“Oh men, how long will your hearts be closed? Will you love what is futile, and seek what is false?” Psalm 4:2
So brief, each person’s span,
Yet never ending our desire.
Our years all unguaranteed;
Daily we act as if immortal.
For immortality is our blueprint,
Impressed deep within our core.
Our destiny chiselled even now,
By a loving Creator and Father.
Whether we know it or not,
We come from His abundance,
And He craves quietly, patiently,
For our gracious approbation.
Why then are we so very slow,
Even loath, to sing His praise?
Is His seeming absence so, when
Life and love are replete with signs?
That vital treasure may seem hid,
But to those, sincere of heart,
It lies waiting, available and free.
Perhaps the only cost is humility?
Is it then a prideful reluctance
To submit to Another’s will?
The refusal to acknowledge
Our true childlike dependency?
In our iron grip on planet Earth,
And our technological strength,
Have we persuaded ourselves
That we really are like unto Him?
Has an enlightenment of reason
Debunked the risk-leap of faith?
Is it really so cool not to see
An inch beyond our hypocrisy?
Has sin and the turmoil of life,
Dimmed our vision of ourselves?
We befuddle and are befuddled,
By all manner of loser creeds.
We embrace what is transient,
Yet eschew what alone endures.
We indulge in trivia, and worse,
While avoiding our inner wealth.
With hearts shut to the truth,
We enthuse over risible fads,
Or, ireful, we militantly aver
A secular blinkeredness.
Dreams of eternity are warmed
By costly cryonic freezers.
Science scoffs at an afterlife,
While testing anti-ageing creams.
Everywhere man is upsidedown:
Meekness, that badge of selfless love,
Is denigrated, and brazen attitude
Held to be the mark of the winner.
For some folk, dear good souls,
The struggle for meaning is too much.
Mental illness, addictions, inadequacies:
Cruel slippery slopes to rock bottom.
Our prisons are gutters for the bad,
Yet also for the life and love wounded.
Vengeance ours! shout the righteous,
Condemning hope and mercy withal.
Is mankind shaking off the Cross,
Confident in its inexorable progress?
But God-less, its path is a dead end.
A temporal kingdom is no substitute.
Where is Your voice today O Lord?
Your stall in the bustling gathering?
Where is that witness, that salt that
Appears to have passed its use-by?
Have the glib sins of the pious,
And the arrogance of the fanatic,
Given the multitude an excuse
To deride and deny religion?
Has covering up base scandals
Shown the true face of priests?
Has a fractured and failing Church,
Allowed decent folk to recoil?
The gates of Hell will never prevail,
Yet the Church is sorely wilting,
Vanishing from the face of the city,
And the sacred is no longer sacred.
The next generation has no chance,
As their parents lapse in droves.
The baton of faith isn’t passed;
Churches turned into carpet shops.
God’s sheep are shepherd-less;
The gatekeepers asleep, or smug,
While pushers of mystic crap
Are strident and centre stage.
What then of me Lord as I bemoan?
As I try to articulate a needful world?
I was a shepherd to Your sheep,
Yet a shepherd who left his watch.
Am I now like a child on a hillside,
Watching a battle rage down below,
Feeling concerned, yet detached,
As if the outcome will not affect me?
A shepherd no more, yet a sheep,
Called by Your name and known.
Called to grow up and come on down,
To be a wounded healer on the plain.
Forgive me Lord for my part
In a witness that doesn’t witness.
For Church is me and I am Church,
Sinewed within the Body of Christ.
Come Holy Spirit, and bring Your gifts,
The gifts that will speak of divine love,
And reveal the vital majesty of Him,
To whom every knee must and will bow.