Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Perhaps an Enema Will Help

I read a great quote today in the

The great challenge of the preacher is to follow Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:5, "What we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake."

But there are more ways to preach ourselves than one might think. This word from James Denney has exerted a sobering effect on me since I first read it in 1982. He had these words framed and posted in the vestry of his Scottish church.
No man can bear witness to Christ and to himself at the same time. No man can give the impression that he himself is clever and that Christ is mighty to save.

There is a great discussion over at Pyromaniacs about Legalism and one of the quotes I enjoyed was this:
But it is obvious to everyone around him that he is not really holy, he just needs to take an enema.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

The Shift of Spring

Peter's boat curves to a point
The inside is hollow.
Tiny shells roll to and fro
on the silt bottom of the lake.
Peter imagines skimming the floor
sifting, trying to find Jesus,
clutch his hand to pull him back.
Sand, the boundary for blue-grey, dark waters,
shifts endlessly, reminding Peter
that just two days ago he said three times,
"I never knew Him!"
He used to notice tumbled rocks on shore
harboring windblown seeds,
cumulous clouds promising rain.
Now he doesn't see a thing,
rubs his sour knotted fishing net
between calloused fingers,
wishes he had been stronger.
How can he know in this dark time
that a few days from now,
a familiar figure will rise
from the sun-bleached shore,
hold out his hand,
and call to him across salty waves,
algae turning,
schools of fish flashing,
nets suddenly full.
Peter will say three times,
"Yes Lord, you know I love you!"
Lift his head at the slow exhale of spring,
new life from clefts and cracks of hard places.
"Yes Lord, I love you!"
Sand gently shifts,
waves are silent.
Morning moves slowly.
A fisherman weeps.