Devotions to Our God in the Manger: Human Healing


John 12:17

A D V E N T   2 0 1 4:      D E V O T I O N S   T O   O U R   G O D   I N   T H E   M A N G E R

Week 4                                                                                                                Human

Jesus

Jesus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Human Healing

So human, so frail,
Can it be?  He lifts us up and raises us, human response and divine guide.
We are low and our spirits ail, and He is our resurrection.
We are in dread and aware of pains not real, and yet real, and
He raises us whole.
He is our healer, our redeemer,
our Savior.
We light the candle of Hope as we await the coming of
Jesus, who is our source of hope.
Thank you, Lord, for the gift of hope, in our times of
emptiness and Darkness.
We light the candle of Peace, knowing that Jesus is the
Prince of Peace.
Thank you, Lord, for the gift of peace in our times of
uncertainty and fear.
We light the candle of Joy, knowing that our comfort and help come from God.
Thank you, Lord, for the gift of joy in our times of
sadness and Grief.
We light the candle of Love, knowing that God is love
revealed to us in Jesus Christ.
Thank you, Lord, for the gift of love in our times of
loneliness.
In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with
God, and the Word was God.
The Word became flesh and lived among us, full of
grace and truth.
In him was life, and that life was the light of all. We know that
Jesus is our hope, our peace, our joy and the source of love.
In manger born,
He moves about with us,
yesterday and today.
He invites the Spirit to be in us,
and we are filled,
redeemed in Holy words.
He is the light in the darkness of our night.
He is the Word, filling our spirits.
He heals us and leads us to eternity.
We yearn to see Him each day.

(c) Tom Bolton, 20 December 2014, Bay View Wisconsin

Posted in Poetry, Reflecting on Scripture | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

On Word, Law and Life: Unimportant


U.   I am Unimportant

Unfair actions happen all around me.
Unknown to many, your Word is fair, because
You are righteous, as you teach us.
Untested at once, we seize hold of
your word, because it is fair and reliable.
Unused to such truth, I burn up with fervor,
Unable to forget these words.
Ugly, ugly; ugliness is all around,
but your word, Holy One, is tested, and
I love it. I love to be with you, God-of-grace.
I am unimportant,
Unimportant, and yet you gave me words to hold as my own.
Unimportant as I am, your
Word is reliable to me.
Unrepentant too often, I find trouble in terror,
but the word of Just-God gives me joy.
Unfailing, the written words are always there for me,
and I am open: Help me to
Understand the words, so that I will live.

V. Voice of My New Life

Voiced with all my heart, I want so much to hear you.
I’ll keep obeying you always anyway. Can I?
Voice–plaintive, plennary voice! Hearing my voice, you give me
Victory, new life.
Viewed before dawn, life looked so low, but I
vaulted from my bed to cry and call for you.
Viewing my hope, I am firm in your words:
Joyful in the word. Blessed!
Joy in your word! Teach me.
Vast is your mercy, God-of-grace. Hear my voice.
Voice of my new life, teach me these Scriptures.
Vying with me for all things, over all things,
volumes are heaped on me: volumes separate them–evil–from you.
Vexed, I try to understand, to make your reliable words mine.
You are close to me, near by me, Holy One.
Volumes ago, and eons ago, I learned from your words:
Teach me again to cry out like that.

(c) Tom Bolton, Milwaukee, February 2012

Nearing the final stanza of my devotional poem about Psalm 119.

Posted in Poetry, Reflecting on Scripture | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Devotions to Our God in the Manger: Joy of the Redeemed


A D V E N T  2 0 1 4:    D E V O T I O N S   T O   O U R   G O D   I N   T H E   M A N G E R

Week 3                                                                                                            Redeemed

Isaiah 35:1

 deathvalley_0083

 Joy of the Redeemed

I believe, I believe, I believe,
and I am giddy in joy,
warm and excitable this day.
Today my longing is deepened, my
search for home more lively.
Hope thrives in the wilderness,
my dreams made new each day,
God waiting for me in the stillness,
the stillness awakening me.
My smallest concern is in this wilderness,
Jesus my comforter.
I am a partner in hope,
redeemed.
Let peace begin with me,
shared through me.
I have surrendered my cluttered thoughts,
awake in joy–
Joy in redemption.
God heals the world,
and I walk gently in the way of Christ’s peace,
this way,
Shalom bringer,
walking home with joy.
My spirit rejoices!
I joyfully walk home.

Joy to the World!
Joy in the Word!

© Tom Bolton, December 20, 2014, Milwaukee

 

Posted in Poetry, Reflecting on Scripture | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Devotions to Our God in the Manger 2014: Redeemed


Mark 9:24

A D V E N T    2 0 1 4:    D E V O T I O N S   T O   O U R   G O D   I N   T H E   M A N G E R

Week 3                                                                                                            Redeemed

Carved Nativity group made by Faith Craft

Redeemed, Help my Faith

I believe, I believe, I believe,
I believe, and yet:
Help my unbelief today.
How can it be?
Redeemed and healed, I am often filled with joy,
And yet,
Where does this unbelief come from? Where was it hidden?
Was it hidden at all?
When this faith becomes doubtful of itself,
it stands in temptation again,
as it was in the beginning, in the edge of the garden.
Fragile in our faith, we are sorely tested
each day.
It was
God’s love—his grace—in Jesus that saves us.
It is our faith that takes us there to gaze on Jesus,
To grab hold of His grace, His forgiveness, His empowerment;
Lord, I ride my faith to return to your power.
My faith is in a great, great God.
Yet my faith can be so small;
Help me Lord. Redeem me anew.

© Tom Bolton, December 12, 2012, Milwaukee
Revised for Advent 2013

Posted in Poetry, Reflecting on Scripture | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Devotions to Our God in the Manger: Turn Away


A D V E N T   2 0 1 4:     D E V O T I O N S   T O   O U R   G O D   I N   T H E   M A N G E R

Week 3                                                                                                   Redeemed

Ezekiel 14:6
Acts 2:38

handhead

 Turn Away

Repent!
Again, Repent
Each day anew, turn away from all that which turns you the wrong way.
Turn back to the One.
Turn away from the putrid, the self-center,
the wealth that perishes.
Turn toward the infant, now in the manger,
Emanuel.
The eyes are hard to change some days.
Repent!
Again, Repent!
We are reminded and warm in the Spirit.
The passion overflows, and we
know.
Turn away and seek
to be cleaned and restored.
Repent!
At the manger, I come to repent.
Joy in the Word!
Joy to the World!

(c) Tom Bolton, 18 December 2014, Bay View

Posted in Poetry, Reflecting on Scripture | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Devotions to Our God in the Manger: Repenting


 

A D V E N T   2 0 1 4:    D E V O T I O N S   T O   O U R   G O D   I N   T H E   M A N G E R

Week 3                                                                                                      Redeemed

Zion shall be redeemed by justice,
    and those in her who repent, by righteousness.       Isaiah 1:27 

“I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.  -Matthew 3:11

             I Repent

I am called to repent, and
Here I stumble and come forth, called to justice,
Made for righteousness,
Stumbled and brought up, redeemed.
It is right and just that I yearn to repent,
Humble before the manger.
Unused to forgiveness,
straining to find forgiveness, myself,
I seek to turn away.
Let me not turn from this gift;
let me turn from my ways.
I would turn back and be in connection with
the most High.
I repent, restored to justice,
Restored to the right place.
At the manger, I yearn to repent.
Joy in the Word!
Joy to the World!

(c) Tom Bolton, 17 December 2014, Bay View

Posted in Poetry, Reflecting on Scripture | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Devotions to Our God in the Manger 2014: Clad in Guilt


Isaiah 1: 18

A D V E N T   2 0 1 4:    D E V O T I O N S   T O   O U R   G O D   I N   T H E   M A N G E R

Week 3                                                                                                              Redeemed

English: Scroll of the Psalms

     In Guilt, Clad

All that God has done for His people,
I see it done for me.
The plaintive cry of the Psalmist rocks me,
and yet my heart cries more silently.
I hear the cry and feel the pain,
and I know the response of our savior.
His grace and care caress me today.
All the past records His grace,
and there is nothing less for me.
Sins so scarlet, marks crimson,
these are lifted up pure, as adorable as the favored lamb-toy.
Jesus took on our guilt,
and I know not to remove myself.
I would claim the divine justification;
I would be warm as the babe in the manger.
I see the innocence, and claim the guilt.
At the manger, I yearn to be redeemed.
Joy in the Word!
Joy to the World!

(c) Tom Bolton, 17 December 2013, with Chili

Posted in Poetry, Reflecting on Scripture | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment