New Mercy

New Mercy

based on Lamentations 3:22-24 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Steadfast, unshakeable, loyal, just, true
One on whom you depend, who never lets go
Is our Lord who loves those beat-down, driven low;
With constancy, ever staying, never letting go,
Is the unceasing, steadfast love of the Lord.

His loving kindness is a fount unending,
Eternal well of unfathomable wealth,
Weal, not woe, wholeness, healing, health;
He passed through the pieces, swore by himself
To prove the unending mercies of the Lord.
His love and mercy each morning rises new

Unwearied, not tired, but rejoicing to begin
Each new day full, not shallow; thick, not thin;
He gives himself, a gracious gift to glory in,
Who is himself the mercy of the Lord.

Great is your faithfulness, who gives to the last breath
And with new mercy rises in defeat of sin and death.

© Randall Edwards 2018.
This poem is for Christ’s church. If it is helpful, please feel free to copy or reprint in church bulletins, read aloud, or repost. I only ask that an attribution be cited to myself (Randall Edwards) and this blog (backwardmutters.com). Thanks.

Falling Fire

Falling Fire

This is a reposted and reworked sonnet for Pentecost which is this Sunday.

Suddenly, like a mighty, rushing wind,
Love fell upon us as fire and flame,
Winding and binding, empowering to send
Us to the nations proclaiming his Name.
The exalted Name, above all others,
The only Name by which one may be saved
Whose salvation unites, makes enemies brothers
Whose dying gives life, frees the enslaved.
Light and Life a crystal river flowing
Effulgence, increase, pours, spilling over
Enwraps, enfolding as a breeze blowing
Wells up in love as beloved and lover.
Falling fire in tongues, Babel’s blather breaks
With word of the Word whose voice Kadesh shakes.

© Randy Edwards 2017.
This poem is for Christ’s church. If it is helpful, please feel free to copy or reprint in church bulletins, read aloud, or repost. I only ask that an attribution be cited to myself (Randall Edwards) and this blog (backwardmutters.com). Thanks.
Artwork: Jean Restout le jeune (1692–1768) Oil on canvas 1732.

I Go

I Go

Based on John 14:1-14

Why all this talk of leaving, betrayal?
Where are you going? How could Peter deny?
We’ll go where you go. We’ll remain loyal.
Tell us true, no matter, even to die.

Way? But we don’t know the place you’re going;
We’d follow you, but you always rush in.
Can’t you see that their hatred is growing?
You’ll be alone, bear the brunt of their sin.

Let not your hearts be troubled, trust, believe;
My Father’s house has space enough and room.
I go, prepare for you a place with me
Where you’ll come live as a bride with her groom.
Though I go, you’ll have me, all in my name,
Glory and presence as pillar of flame.

© Randy Edwards 2018
This poem is for Christ’s church. If it is helpful, please feel free to copy or reprint in church bulletins, read aloud, or repost. I only ask that an attribution be cited to myself (Randall Edwards) and this blog (backwardmutters.com). Thanks.
Artwork: Duccio di Buoninsegna  (1255–2018), Christ Taking Leave of the Apostles, between 1308 and 1311
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Old People

Old People

Old people are just old.
They’ve always been so or so I’ve been told.
They turn up the heat, complain of the cold,
Complain for the price bread is being sold.
Old people are just old

Old people have always been
Old on the outside as well as within,
Have always had their double-chin,
Waddled faces wrapped with wrinkled skin,
Old people have always been.

If you think so, you’ll find to your chagrin
Like you they once were something to behold,
Their life and vigor, brazen, brash, and bold
Which you may still see in their eyes and grin,
But you’ll know it some future day when,
You become old like them.

© Randy Edwards 2018.

The couple are my great-great grandparents. I love this portrait.
Francis and Harriett Spitler

Hidden, He Hides Us

Hidden, He Hides Us

This sonnet is for Ascension Thursday and Ascension Sunday.

The sonnet is based on Acts 1:11: “and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

Why leave us below after rising, rise?
Why fly away with so much undone?
Speechless with sadness, we stare at the sky
Answers blurred by our tears as clouds, the sun.

Ascending up into heaven he takes,
Our embodied resurrection into
Unlocking the door to the Ancient of Days,
The Treasure to whom all treasure is due.

Though our Lord is now by clouds hidden
He hides us in him that nothing separate
Neither rust, nor thief, even death unbidden
May remove him from us, alienate.
And more, if he goes he will at last send
The Counselor, Fire, the Living Wind.

© Randy Edwards 2017.
This poem is for Christ’s church. If it is helpful, please feel free to copy or reprint in church bulletins, read aloud, or repost. I only ask that an attribution be cited to myself (Randall Edwards) and this blog (backwardmutters.com). Thanks.
artwork: James Tissot  (1836–1902), The Ascension; between 1886 and 1894; opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper

Had You Not Gone

Had You Not Gone

I am reposting this because today is Ascension Thursday, which is the fortieth day after Easter and is the day that Jesus’ ascension, recorded in Luke 24:50-53 and Acts 1:1-14, is remembered.

Had you not gone away, ascended on high,
You would have remained and still be here;
The tale of your rising, none deny—
Proof forever, age to age, year to year.
Had you not gone our faith would now be sight,
And seeing, believing, for all could see;
You could heal, stop hate, give wisdom and light
So why ascend? Why go? Why leave us be?

I must go, and bear what’s finished to heav’n
Take your life with me, hide you in love
From whence I’ll rule, sit in royal session,
Pour out my Spirit of fire from above.
Secure as an anchor, I hold you fast
For you’re with me now, till I come at last.

© Randy Edwards 2017.

This poem is for Christ’s church. If it is helpful, please feel free to copy or reprint in church bulletins, read aloud, or repost. I only ask that an attribution be cited to myself (Randall Edwards) and this blog (backwardmutters.com). Thanks.

artwork: James Tissot  (1836–1902), The Ascension; between 1886 and 1894; opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper.

Do You Want to Be Healed?

Do You Want to Be Healed?

This sonnet is based on John 5:1-17.

For thirty-eight years I have been bound, lame
In this body which failed, gave way, betrayed
My dreams to nightmares, my illness a shame;
My heart’s hope of wholeness, each year delayed.
I lie on my mat ‘side Bethesda’s pool
Where I wait for the waters to bubble
And by chance, might prove wrong the rule
That this man reaped what he deserved, double.

“Do you want to be healed?” the stranger said.
“Really? Are you mocking me? Can’t you see?
I’ve slaved, waited, to angels begged and pled
That bathing here might bring Sabbath to me.”

But this Sabbath, mercy like a shower broke
in blessing on my head, when the stranger spoke.

© Randall Edwards 2018.
This poem is for Christ’s church. If it is helpful, please feel free to copy or reprint in church bulletins, read aloud, or repost. I only ask that an attribution be cited to myself (Randall Edwards) and this blog (backwardmutters.com). Thanks.
Artwork: Carl Bloch [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons