Manger King

Who walked these streets where sinners lie broken and absorbed each curse and slander that was spoken?

Who ate and drank with silk-stocking thieves and wept with the widow as she bitterly grieved?

Who touched the untouchable, filled with disease and healed the eyes of the blind so his face they could see?

Who loved and lost and wrestled with doubt and anguished in sweat until blood came out?

Who was betrayed by a brother that he loved to the end and captured like a criminal, but committed no sin?

Who was beaten and tortured and put on display and mocked and spit on as they drug him away?

Who had nails drove through his hands and his feet and hung from a cross between two guilty thieves?

Who suffered and bled as his life slipped away and was placed in a cold dark tomb to stay?

Who descended into death and rose again in three days and walked the earth in victory from an empty grave?

Who ascended into power at the right hand of the father to begin, making all things new in him?

Who is coming again?

Who lifted our heads when darkness was all we could see and met us in flesh to set us free?

Who clothed us with righteousness and love so when the father looks upon us he sees his son?

Who is faithful and just to all who remain in the refuge of his holy name?

 

-VS

 

(Art= Swedish Painter: Marcus Larson 1825-1864)

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Peace Seeking Missile

As Christians, we believe that God manifested himself as our brother, born into this world through the person of Jesus Christ. Formed in the womb, fed and nurtured by a woman’s body. Delivered in the pain, beauty, anxiety, love and mess that is child birth. Traveling with young, new parents who were simply trying to survive. Narrowly escaping the clinches of a murderous tyrant. Exposed to the sorrow and joy of this wild and wicked world. Sickness and loss. Wind and rain. War and famine. Love and betrayal. Fear and death. Jesus, the embodiment of God’s nature and purpose for humanity. The true Word of God made flesh. The authority in heaven and on earth. The answer to the all of prophesies, dreams, fears, trials and errors of the ancient scriptures. We have received our revelation. We have been shown The Way. We have been shown our Resurrected King.

Why on earth are there so many “Christians” pledging their allegiance to some new manifestation of God that happens to look nothing like Jesus. A nationalist, militaristic, fear-fueled superpower ran by a maniacal billionaire. Peace by force. The literal antithesis of everything Jesus was about. Has God changed his mind on the whole Jesus thing? Called the whole plan of redemption through his radical loving-kindness thing off? Or have we created some kind of mutated offshoot of Christianity that has taken over the hearts and minds of so many well-intentioned people. Is our savior rejoicing as we grow our military superpower in his name? Are the triumphant horns blowing as we worship our wealth? Can we hear his mighty roar as we reduce our enemies to ash?

If ever there was a time to seek the path of our Merciful Savior, it is now. To seek the true nature of God as He has revealed to us in his son. To follow the countercultural way of Jesus. To pick up our crosses and not our guns. To feed the hungry, while those in power further oppress. To heal the sick, while those in power care only for themselves. To fear not, when those in power are building a kingdom of fear.

-Vagrant Saint

“Christianity stands or falls with its revolutionary protest against violence, arbitrariness, and pride of power, and with its plea for the weak. Christians are doing too little to make these points clear … Christendom adjusts itself far too easily to the worship of power. Christians should give more offense, shock the world far more, than they are doing now.”

-Dietrich Bonhoeffer

 

(Art= Swedish Painter: Marcus Larson 1825-1864)

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Psalms

Dawn breathed a fresh hue over the dark sky as the temperature dropped a couple of degrees in preparation for sunrise. Some days I wake with a heavy weight on my spirit, other days that weight is lifted, but this morning was different. Overwhelmingly grateful and surprisingly stable I rise from the table to examine this new angle. A ritualistic stray from my materialistic way. Into the mystic to stay. I’m planning my great escape. I’m not confined to this cave. The stone’s been rolled away. As needle meets vinyl and coffee fills cup, with eggs on iron my world wakes up. Fruit on table, in bed, and on vine. A sacred waste of time. As dew dries and birds harmonize, the sun loses its grip on the horizon and gets sucked up into the sky. This beautiful space is a slave to time. Existence like incense it’s gone in an instant:

Will your fragrance be psalms of worship or fumes from a war ship?

-Vagrant Saint

 

(Art= Swedish Painter: Marcus Larson 1825-1864)

 

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Invitation/Invocation

My haunted temple: Enter. Find my innermost being, my epicenter. Through my corridors, rooms, and stairwells take flight. Flood the deepest darkest corners with light. False gods will flee from within me at the roar of Majesty. The Holy Trinity has no capacity for impurity. Fill my courts with angels singing of Your glories and speaking the stories of Jesus and how He frees us and puts back together the broken pieces and completes us. A mosaic that was once broken and torn is now strong enough to weather any storm. New life, new form. Make me an intentional, spiritual, productive citizen of Your vision. Not just religion or superstition, Godly wisdom. Separate me from crooked culture. Free me from the clenches of the vulture.

-Vagrant Saint

 

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.     -Revelation 3:20

(Art= American Painter: Frederic Edwin Church 1826-1900)

 

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Culture Shock

If we are citizens of the Kingdom of God, now and forever, then why would we choose to participate now in things that are not, and will not be compatible with that Kingdom?
There are certain sins and degrees of sin that are accepted as a cultural norm relative to our social and political climate. The marriage of this culture and our aspired Jesus culture has created a “hybrid culture” where certain sin is tolerable, unrecognized, or even glorified and other sin is condemned. Is being a citizen of this “hybrid culture” slowing and confusing the process of Jesus forming us into intentional, productive members of His Kingdom on earth?

In this world there is measureless beauty and thrill and pleasure to reveal, and allow us to revel in, the provision of God. Why do we intentionally search outside of that beauty to find fuel for our fears, food for our flesh and reason for our treason?

-Vagrant Saint

 

“Everywhere there is the persistent and insane attempt to obtain pleasure without paying for it….’Let us have the pleasure of conquerors without the pains of soldiers; let us sit on sofas and be a hardy race.’ …All around us is the city of small sins, abounding in backways and retreats, but surely, sooner or later, the towering flame will rise from the harbor announcing that the reign of the cowards is over and a man is burning his ships.”

-G.K. Chesterton

“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it. “

-Martin Luther King Jr.

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

-Ephesians 4: 22-24

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Collective Clutter

There are many who say that our collective human consciousness is evolving and advancing as time pushes on. That the ability and power of our individual mind and spirit are expanding into new capabilities by access to the communal knowledge, thus allowing us to gain a higher perspective. The evolution of consciousness, such a provocative theme, and one that I’ve loosely accepted and frequently acknowledged for a number of years.

What if we replace the word consciousness with awareness, in its raw form? Just as an exercise. In reality, true awareness may hold a higher reverence than consciousness in terms of perception, not to get away from the point.

We mustn’t replace mere awareness of information as some sort of “enlightenment”. Technology is ever-increasingly allowing us to gain knowledge, or awareness, of all physical things under the sun. We are constantly being made more aware of our environment. Are we expanding from our consciousness into a higher form, or packing our current consciousness with information? Does this magnitude of information make it easier or more difficult to truly perceive?

Certainly being made aware can allow us to empathize, communicate with, and understand people and concepts that may have been very difficult without that knowledge. Good and wonderful things come from this awareness. I’m perplexed and encouraged by the sheer capacity of information and our ability to receive it. However, we cannot mistake this collection of information as some sort of divine perception, or evolution of consciousness.

Our minds our occupied. Our consciousness cluttered. Our hearts are stirring and in need of stillness. Our spirit is thirsty.

-Vagrant Saint

 

“So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.” -T.S. Eliot

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Come, Ye Weary

The Way, the Truth, the Life. Transformation comes through Christ. He’s making all things new, not just you. Want to be a part of it? Me too. His voice is not an echo in the distance. The Kingdom Of God is within us. The name is Jesus. His hand reaches into the smoke and flames of the hells that we create and though we can’t always see Him from the inside, He never leaves our side. We think we can hide behind lies. We think we need to clean up our lives before presenting ourselves to Christ. If you can’t swallow your pride today, it will be twice as hard tomorrow. How much more time can we borrow?

Come as you are, with your bruises and scars. With your shame and your hell, with a story to tell. You’ll find that Jesus looks upon you in love, and His story includes a lot of the things that yours does. He’s not angry or ashamed, He’s not casting blame. He wants you to carry His name and overcome what He overcame.    

-Vagrant Saint

 

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.     -John 3:17

(Art= Swedish Painter: Marcus Larson 1825-1864)

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