating on “free.””

Since I’m not defining “free”, but asking for a definition of a “free market”, I am not equivocating. If “free market” means “Markets freed by the freedom of Christ”, it is not obvious that so called free markets are in fact free markets, and we would need to argue that free markets means free markets in the common sense. On the other hand, Continue reading

Triumph

My sword shall be bathed in heaven
When it is drowned in dragon’s blood.
A glorious ray of light
Stabbing forth into hidden dens,
Blinding dark-dwellers,
Besieging the night.
No iron can hold me back,
No gate delay me.
I am going home:
To cut the thorns
And kiss the princess,
To be a man on a cross,
Dying into eternity.
Some heroes have to die because they must win.
Victory is found in whale-stomachs, in dragon’s teeth:
Let us root out those teeth.
Let us give the serpent’s fangs away,
Gifts for our children
Who lay down with the lamb
Beside the Lion.

You’re Number 1, Satan!

Hey.
Satan.
You took your best shot. And that shot bounced off the golden walls of life like an air-soft pellet off a mountain. You fail. You are weak. You’ve injured me in the past, and what bad has it done? None. Jesus is doing the whole hand-on-your-forehead-while-you-flail-helplessly thing. And the “stop hitting yourself” thing. You are beyond funny; you are laughable. You live in fear of imminent death and destruction, and yet you cannot admit it. You are foolish, and of all living things most to be pitied. Because Christ did not rise for you.
The only salute you will ever get from me has one finger.

Holy Sonnet: in imitation of John Donne

Donne was noted for his intricate, complex, and intellectual poetry, and vivid imagery. I have deviated from the typical rhyme scheme of a sonnet: Rather than ABBAABBACDCDEE, I have followed this pattern: ABBACBBCDEDEFF.

 

 

My bootstraps, weary with my tugging,
At last give way before my law-filled eyes,
And falls the hope my self-strong soul will rise,
Or that my ills will numb from self-made drugging.
The castle that I built upon the specks
Of sand I dug so oft from other’s eyes,
Unshored by planks from mine, and filled with lies,
Has crumbled down. And I it is who wrecks
This life of mine; undone, unloving I,
Self-unsaved selfish soul, yet saved from self,
By living God I’m called to death to die,
From living death to die to live, to shelf
My lonely pride, on righteousness to hold:
‘Tis Christ’s deeds, and not mine, have made me bold.

Your Agreement Has Been Terminated

The way I see it:

God promised to give Adam, Eve, and their descendants over to death. Why? Because they broke the covenant: all transgressors must die. In a sense, God almost had an “agreement” with death. The guilty die.

But Death got greedy. He overstepped the terms of the agreement. He tried to take the only person in the history of the whole world who had not actually broken the covenant: he tried to take the one person to whom he had no right. Christ. And Death was swallowed up by the victory that he tried to conquer. The covenant with Death was broken, and God began to work things backwards. Now Death has no hold on any of us, because Death tried to hold onto Christ. And because we hold to Christ, Death has no power over us.

 

The grave is empty.

 

Happy Easter.

Eater

Friends: let me show you something about the way the world works. We get grossed out at something that eats death. Bacteria putrefying that corpse. Mold feeding on the dead fruit. But in reality, none of us are any different. We all feed off dead things. Every single day of your life, you were either eating something dead, or you were dead. Even if you’re fasting, you’re still eating yourself. We always eat, and whatever we eat is dead. Something else always has to die for us to live. This is why the table is one of the centers of the home. We gather around it for a spiritual realization of a physical need: we are all dying, and we stave that off three times a day together. That kind of thing bonds people.

But let me show you something else about the way the world works. There is one food that isn’t dead. There is one table where death is staved off forever with a single mouthful. There is one cup where the desert of our thirst is swamped with the kind of water that turns into wine. One washing where we are cleansed from the filth of our previous meals of death. Here we eat Christ, and here we eat a food that won’t stay dead. Here we eat a food that turns us into itself. We are what we eat, and when we ate dead things, we were dead. Now we eat a living thing, and none of us will ever die again.

And though we partake of him, Christ was the one meal that Death could not digest. Death gnawed on the gristle a bit, stabbed at him with a fork that pierced him with its four tines, and swallowed. As a teacher of mine said, “If you eat a hero, be sure to chew him up first, and don’t just send him down directly.” Death, that ancient emptiness, was killed from the inside out, filled. Death’s eyes were bigger than its stomach, and Death, in eating the meal that satisfies all and forever, lost his appetite. He can no longer devour us, the solid, the filled, the living.

Eat up.

 

And Happy Easter.