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Posts Tagged ‘Christianity’

…….The Unknown God

In Athens, Paul on Mars Hill stood,
  An ocean stirred by storm
That raged within his righteous soul
.   To call for their reform.

For he had walked the city streets,
  And seen an army there,
As mute as wood and stone can be –
.   Their idols ev’ry where.

Religious men, the Grecians were;
  They grew gods like the grain
That fills a golden field with heads
  Till numb’ring them is vain.

They had gods of both love and war,
  And gods of fire and light,
A god of travel, god of home,
  A god for help at night.

But what struck Paul strikes me as well –
.   An altar all alone,
As if it were a diff’rent thing,
.  One to a god unknown.

Since Paul knew Him they did not know,
.   He told them of the Christ,
And how He conquered death and grave
.   Post being sacrificed.

They sneered in scorn when they heard that –
.   A man raised from the dead!
Their minds were stuck on wood and stone
.   That can’t rise from a bed.

But He was there, among their gods,
.   A god of “just in case”,
A token, just an afterthought
  They granted bit of space.

Not much has changed upon the earth,
  Though gone are gods of stone.
The faith of Christ drove them away –
.   Jehovah stands alone.

But in the lives of most of men
  Who grant that He is God
They fill their city with all else,
.   And give Him just a nod.

He’s still an amulet, a charm
  As idols have the throne
That sits within the hearts of men,
.   And He? He’s still unknown.

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© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2014

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Sonnet 27 – The Empty Tomb Stories

On that first day, two tales sprang from the grave.
Like couriers, one headed north, one south.
We choose which is the knight, which is the knave,
Which tells the truth, which comes from lying mouth.

The first has always been its own worst foe:
We slept; disciples stole the corpse away.
But if they were asleep, how did they know?
And if awake, they would have won the fray.

The second’s known, for it is strong, survives.
The ones who scattered as their teacher died
Said He arose, and we can see changed lives.
E’en though it cost them all, they testified.

Two stories of the empty tomb were told:
One made men laugh; the other made men bold.

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Stanza 2 – An angel appeared and rolled away the stone.
The Roman guards shook in fear and became like dead
men.  When they recovered, they went to the Jewish
leaders for protection (to avoid being killed by Pilate).
They were given money and told to say that the
disciples came and stole the body of Jesus while they
were sleeping (Matt.28:2-4; 11-15).

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© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2014.

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The Dying Christian To His Soul

Vital spark of heavenly flame!
Quit, O quit this mortal frame!
Trembling, hoping, lingering, flying,
O! the pain, the bliss of dying!
Cease, fond nature, cease thy strife,
And let me languish into life! 

Hark! they whisper: angels say,
Sister spirit, come away!
What is this absorbs me quite?
Steals my senses, shuts my sight,
Drowns my spirit, draws my breath?
Tell me, my soul, can this be death? 

The world recedes; it disappears!
Heaven opens on my eyes! my ears
With sounds seraphic ring!
Lend, lend your wings! I mount! I fly!
O Grave! where is thy victory?
O Death! where is thy sting?

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                            Heaven

I long for a place that is pure and is holy,
   As pure as a blanket of snow
Fresh fallen, so fresh that the sky is still flaking,
   Untouched by all hands here below. 

For man’s touch is staining, the pristine he’s ruining –
   His presence is seen by his trail.
He’s coal to the snow, and he’s smudge to white linen;
   He’s ache to the heart, tear to veil. 

I long for a song that is sung from the heavens
   And echoed by songbirds with cheer
A song of good news that is free of all trouble,
   The sweetest of sounds to the ear. 

For man’s touch is staining, the pristine he’s ruining –
   The world reels with sorrow and sin.
The sound of the screaming and sobbing and sadness
   Is dirge that is heard from the din. 

I long that I, too, would now stop all my sinning
   Regret fills my soul when I do,
An aching dismay that I’ve done what I’m hating,
   What I see in others and rue. 

For my touch is staining, the pristine I’m ruining;
   I’m too much like world that I hate.
And yet, I slip often – on ice am I walking?
  The battle within me is great. 

I long for a life that’s not shattered or broken,
   A vase that is precious and whole,
Not one that is chipped, or is glued, all in pieces
A treasure that someone else stole.
 

For, ruined are so many by others unloving –
   The cold is so cold here below.
And lives are then frozen and shattered and broken
   By others who’ve dealt them a blow.  

I long for a place that is pure and is holy –
   I know just one place that could be.
And it’s the abode that’s eternal and lovely
   And there, from all stain, it is free.

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© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2014.

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From Greenland’s icy mountains,
From India’s coral strand;
Where Afric’s sunny fountains
Roll down their golden sand:
From many an ancient river,
From many a palmy plain,
They call us to deliver
Their land from error’s chain. 

What tho’ the spicy breezes
Blow soft o’er Ceylon’s isle;
Though every prospect pleases,
And only man is vile?
In vain with lavish kindness
The gifts of God are strown;
The heathen in his blindness
Bows down to wood and stone.

Shall we, whose souls are lighted
With wisdom from on high,
Shall we to men benighted
The lamp of life deny?
Salvation! O Salvation!
Thy joyful sound proclaim,
Till earth’s remotest nation
Has learned Messiah’s name.

Waft, waft, ye winds, His story,
And you, ye waters, roll,
Till, like a sea of glory,
It spreads from pole to pole:
Till o’er our ransomed nature
The Lamb for sinners slain,
Redeemer, King, Creator,
In bliss returns to reign.

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Engraved from the original oil painting in the...

John Calvin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

              Sonnet 39 – Calvinism

For God so loved the world, He gave His son –
Yet Calvin taught the world’s not everyone.
Desire of God – salvation for all men –
But Calvinists reduce it yet again.
Christ died and tasted death for ev’ry man;
That cannot be, says Calvin’s loyal clan.
They claim that God is somehow glorified
By damning all who came from Adam’s side,
And giving them a nature so they’d sin,
And holding them accountable for when
They did just that, the deeds they couldn’t stop –
For they were liquored up by heaven’s cop.  

They do not teach a just and righteous God.
In Judgment, they must face His wrathful rod.

 

John 3:16; I Tim.2:4; Heb.2:9

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© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2013.

 

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