Working for rest

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Working for rest

Hebrews 4:1–10

4 Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest is still open, let us take care that none of you should seem to have failed to reach it. 2 For indeed the good news came to us just as to them; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. 3 For we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,

“As in my anger I swore,

‘They shall not enter my rest,’ ”

though his works were finished at the foundation of the world. 4 For in one place it speaks about the seventh day as follows, “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” 5 And again in this place it says, “They shall not enter my rest.” 6 Since therefore it remains open for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, 7 again he sets a certain day—“today”—saying through David much later, in the words already quoted,

“Today, if you hear his voice,

do not harden your hearts.”

8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not speak later about another day. 9 So then, a sabbath rest still remains for the people of God; 10 for those who enter God’s rest also cease from their labors as God did from his.

The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Heb 4:1–10). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

What if each of our lives were works of art painted across the canvas of time? At the end of time, all the artwork would be revealed as God’s great art show. Jesus, the master painter would be there to celebrate the work of all His students. What a glorious and beautiful thing that could be!

We, created in God’s image are creators as well. We take the material God gives us and make new things, shaping our lives to suit our desires. Being God’s craftsmen and women, we all have a desire to look upon our creations and see that they are good. Upon completion, we, like God, would love to look back and say that it is all very good. The time of Sabbath rest following that judgment is not just because we often get tired trudging through the work of life. The rest is a time to celebrate the work we have accomplished with God.

If we choose not to work, or to work poorly however, we will have nothing to celebrate. Indeed, it may bring shame upon us to look back upon our lives. What can I do if my life is not a thing of beauty and goodness? I can ask for help.

Jesus, the master painter is always there to lead and guide us, helping us to grow as an artist of life. He freely gives knowledge and wisdom to those who seek Him. He leads and disciplines us in the practices of life. Although we can learn these things from others as well, it is Jesus alone who can also wipe our canvas clean, taking our mistakes upon Himself, where He can transform them into something beautiful. In Jesus, God has come to us and created a painting of painters, a photograph of photographers, a symphony of composers, and a book of authors – all telling His own story. Is that not what the Bible is itself? A book of authors, all telling part of God’s story?

What is your part in God’s work of art?

First Frost

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Supple droplets coalesce

in morning mist, whose cool caress

embraces all in loneliness,

sinking into shallow ground.

Follows then a breath of air,

whose northern accent chills the fair

unfinished droplets, held with care

there upon my glass found.

Shining into crystal likeness,

bright and white and round –

they harden without sound.

Beaded strings of peasant pearls

twined about in crescent curls,

crawling up my window, whorls

unbroken in a line.

There beset with misting sweat

they bind together, tight and yet

their seamless sheen and coverlet

grows gently as a vine.

Silently, with silver strength,

they reflect the moonshine –

until the night’s resign.

Morning brings a glassy sight

a world engulfed in frost-fire light

and painted crystalline and white

in heavenly decor.

The dusted streets stand glistening

while festive boughs are listening

to birdsong southbound christening

the mountain to the shore.

The fragrance of festivity

wafts in and out my door –

til spring returns once more.

An Acrostic on Wallace Stevens’ “One” Aphorism

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One needs everything

dealt out evenly, sincerely

not only true

words read in terrible epiphanies

form our railings

and nearly yield

raiment eaten away, deploring each rude

etched xenolith caught entering public tribute

one never escapes.


 

Muse

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Born a bondsman

To an unseen Lady

My blood rings

When she calls

 

In the morning I open my mouth

Pour forth my services

She will be satisfied and I

Left with Peace

Silent inside

 

When the sky turns down

She sings her bequest

Dampness harkens yet again and it

Spins in my head

A twisted top

 

Skull aflame and shot-ears dulled

To the scratching of my own nails

Against the compacting walls

Dumb ears

Deaf eyes

 

O God I only want silence

 

Born a bondsman

To an unseen Lady

My blood rings

When she calls