The Problem of Evil

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(Photo by Artsy Vibes on Unsplash)


As history has been unfurled,
One question ‘gainst the church has stood:
From whence came evil to this world
If God created all things good?
We grant some evil works for gain,
Some purpose may be found therein;
Yet is there not much needless pain,
Much suffering because of sin?
Could God not keep his world from death,
Or – bitter thought – might he desire
To curse those he hath filled with breath,
To see them sinking in the mire?
Or might it be that he allows
His people to rebel, to stray,
That they may truly then avow
His lordship, then may truly pray?
And could it be that majesty
Did not abandon to decay
Damned souls, but there upon the tree
Engaged in full the sinner’s fray?
Christ bore the wrath of God in place
Of those who chose the path to hell
That they might turn to seek the face
Of love, to taste the one true well.
God’s justice cometh like a flame,
And evil will not stand the show.
I may not know from whence it came,
But well I know where it will go.

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Joy


These tests, although they vex us so,
Have no eternal consequence
Save that they serve to stretch and grow
Our faith in God’s omnipotence.
Disrupting our complacency
And any semblance of control,
He opens up our eyes to see
That he alone can make us whole.
He takes from us what we would keep
To give us what we truly need.
All lack of supper, safety, sleep
Recalls to us the ancient creed,
That Christ has lived and Christ has died
And Christ returned to life again,
And God, not sparing him, supplied
Our cause for hope, our good, our gain. 

Image

Make me more like you and less like me.
Or rather, make me more the me
That you created me to be.
Help me, when I look at me, to see
The image of your son whose blood
Was shed to set this captive free.
He, the perfect paragon, oh he
Has overcome the curse of death,
Has brought to man a saving breath.
No one else can satisfy but thee.
You call to us with holy roar.
We worship you forevermore.

Advent


A mother’s cries are echoed by her child,
Their voices piercing through the quiet night.
The newborn son has entered undefiled
To save the sinful souls from their own plight.
His coming was foretold in days of old,
His presence was announced by angel songs.
The shepherds, upon hearing, left their fold
To worship him to whom all praise belongs.
No other child so greatly changed the world.
No other king could rival this one’s worth,
For in this son the plan of God unfurled:
God stepped into this broken world by birth.
Salvation’s story shone this holy day.
The spotless lamb entered into the fray.

The Gift


The greatest gift of all was born –
The gift of Christmas presence:
The God-man facing scorn and thorn
To save the sinful peasants.

Unto a race which cried for blood
Christ Jesus came fulfilling
The Father’s plan foretold in flood,
Worked out in Christ’s own killing.

But death of son meant death of sin.
The devil was defeated.
Christ’s rising brought new life to men,
And God will not be cheated.

So let the Gospel ring this year
In ev’ry celebration,
And speak with joy to ev’ry ear
Of peace to ev’ry nation. 

Labyrinth (Allegorical)

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This world is but a labyrinth of lies,
And all of us are seeking an escape
From tunnels which resound with wretched cries,
From sights which leave our speechless mouths agape.
Within this maze there walks a wicked foe
Who wills to tear apart and to devour.
This minotaur in darkness down below
Is claiming lives with ev’ry passing hour.
In vain do we attempt to hide away
From him in hope that we will yet survive.
We tell each other stories of the day
As one by one we cease to be alive.
We cry out for our Theseus to fight
And save us from the terror of the night.

Faith’s Effect

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Success is measured not in thought alone,
Nor victory in mind’s imagining.
Accomplishment is not emotion shown.
Fulfillment ne’er forsakes the offering.
But faith is evidenced by faithful deeds,
By empty pockets and by calloused hands.
It proves itself in prayer, in meeting needs,
In bringing light and love to darkened lands.
It stands against this present apathy
And challenges the heart of selfishness.
If Christ was crushed for sin instead of me,
Then let me never speak but to confess.
True faith compels me to apply the Word
And testify to Christ till all have heard.