Pink Cotton Promise (Glenroy Lent #10)

Even in new homes, morning has old narratives
formed by other mornings,
by schedules, by delays.

So I approach the day as though it’s been before,
as though
its parameters are fixed,

its possibilities known.
Adam beheld the first sunrise,
called himself inventor. I

almost ignore the miracle, too entangled
in strands of ground to see sky,
until

a scattering spool
of morning-pink cloud-thread
entwines my eye.

Not a word, as such,
but a message nonetheless,
a promise in this time of dust:

If this is how I hold the clouds,
then how much more…

And I am caught:

a moment between ash and new birth.
New Adam knows dust
and I am consoled in this knowledge.

20 Contemplations #6: At Creation

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Anselm Kiefer, “Heaven on Earth (Himmel auf Erden)”

All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
(John 1:3)

First birdsong and flight; new heavens groaning;
These things we cannot see. They precede
Sight, consciousness. All we know, he exceeds:
The Face behind the flame and the foaming.
Nothing made without Him: He moves across
Astronomy and microscope, photon
And planet, from star-studded sky to cross.
Is all this beyond us? Yet He is known;
Takes first steps, like Adam; like Adam, bleeds;
Descends to the stable, ascends the Tree;
Comes to His creation; it knows Him not,
Despised, rejected, a thing forgot.
No fanfare: behold the silent babe
In whom all things were made that were made.

 

Catechism 45

Is baptism with water the washing away of sin itself?
No, only the blood of Christ and the renewal of the Holy Spirit can cleanse us from sin.
(New City Catechism)

    God, no water is enough.
Stains worsen when washed deeper in;
this is the deepest, from Adam to now.
       Only blood
    can wash away blood;
      only pure Breath can restore breath.
Nothing giving; the remedy hurts worse than the ill.
    Yet grace gives us this:
       gentle water as symbol,
    another’s death as the price,  impossible signed
    in this simplest plunge,
       the stain
   taken right back to the source.

image
Masaccio, "Baptism of Neophytes", Wikimedia Commons

Lent: Enough 5

What warmth I hide in will soon grow cold.
All Peter’s false fires, Adam’s cloak of leaves,
will burn out, fade, and leave nakedness in ash.
Clothe me. My shame is always before me.
Nothing hides from Your sight
what should be white, yet’s stained like blood.
O God. I stand –
naked, dust.
You are enough. You are enough.

Catechism 30

In Christ Alone large-500x500

What is faith in Jesus Christ?
Faith in Jesus Christ is acknowledging the truth of everything that God has revealed in his Word, trusting in him, and also receiving and resting on him alone for salvation as he is offered to us in the gospel.
(New City Catechism)

 

Price paid – rest.
            The promise lies in deepest past:
Adam’s offspring crushes heads
            of serpents
                        with his heel.
 
Rest, receive:
            the Word tells all a soul must know.
Adam’s stain to stainless death,
            many sons
                        brought glory.
 
Trust the truth:
            though sin clamours at our ears,
better words are spoken in
            the blood which
                        pleads for us.

Family Tree

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…and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

(Revelation 22:2)

 

 
 
 
What a father did once when an apple looked sweet
            sent tremors shaking through the earth,
                        breaking roots, severing limbs,
            sickening soil and bruising leaves,
                                    life uprooted from its Tree
                        and grafted into death.
 
What a brother did when he walked through a field
            and Hell crouched at his flapping tent
                        made the earth cry out for blood,
            while knotted roots, turned inside out,
                                    craved curse like twisted blessing which
                        seven times avenged.
 
What Son once climbed a skull-bound tree
            outside garden or city walls
                        took the deadened soil and sprinkled
            cursed roots with the flow of blood,
                                    injected life in deadened leaves
                        and grafted family in.
 
What life, what family, grown in Him
            now where death should hold the sway
                        of wind and trunk, and roots declared
            too dead to be of any good –
                                    now spreads, now heals, now spreading heals.
                        What life has won the day.

Catechism 20

Who is the Redeemer?

The only Redeemer is the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, in whom God became man and bore the penalty for sin himself.

(New City Catechism)

 

From Adam’s flesh

the perfect Man:

God, human, redeeming what

the apple’s curse has eaten.

 

Who else? Our kinsman,

yet not like us:

stands firm where we falter,

lives not by bread alone.

 

Unflinching before the snake,

He bows where we exalt,

obeys where we hide in leaves

and stands unashamed.

 

Truth astonishes;

determinism lurks in cracks

but light shines life where death should be

and silences the night.