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Friday, August 5, 2016

Washed From Head to Toe

Dirt Daubing
By Hope Ellen Rapson

Earth’s children play in dirt,
Claiming “a pound won’t hurt!”
They make and serve mud pies
Under sultry summer skies.
After all, they’re made of clay;
They only dabble in what may
Be the bent that does direct
What everyone should expect.
Filthy from head to toe…
Washing? Well, some might go.
Yet in their next new morn
They will certainly return
To play in the clay and dirt,
Laughing, “A pound won’t hurt!”

So God’s Son came trapped in dirt,
Teaching every ounce does hurt!
Instead of molding mere mud pies,
With spit-filled daubs, he opened eyes.
He showed that spirit-filled clay
Need not dabble in what may
Twist, distort, or harden to direct---
Just what muddied souls expect.
So some, still filthy head to toe,
Through God’s cleansing showers go
And in the bright blue morn,
They find themselves reborn,
Never wanting to play in dirt,
Knowing just a bit will hurt!

Other poems by Hope Ellen Rapson

Hypostasis ( A poem for Christmas)
The Seed Pod (A poem for Holy Week)

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Praying Through Hebrews: Besetting Weakness

Hebrews 5:1-4:
“For every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God, in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins; he can deal gently with the ignorant and misguided, since he himself also is beset with weakness; and because of it he is obligated to offer sacrifices or sins, as for the people, so also for himself. And no one takes the honor to himself, but receives it when he is called by God, even as Aaron was.”

Lord, you repeatedly pictured human weakness throughout the Old Testament. The failures of Adam and Eve, Abraham, Moses, David and even the first High Priest Aaron remind me how in every way, I need You to enable me, to empower me even when I think I am strong. Indeed, I more readily trust You when I see the besetting weaknesses that plague me. Priests or pastors is fallible too, yet they seek to help me worship and teach me what I do not understand about You and what You desire for me. Aaron succumbed to the pressure of the people and made an image to satisfy them while Moses was on the mountain face-to-face with the living God.

Witnesses to the Living God

The Hebrews wandered forty years the wilderness fluctuating between faith and doubt, obedience and rebellion with Moses interceding on their behalf, yet even Moses was beset by weakness, and so, was only allowed to see the promised land from a mountain top. We see through these people that all mankind needs a Mediator, and we are more prepared to trust your provision in Jesus Christ, our Savior.

I thank and praise You that Christ’s intercessory, saving work was ordained from before the foundation of the earth. You were gracious and patient in atoning and covering sin, until He died as the great sacrifice for all. Even as now Your mercies are extended even to those whose faith is incomplete, because beginning faith is still faith.

LORD, help me, with all my besetting weakness, to be an instrument in bring others to full and final faith in Your Son and His sacrifice, so that You and only You will be honored! Bless the Lord, oh, my soul!

Related: Praying Through Hebrews: The Disciple's Perfect Priest; Praying Hebrews 6