Of Wolves and Kings

 

Dollarphotoclub_wolfsheepThe scene was somber. Weeping unashamedly each one in turn fell upon the apostle’s neck, covering his face with kisses, embracing him for what they now knew would be the last time.  Each of them feared for their spiritual father’s fate, but none could contend with his determination to go on. Regardless of whatever might await him, he would continue by sea to Jerusalem, for the Spirit compelled him.

With moistened eyes and heavy hearts they watched as the ship disappeared on the horizon, straining to follow the last glimpse of the beloved leader for as long as possible. Turning then, they set their faces for the journey home, each one pondering the apostle’s parting words and his warning of the serious challenges ahead (Acts 20:17-38).

Such was the final meeting between the apostle Paul and the leaders of the Ephesian church. Aware that he would not see them again in this life, Paul had tempered his final message to them with this warning:

For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears. (Acts 20:29-31)

We’ve all heard about wolves in sheep’s clothing, haven’t we? Jesus said these would come into the church claiming to be believers but in reality they would be hungry wolves seeking to devour the sheep (Matt. 7:15). Oh, we keep a wary eye out for them and their cunning ways, herding our sheep into ever tighter compounds as we protect ourselves from the wolf ridden world outside.

But Paul’s warning was twofold. There would also be those rising up ‘from among yourselves’. They would be gifted communicators, using their oratory gifts to pervert the gospel and attract followers.

Sadly, Paul’s prophetic warning to the Ephesian elders is as relevant today as it has ever been.

While the church guards herself against the world, home grown wolves roam among us, drawing multitudes to themselves. Abandoning the leadership of the Holy Spirit, who alone embodies ‘all truth’, believers flock to drink in the latest utterances of celebrity ‘apostles’, ‘prophets’ and ‘pastors’. Every day, via conferences, internet, books and other media, itching Christian ears are tickled by smooth speakers whose intent is to make disciples for themselves.

The doctrines spread by these wolf-sheep are not Christ-centered, do not lead us in the way of Love, and are not born of the Spirit of God. They teach us to live in the kingdoms of men rather than seek the Kingdom of God. At their heart are some ‘perverse things’…..things that are contrary to Christ while claiming to be leading us to Christ.

Let’s not blame the world for the poisonous mixture now in our midst. We are not called to condemn the world; the world is already condemned (Jn 3:17).

It is we, the church, who have been content to simply fill pews and sit in enraptured obedience while our demi-gods build their ever expanding kingdoms. We may call these human idols apostle, prophet, senior pastor, bishop, reverend, priest or pope, but what we have really wanted is a king we can see, handle and adore. A king like us.

The ancient Israelites had the same desire. ‘Give us a flesh and blood king to rule over us” they cried out to God, “so we can be like the other nations’ (1 Sam. 8:4-22).

Recently I had a conversation with a fellow Christian that went along these lines:

Friend: ‘You must read so and so’s (contemporary theologian) works. He is so wonderful in the way he explains the Bible. I’ve read all his commentaries.’

Me: ‘I rarely read commentaries.  They don’t form my understanding of scripture.’

Friend: ‘Oh, but so and so’s different. When I’m reading his books it’s like having him in my own house. You should read them too.’

Me: ‘Why would I want him in my house?’

Friend: ‘Because reading his words feels like he’s following you around the house talking to you while you read.’

Me: ‘You mean like the Holy Spirit?’

The person I was talking with is a believer of many years and holds a Masters Degree in Theology.

Jesus did not leave His church defenceless. He sent the Holy Spirit to comfort, teach, reveal truth, and anoint her with supernatural power and spiritual gifts. He also gave her the people-gifts of apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and teachers to serve, equip, edify and mature her (Eph. 4:11-16).

These ones are among us and always have been, but very often they do not look the way we think they should.

The hard working believer beside you riding the train to work could be a prophet. The Christ following lady at the supermarket checkout may be an apostle. That unshaven old man waiting at the bus stop could be an evangelist, a teacher or a shepherd. While the Israelites were fawning after a king who was tall, handsome and from a powerful family, God’s unknown, chosen king sat in a lonely field, as a lowly shepherd guarding his father’s sheep (1 Sam. 9:1-2).

Christ’s people-gifts don’t normally come wrapped in expensive suits and driving the latest model car. They don’t need fancy business cards or state of the art auditoriums and they would probably prefer to ride a donkey than sit in a limousine. You could be one of them. What? Haven’t been to seminary? You’re shy, awkward, a nobody? That sounds just like the raw material God prefers.

The Bride of Christ recognizes only one King. All others desiring her adoration are usurpers craving His crown. God ordained authority does not seek to stand out in the crowd celebrity-like. It looks like you, and me, and Mr and Mrs Blogs down the road.

When we come into Christ we are encouraged to no longer recognize anyone ‘according to the flesh’ (2 Cor. 5:16 NASB). That means how someone looks, where they come from, their academic credentials or their Bible-quoting should not impress us. Neither should their charismatic personality, their ability to gather a crowd or even their spiritual gifts.

When we elevate others in their flesh, no matter how spiritual they may appear to us, we diminish the call of God on our own lives.

We convince ourselves that we have no place of service in Christ’s Body because we could never do as well as the one we’ve elevated. The good news is we were never meant to be like someone else – we are to be conformed only to the image of Christ. Knowing each other after the Spirit is simply recognizing, receiving from and responding to Christ in one another.

John the Baptist did not recognize the One He had been waiting for among the crowd until the Spirit revealed Him (Jn. 1:33). ‘One stands among us whose sandal strap I am unworthy to even loose’ he told the Pharisees who were supposed to be watching for their Messiah. Regardless, Jesus insisted on submitting to John’s baptism (Matt. 3:14,15). In a beautiful act of mutual submission, Jesus recognized and honoured the Holy Spirit in John, and John complied and submitted to Jesus’ wish.

When we refuse the anointing and call of God upon us, no matter how inadequate we feel, we dishonor the Spirit.

It is no accident of chance that you and I are alive at this moment in history. Our Kingdom is not of this world. Because we belong to a King and a Kingdom that are outside the boundaries and systems of our surrounding world, we are always placed in a unique position to be part of the solution.

We are alive at such a time as this because our King has need of us for such a time as this! None of us were born simply to warm pews. None of us became Christ followers in order to help build and maintain the kingdoms of usurpers who seek the Bride for themselves.

Nor are we here to ‘tut tut’ and shake our fingers at the messed up world. We are here to get our hands in among the grime and the muck and demonstrate another, better way.

We are here as light among darkness.

We are here as healing among suffering.

We are here as a royal priesthood of lovers and peacemakers.

We are here as Lifebearers in the shadow of death.

We are here to be about our Father’s business, and His only.

Let’s each of us find out what that business is for us, and seek, together, to be the answer in a church and a world rapidly running out of answers.

For truly, there has never been such a time as this, and never will there be again.

© Cheryl McGrath, Bread for the Bride, 2015 and beyond.   Copyright Notice: Permission is granted to freely reproduce any Bread for the Bride articles in emails or internet blogs, unaltered, and providing this copyright notice is included.     To permanently display an article on any static website please contact me for permission.

Unconditional Love – Or Not

Blue Hills at Ulong

Then the whole multitude of the surrounding region of the Gadarenes asked Him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. And He got into the boat and returned.( Luke 8:37)

“Just go Jesus, OK? We don’t want anything to do with you. Don’t even think about entering this city. We’ve seen what you can do and we’re not interested. No thanks, just go away – anywhere but here.”

Most of us would consider a response like this to a potential visit by Jesus as utterly foolish. Who wouldn’t want Jesus to come to their city, healing the sick, ministering to the oppressed, comforting the poor, teaching the mysteries of God?

The people of Decapolis didn’t. And while we may wonder at their foolishness, there was a bizarre kind of method in their madness. The citizens of Decapolis had figured something out about Jesus – He changes things.

Two thousand fat, healthy pigs had just plunged into a watery grave at Jesus’ say so. That’s no small loss in agricultural terms. That’s no small impact on a community depending on local farmers for food and adequate supply for a thriving economy.

What else would this Jesus do to upset the routine and regularity of everyday life if He was made welcome? How would their lives be impacted by His presence? There might be a short term benefit for those needing some kind of healing or hope, but such an unpredictable man might also cause much longer lasting major disruption to their idea of normality. It just wasn’t worth the risk.

God is not always easy to have around. To put it in contemporary language, He’s the ultimate mover and shaker. It’s not possible to engage Him without radical transformation within and around us.

Jesus does not come to us to live in a corner of our life. He does not come to ‘fit in’ with what we’ve already got going on. He’s not a house guest, He’s a revolutionary. If we really want Jesus in our lives we’d better be prepared for some inconvenience and even some radical, life altering adjustments. We’d better count the cost.

The people of Decapolis did some quick reckoning and decided they didn’t want the kind of change Jesus would bring to their city. Jesus didn’t contend with them. He simply heeded their request and departed.

We hear a lot about God’s unconditional love. Some people seem to think God will never challenge their behavior, attitudes or choices, because in doing so His love would no longer be ‘unconditional’. Unconditional love to them means God should benignly show His love towards us without needing any expression of unconditional love back from us. Yet few of us would be willing to accept that kind of arrangement in any healthy human relationship for very long.

If God’s love is unconditional what should we make of the following gospel incident?

Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. “You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.” Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” (Mark 10:17-23 NKJV)

Jesus’ great love for this man is not in question, but He was not willing for him to become a disciple unless He clearly understood the cost of discipleship. The man considered the cost and went away sorrowful.

And if unconditional love means God requires nothing of us, what can this mean?

Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.” ( Luke 9:23,24)

Hmmm…maybe we don’t get to define unconditional love to the One who is Love. God doesn’t just demonstrate unconditional love, He IS unconditional love. The One whose name is Love has made Himself available to us without condition.   For God so loved…..so completely, unconditionally, irreversibly……that He gave….. completely, unconditionally, irreversibly ….His only begotten Son to the people of the world – every tribe, every nation, every colour every generation, every man, woman and child – unconditionally.

The Cross is unconditional. The Love for humanity displayed there is without precedent or match in human history. On the Cross God died for both His friends and His enemies, for those who love Him and for those who despise Him; for those who welcome Him and those who reject Him. Never before or since has Love laid itself down for others as unconditionally as Jesus did at Calvary. His grace is indeed unconditional, requiring no repayment. That’s the gospel of salvation.

But His fellowship is costly. And that’s the gospel of the Kingdom.

There is a love deeper than unconditional love. There is a meeting place between God and humanity where unconditional love evolves into covenant love, and its name is Christ. In this place of covenant love our will to be independent, to do our own thing without strings attached, evaporates. The will of the Beloved becomes more dear to us than our own.

Those who set their hearts to pursuing that covenant love above all else in life are more than believers – they are disciples. When we are overtaken by covenant love, our fallen, corrupted idea of love becomes conformed to Christ, in whom, for the first time, we behold perfect love (1 John 4:18). Never again will we willingly injure or take advantage of the One who is the object of that love. No longer do we speak in terms of unconditional love, but we think, speak and act as those who have entered into holy covenant with another.

“My yoke is easy” Jesus said, ‘and my burden is light’. A covenant love relationship is not something forced upon us by One bent on controlling us. It is a holy place of mutual communion where we choose willingly to be yoked to our most Beloved, as He has chosen to yoke Himself to us. And without exception that yoking is going to be costly, because it’s going to be conditional on loving the Lord our God above all else, with all our heart, all our soul and all our mind. Things in and around us are going to change, and change is not always welcome by those who may be affected by it.

Jesus, too, committed Himself to some pretty decisive conditions in this covenant of love. He has already clearly demonstrated the depth of that commitment in the sacrifice of His lifeblood at Calvary. And He spelled out His ongoing commitment to us in John Chapter 14:

He is preparing a place for us

He will come again to take us to Himself

He has sent us the Spirit of Truth as our Helper

He will not leave us as orphans

We will see Him again

Because He lives we will live

He and His Father love us and will manifest themselves to us and dwell in us

And what is the one thing this Covenant Lover requires of His Bride? It is faithfulness, nothing less, nothing more (Rev. 17:4).

The purpose of God’s unconditional love is to lead us further……into the intimate depths of His covenant love. If we are willing, His grace is more than sufficient  for the journey.

© Cheryl McGrath, Bread for the Bride, 2015 and beyond.   Copyright Notice: Permission is granted to freely reproduce any Bread for the Bride articles in emails or internet blogs, unaltered, and providing this copyright notice is included.     To permanently display an article on any static website please contact me for permission.

A Crucified Man

As a follow up to yesterday’s post David Bolton at Christ Centred Christianity kindly found this Vimeo video of Graham Kendrick’s moving song.   Thanks David!  Enjoy!

A Crucified Man

From The Archives: In The Company of Fools

Christ carrying cross up Calvary on Good Friday over dark and stormy skyAtheism is popular right now.  Being offended at Christianity, and in particular ‘born again’ Christians, is becoming topical among many authors, intellectuals, journalists and social commentators.  Around us a chorus of disbelieving mockery grows increasingly influential as the offended voices of atheists grow louder and angrier by the day.  The Western world is seemingly separating into two camps, the intellectually wise, born to rule the world of course,  and the Christ-followers, at best deluded fools, at worst religious fanatics. The offence of the Cross has never been more obvious.

Truth be told there have been some very admirable fools in this company.  Consider Abram for instance. He left his home, his country and his religion to travel somewhere he didn’t know to find something he couldn’t see, muttering about looking for a city that didn’t exist.   Or take Simon bar Jonah, better known as Peter the Apostle.  He abandoned a thriving fishing business, a home with lakeside views to team up with a carpenter (rumoured to be illegitimate), who turned up on the beach one day, said “Follow me” and offered him nothing but trouble.   And let’s not forget Saul of Tarsus, up and coming brilliant theological scholar and probable candidate for the Jewish Sanhedrin.  After seeing a bright light (some say it was the mid-day sun),  and hearing a strange voice he discarded his very promising future to become a travelling preacher, enduring shipwrecks, whippings, imprisonment and finally beheading in the  name of a man who’d been crucified for blasphemy.

This list of fools continues throughout history to the present day.  I humbly but proudly admit my name has been added.  Yes, as far as the wise of this world are concerned, I am a fool.  I intend to remain so.  There are countless others who will stand beside me in my foolishness.

How did we become part of this prestigious company of fools?  We didn’t arrive at doctrinal consensus (some of us can’t even read);  we didn’t hold a worldwide conference and draft a manifesto (some of us couldn’t find our way out of a paper bag);  we didn’t elect a charismatic leader to tell us what to believe or who to trust (some of us have never even voted).  We simply placed our hope in a crucified Man. Simple really. There is still room in this company of fools. If you haven’t already done so, you are warmly invited to join us.  The odds may be against us but the Man has a plan that beats anything the atheists are offering.   Songwriter Graham Kendrick expresses it well:

I have placed all my hope in a Crucified Man

In the wounds in His side, His feet and His hands

I have traded my pride for a share in His shame

And the glory that one day will burst from His pain

 

I’ve abandoned my trust in the wise and the proud

For this fragile, mysterious weakness of God

And I dare to believe in His scandalous claim

That His Blood cleanses sin for whoever will call on His Name

Live or die, here I stand

I’ve placed my hope in a Crucified Man

 

I believe as they beat on His beautiful face

He turned a torturer’s chair to an altar of grace

Where the worst we can do met the best that God does

Where unspeakable hate met the gaze of unstoppable Love

At the crux of it all there He hangs

I’ve placed my hope in a Crucified Man

 

When the purest and best took the force of our curse

Death’s victory armada juddered into reverse

And either we bow or we stumble and fall

For the wisdom of suffering God has made fools of us all!

I gladly admit that I am

But I’ve placed my hope in a Crucified Man I have buried my life in the cold earth with Him

Like a seed in the winter I wait for the Spring

From that garden of tombs Eden rises again

And Paradise blooms from His Body and never will end

He’ll finish all He began….

Creation hopes in a Crucified Man

 

When I stand at the judgment I have no other plan

I’ve placed my hope in a Crucified Man

Like the thief nailed beside Him I have no other plan…

I’ve placed my hope in a Crucified Man

Words and music  © 2006 Make Way Music
www.grahamkendrick.co.uk

© Cheryl McGrath, Bread for the Bride, 2012 and beyond   Copyright Notice: Permission is granted to freely reproduce any Bread for the Bride articles in emails or internet blogs, unaltered, and providing this copyright notice is included.     To permanently display an article on any static website please contact me for permission.

Christ is the answer!

Cheryl McGrath:

I want to share with you a recent post by my friend Patrick Maina in Nairobi, Kenya. The word he shares here and the moving video need to be heard and seen by all who seek to follow Christ. We deal on a daily basis with our own set of circumstances, but this post and video spell out the reality of our deepest identity. The apostle Paul said we are a people who ‘as dying, yet behold we live’. There are those who call us the people of the Cross, and so we are. But we are also the people of the Resurrection. Whether our lives are personally threatened or not, let us live out the Love that is stronger than any hatred and let us carry the Light of that unrelenting Love into every dark and evil place. Death has been swallowed up in victory. In Him is Life, and the Life is the (only) Light of mankind.

Originally posted on Life beyond the walls:

Credit: Chrismons and Chrismon Patterns Credit: Chrismons and Chrismon Patterns The attack in Garissa University earlier this month left many of us that are affected directly or indirectly with many unanswered questions. There was much pain and heartache at different levels and for this my prayer for peace and strength goes to God especially for the families and friends of the victims.

One brother from SA asked me what I felt and could only say sadness and helplessness, but deep inside I knew that even if it felt like that, we were actually not helpless. It may look like that, but the reality is different.

The creator of the universe, the omnipresent God was present as it was happening, and He was almighty to stop it, but He did not. The very present help in time of need was right there as those perpetrators opened fire on those unarmed people. To understand the whys and…

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Jesus Was Cool About Breaking The Rules

Illustration depicting a roadsign with a rules concept. Sky background.

So there I was, frantically squeezing my feet into my brown school shoes, eyeing the wall clock with alarm and breathlessly leaping onto the back of the school bus as it pulled away from the bus stop.

My heart was pounding as I rehearsed suitable excuses for missing roll call. My throat tightened with a familiar anxiety. I’ve always hated running late. Teachers and principals get upset when you’re late, and the last thing I wanted to do was upset anyone.

If only the bus would go faster, if only I had been ready on time, if only I didn’t mess up so often, if only my head would stop aching. These were the inward thoughts of my fifteen year old school girl self as I rode uncomfortably to school in the too-slow bus.

Except….I am not a fifteen year old school girl; I am a middle aged woman who finished school over forty years ago. I can’t remember the last time I ran for a bus and brown mary janes are definitely not my current choice of footwear.

I was caught in a rather stressful dream.

Rules! There are natural rule breakers among us, those born rebels who delight in upending every rule they come across because…..well, who really knows? And then there are the rule keepers, those of us who for various reasons figured out at an early age that the safest way to navigate this unpredictable life is to keep all the rules.

For over half my life I was an avid rule keeper. As my recent dream reminded me, rule breaking was just not in my DNA. And for a very long time church life rigidly reinforced in me a certain inalienable belief: keeping rules was essential to Christian living and pleasing God.

Turns out that was bad information. Who’d have guessed?

Jesus was an unrepentant rule breaker. Seriously. If you find that hard to believe consider just a few examples:

*Twelve year old Jewish boys didn’t usually lecture theologians on the meaning of scripture while their parents combed the city streets searching for them; Jesus did (Luke 2:42-46)

*Jewish teachers did not converse with, or offer to enter the houses, of Gentiles – ever. Jesus did both (Mark 8:5-13)

*Jewish rabbis were expected to uphold the law. The law said an adulterous woman must be stoned. Jesus refused to cast the first stone (John 8:2-11)

*Jews in general did not socialise with Samaritans and rabbis in particular did not acknowledge or even speak with women….period. Jesus failed on both counts (John 4:5-30)

*Misleading your relatives by telling them you’re not going to the festival, only to secretly attend without them was not family-friendly. Jesus had no qualms about it (John 7:2-10)

*In Jesus’ day it was considered highly improper to disrupt an important religious festival by shouting at the crowd; Jesus did anyway (John 7:37-38).

*Under no circumstances was it socially acceptable to overturn tables, scatter money and merchandise and chase people with whips in the Temple forecourt.  Jesus did all of these things and never came back to apologise (Mark 11:15-17)

We could go on.

I wish I’d understood earlier in my Christian journey that rule following is not proof of Christ following. I wish someone had told me my salvation didn’t depend on how compliant I am. But no one in my field of reference could tell me, because they didn’t know either.

Now I know. That’s why I’m here to tell anyone who’ll listen: breaking rules won’t cause the sky to fall in on you, the oceans to run dry or the earth to swallow you up. I found out God is bigger than that, and some people have been keeping it a secret.

What rules am I talking about? Well, not the commandments or any other part of the Old Testament law. Jesus fulfils those in us, so let’s just get out of His way and let Him do so. The rules I’m talking about are Christian culture rules. Here are a few examples:

  • The rule of perpetual niceness – we find it hard to genuinely love one another so we substitute a sickly sweet niceness to camouflage our lack of true sacrificial care. We are masters at being polite while we fail at genuine empathy;
  • The rule of positivity – this often unspoken rule says you’re not a real Christian unless you keep smiling, never complain, and are always praising God, Who of course is “good, all the time, amen?” Any hint of anxiety, or worse, actual depression, must be banned from the assembly of the righteous as they are evidence that someone, somewhere, must be sinning. God forbid! Brokenness not allowed.
  • The rule of commitment: the religious system runs on voluntary, unquestioning service. If you are not getting ‘involved’ in serving, whether it is cleaning the church toilets, preparing the communion elements, or visiting the sick, you are not really pulling your weight. You are uncommitted….to the system that is; and according to the rulebook that means you’re uncommitted to Christ.
  • The rule of witness: under no circumstances must your ‘witness’ be compromised. You must not act, speak, or associate in such a way that would negatively impact on your Christian niceness (see Rule One). Subtle (or not so subtle) expressions of disapproval will soon bring you back into the uniformity of the majority. There are ways and means, after all.
  • The ‘touch not my anointed’ rule: in some Christian circles breaking this rule is the quickest way to find yourself being shown the left foot of fellowship with the doors locked firmly behind you. Under no circumstances must leadership be expected to be accountable to ordinary pew sitters. Be warned: breaking this one will put a blot on your Christian resume that will follow you from church to church for years……and I mean y – e – a –r – s.

These are just a few Christian culture rules among many; I’ve no doubt you could add more. Those who imply, teach and impose them are usually able to quote chapter and verse for every rule on their very long list. The problem is they’re attempting to apply a carnal mindset to spiritual principles. Can’t be done.

I still struggle with being a rule keeper, but not nearly as much as I used to. Jesus steadily continues to untangle the chains of man-made religion that entwined themselves around me for so long. Every so often I have a dream nightmare like the one in the opening paragraph and wake up freshly grateful for the knowledge that nothing can separate me from the love of God or hinder the completed work of the Cross.

We have made an idol of our Christianity, an idol in our own image we call ‘Christian’ who looks, sounds and acts just like us in our Sunday best. Outwardly Christian is a very nice, morally upright, rule abiding person, but Christian is not the image of the living Christ. Christian will insist on us being ‘good’ but the fruit he/she offers us is from the wrong tree. One thing Christian can never give us is freedom. Yet Christ has called us to freedom (Gal. 5:13).

What about you? Which Christian culture rules are you struggling to offload? I’m planning to follow up this post with a series on some of these Christian culture rules we commonly wrestle to be free from. Are there Christian culture rules you’d like to see discussed on Bread for the Bride? If so, drop me a line, using the comments section or the contact form.

In the meantime, go ahead, live dangerously.

Break.Some.Rules.

© Cheryl McGrath, Bread for the Bride, 2015 and beyond.   Copyright Notice: Permission is granted to freely reproduce any Bread for the Bride articles in emails or internet blogs, unaltered, and providing this copyright notice is included.     To permanently display an article on any static website please contact me for permission.

Watch This Space

emptytomb

“Foolishness” mumbled the soldier

Casting lots for the rabbi’s garment

“An utter waste of a good man’s life”

 

“Serves him right” spat the Pharisee

Nodding to himself self righteously

Stroking his beard with smug delight

 

“It cannot be!” uttered the disciple

Tears streaming from bloodshot eyes

“It wasn’t meant to end this way!”

 

“Unbearable!” sobbed the women

Holding tight to one another

“We never thought we’d see this day”

 

“How will I bear it?” wept the mother

Recalling a long ago prophecy

“A sword will also pierce your heart”

 

“Remember me!” gasped the dying thief

“Though I don’t deserve mercy,

I know You are Who You say You are!”

 

“Have we won?” speculated the demons

Confused and unsettled

At the apparent ease of victory

 

“Holy!” whispered creation

Silently waiting and watching

Bowing before bleeding divinity

 

“Mystery!” shouted the angels

Trembling at the impossible scene

Unfolding before their puzzled eyes

 

“It is FINISHED!” cried the crucified One

Offering His sinless humanity

Once, for all, the perfect sacrifice

 

Nooooo!” screamed Death

Power already slipping from his grip

With horrible realisation

 

“OH YES!” the Father thundered

Echoing through earth and Heaven

Violently shaking hell’s foundations

 

Now for Act Two

Heralded the Spirit

Dancing deftly through time unfazed,

Alighting triumphantly on a garden tomb

Formidable, unstoppable,

WATCH THIS SPACE!”

 

© Cheryl McGrath, Bread for the Bride, 2012 and beyond.   Copyright Notice: Permission is granted to freely reproduce any Bread for the Bride articles in emails or internet blogs, unaltered, and providing this copyright notice is included.     To permanently display an article on any static website please contact me for permission.