The Magi

Wise man, you say?
I wouldn’t say that we were wise.
Clever, maybe.
Goodness knows.
Magi, you say?
That might be nearer the truth.
Dare not say “king”.
Goodness knows.
Three, you say?
Depends who are you counting.
Us? Our servants? Our attendents? Our camels?
So how many were we?
Goodness knows.
Gold, you say?
Frankincense, you say?
Myrrh, you say?
We bought him gifts. The best gifts we could bring.
Gold for a king? Anyone can spend gold, I would say.
Frankincense for a priest? It is burnt by priests. And by others too.
Myrrh for a burial? It is wrapped around corpses. And perfumes the marriage bed. 
Goodness knows.
From the East, you say?
Would you like to know my house number too?
Babylon? Arabia? Iran?
Ethiopia is east from somewhere I suppose.
Or maybe Tarshish. Wherever that is.
Goodness knows.
Yes, goodness knows.
Goodness has always known.
We came to find goodness.
Born in a stable. Born to humble maid. Born a human.
Not what we were expecting.
Not the usual kind of king, and yet so much better than a king.
And where will it lead?
Goodness knows.


In John, a sceptic.
In Acts, a believer.
The change;
In Mark, a carpenter.
In Galatians, a pillar.
The change;
In Galilee, a brother.
In Jerusalem, an elder.
The change;
The Lord appeared to Cephas.
The Lord appeared to the Twelve.
The Lord appeared to five hundred at once.
The Lord appeared to James.
Not everything is written.
Not everything is told.
Much happens in the silence.
And is left unrecorded.
The story is not over, though the book is closed.
The resurrected Christ lives on, though his biographers are gone.
These encounters are not ended; the last hard heart not changed.
Who next will meet the risen Lord?

Why Would We Wait?

Are you waiting for this to be over to be the person you want to be?
Are you waiting for this trouble to pass to be the change you want to see?
Are you waiting for this virus to die, to have life and live fully?
Why would you wait?
Reveal your heart, a wide and open space.
Let each of your friends see within their place.
Enough room and more to widen your embrace.
Why would we wait?
Give. Let the hungry taste your riches’ crumb.
Why surrender souls for the sake of such a petty sum?
Poverty ends when the Kingdom comes.
Why would we wait?
Do you long for justice? To see the world made free?
Then stand up to be counted, and take the knee.
Black Lives Matter now, you see.
Why would we wait?
Every day is a chance to improve.
Little by little, closer to Jesus you move.
And when he comes, your faith will be proved.
Why would we wait?
Life is not paused. You’re not in suspense.
Limbo’s a dogma long since dispensed.
You’ve already conquered all this world will present.
We will not wait.

Genesis Undone

In the ending, man really made a mess of the heavens and the earth. The earth was ordered and full of beauty, and light glistened on the surface of the seas. But the spirit of the world was straining to be released. 

And man said, “Let us burn coal,” and they burned coal. And man saw the machines and the industry that they were enriching. Man called the combustion Productivity, and the pollution he called Progress. And there was evening and there was morning, the seventh-to-last day.
And man said, “Let us burn oil,” and they burned oil. And man saw the cars and the planes, that they were really cool. Man called the transport Necessities, and the emissions he called Acceptable Risk. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth-to-last day.  

And man said, “Let us burn gas,” and they burned gas. And man saw the power plants and the boilers, that they were cheap. Man called the heat they generated Comfort, and the electricity he called Convenient. And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth-to-last day. 

And Man said, “Let us eat meat and dairy, from high yield industrialized farming practices, for cheap and frequent consumption.” And it was so. The forests were cut and burnt, yielding grassland for cattle and soy for animal feed, each according to a single kind. And man saw the meat, that it was plentiful. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth-to-last day. 

And man said, “Let there be new clothes in our shops every season. And let there be new gadgets to upgrade every six months. And let our products be made with built-in-obsolescence, and let us treat them as disposable in any case.” And it was so. And man made two great revenue outcomes – the greater revenue to shareholder profits and the lesser revenue to invest in future growth – and he made the billionaires also. And man saw the over-consumption that it was systemic. And there was evening and there was morning, the third-to-last day. 

And man said, “Let us make some halfhearted efforts towards addressing the climate emergency and set long-term targets for future generations to meet.” And it was so. And man set up committees according to their kinds, and treaties according to their kinds, and reports according to their kind. And man saw their efforts that it was too little, too late. And man saw everything that he had made, and behold, he had made an awful mess. And there was evening and there was morning, the second-to-last day. 

Thus the heavens and the earth were ruined, and all the host of them.
On the last day, God looked down in sorrow and in anger at all that had been done. And God arose from his Sabbath rest to reclaim the world he created and to remake all that had been undone. 

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