Remember now the darkness of those three long days before
The dawning of the day of resurrection,
For few have felt the fear of thinking God had lost the war.
The shadow of his people’s insurrection
Now loomed across the future. Now our hope seemed spent and slain.
The light of life appeared to be extinguished.
The ones who sang his praises now in shock sang no refrain.
His life, howe’er, was willingly relinquished.
What seemed to be a sure defeat was fixed before the fall.
The devil’s darkest scheme was his undoing.
As Christ was lifted up, he drew all men to heed his call.
He drained the cup of wrath our sin was brewing.
The bitter silence of that Sabbath day must have been great.
Unheard, Satan’s presumpt’ous celebration.
When was it Satan realized the cross had sealed his fate?
The slaughtered lamb became our faith’s foundation.
We now look back in wonder at this work in history
And sing with joy to God who reigns eternal.
The cornerstone came forth again in holy victory
O’er ev’ry sin, the mean and the infernal.
The resurrection of the Son secured our joy and peace.
No enemy can sabotage or sever
Us from the Father’s love. In him, sin’s slavery must cease.
Sing praise, his people, now and to forever.
Photo by Ricky Turner on Unsplash
I watched The Exorcist in high school. While I watched movies often in those days, especially action/adventure movies and comedies, I hadn’t yet explored much in the realm of horror. The movie left an impression on me that remains to this day, though not because the movie itself scared me. No, I remember The Exorcist because, around the viewing of the film, I was told stories of real life events that inspired parts of the story. The story of The Exorcist forced me to recognize the reality of spiritual warfare, the existence of actual demons. The film reminded me that we face a very real, very evil enemy.
Unmatched, unmarred by sin, unshaken, God
Maintains the utmost glory. ‘Fore his face
E’en angels hide their faces. In that place
Corruption is not suffered, cannot trod
The ground made holy by his presence. Hide
Your eyes; gain clarity. Be still and know
That he is LORD o’er all, above, below.
Fear fills us, fear fulfills us: terrified
In tenderness. Unknown yet known; most high;
E’er near; eternally enthroned above
All enemies, all not-gods, perfect love
Perfectly conquers all, never runs dry.
The sun is but a shadow of his light.
No darkness can present a worthy fight.
Photo by Roland Epple on Unsplash
Huge thanks to Brett Dickson for his invaluable insight and encouragement during the writing of this poem.
The fall was not the final word.
Isaiah has foretold,
A silent lamb shall take our place,
A saving act of wrath and grace
That sinners young and old
Might know the power of the Word:
He laid aside his majesty
To be for us the light
And tasted death in place of men
That man might know freedom from sin.
He overcame the night
And shines for all eternity.
Photo by Daniel Sandvik on Unsplash
The dissonance resounds
As all attempt to sing
A song of their own making.
Disorder now abounds
For all forget the king
(A fatal undertaking).
We sing our dirge till death
Yet sing with all our might,
Our very voices breaking.
With ev’ry selfish breath,
We shrink away from light
To try to stop the aching.
But light shines in the dark,
And dark cannot resist.
The kingdom is advancing.
There is a holy ark.
With joy, we may subsist.
Salvation comes with dancing.
Amidst the rebel choir,
A melody is heard
That rings throughout creation.
The true composer’s ire
Fell full upon the word:
The ransomed sing his song
Now knowing it involves
The rescue of the dying.
Though so much now seems wrong,
The song at last resolves:
Photo by Isaac Ibbott on Unsplash
A friend of mine recently asked me how we ought to address the issue of spiritual immaturity among young believers. He noticed that many our age have shallow understandings of theology and possess little maturity in the things of God, and he wondered how we can help people to grow when adolescence appears to have such a firm hold on our generation. His question grows more pressing when I consider my own heart and find the same tendencies and deficiencies in myself. So how do we grow in godliness? How do we ourselves grow more mature in the faith and more biblically and theologically grounded? And how do we lead others to follow our example? Below are a few thoughts that I pray will help us along that road.
The sacrificial lamb was laid upon
The altar by the hands of wicked men,
And all was dark the days before the dawn
In the apparent victory of sin.
The lesser lion, seeking to devour,
Set his assault against the sacred son,
And Satan, in the darkness of the hour,
Was certain that the victory was won.
And so it was, but not for his array.
The cross of Christ displayed for all to see
That Satan’s claim to power had been wrong.
The finished hunter had become the prey.
The word made flesh fulfilled the prophecy.
The lamb had been a lion all along.
Photo by lydia harper on Unsplash
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.
I love fall. As weather begins to cool and leaves begin to litter the ground, I always find myself feeling excited for the change. Growing up in south Louisiana, I became used to heat and humidity, so any change from that constant is most welcome. Continue reading
Cold. Not a winter cold, though. After all, this was mid-June. No, it was more of a lifeless cold: a certain uncomfortable feeling that something wasn’t right in the world. It was damp too, as I recall. All around, I felt a paralyzing stillness. It was as if this place had never felt the sun’s warmth, never imagined the spark of love, never shifted from its sullen fixation on its own emptiness. This place was darkness, unadulterated and unexplored. Continue reading