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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Citizens

We were young. Clean air in our lungs. Citizens of a purpose, a plan, a vision. The Spirit was poured over us and hovered above the earth. With every breath we took it filled us, and gave us worth. Power and comfort. Truth and love. Life and birth. Carefully sustained in the absence of pain, but still wild things. Free range, free will, unchained. Independence in a sovereign domain. We weren’t alone. The spirit of deception and accusation was in our midst, with clever curses on his lips. We tasted his kiss and experienced sin. In shame, we hid ourselves away, turning from our purpose we strayed into disdain. Cheap thrills and imitations unable to sustain the world that was put in place for us to exist. Now there are curses on our lips. Was the creator responsible for all of this? So we became our own gods and masters. Unleashing a torrent of brokenness and disaster. Kings and kingdoms. War and death will plague the earth until there’s nothing left. Lust and greed planted a seed that grew into a beast that feeds on the weak and in the midst of all of this grief…He speaks. He breathes peace. He gives dreams. In quiet places men begin to hear the voice of God calling them near. “Do not fear, for I am with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. There is truth and there is virtue. Follow me into my plan, my purpose, my promised land. From you will come another that will be both your king and your brother. He will lead you out of this hell you have uncovered. He will be your living hope. The word made flesh. In him you’ll find rest until all things return to me and the whole world will finally see the glory of the one true king!”

-Vagrant Saint

John 3:16-17

(Art= German Painter: Andreas Achenbach 1815-1910)

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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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Shadowboxing

Often we feel like we are battling the media, at odds with an agenda that seeks to dismantle truth and love. Yet, we are so plugged into it, attached to it at all times. We feel conflicted, we feel like we are fighting the ideals that this machine is promoting. But we’re still attached to it, somehow dependent on it. Not actually challenging it, but empowering it as it slowly chips away at our truth and we unintentionally conform to its standards over time. All the while we do very little to promote truth and love in our community, with real human beings that have real needs. Subtly losing touch with the reality of it all. Losing the fight.

-Vagrant Saint

 

Prayer in action is love, and love in action is service. Try to give unconditionally whatever a person needs in the moment. The point is to do something, however small, and show you care through your actions by giving your time … We are all God’s children so it is important to share His gifts. Do not worry about why problems exist in the world – just respond to people’s needs … We feel what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean, but that ocean would be less without that drop.

Mother Teresa

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

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