Saturday, May 28, 2005

2 Corinthians 4:13 - 5:10

Paul says, it is written, I believed, and that is whence I speak.
Paul's quoting the Psalms here, 116:10, and what does the Psalmist say?
"I am greatly afflicted" and in my dismay I said, "all men are liars".
Paints with a broad brush I should say, but look at the context:
"You, O Lord, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears
And my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord
In the land of the living."
The Psalmist's exultation in physical deliverance is Paul's spirit
of faith, his affirmation at the season of life which is past the middle,
this season of strain and gray hair and wrinkle,
this time of anxious longing and sometime despair,
that what is bodily past the bloom of life is being prepared for a greater bloom,
the resurrective power of Christ.

The tent has a few holes that let the rain in, or the summer gnats,
But this old tent was all that kept my brother, my father and I
from being blown off the side of a mountain in a thunderstorm,
and all that kept us from freezing one night beside an icy New Hampshire lake,
and what kept out the curious crow in a dry Utah gulch.
This fragile body and this gasp-at-the-latest-price house that I live in
Are just as ragged and just as going-away-too.
Paul used to make tents too I believe, he spoke from knowledge
And he longed for the tent-of-meeting-my-saviour-face-to-face.

He had that appointment made long in advance, though on a date he din't know
And I have that appointment too, with the judge of my soul. It is we who believe
Who will walk through that fire, and lose
All that isn't woven of Spirit-gold.
Wood, stubble, and hay, be gone. I need to get ready.

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