Friday, October 17, 2014

On the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906

In early darkness
Temblor wakes, shakes the city
Many shall perish.

The Bay rippled, shook,
Like teacup in aged hands,
with ships unsettled.

As wind through the leaves,
The shock through earth upturning
Buildings, livestock, lives.

Fire found its food,
The glories of the city;
It devoured the past.

How lonely she sits,
That once was full of people,
A mourning widow.

For years her tears fell,
In cottage-cities, waiting,
Building slowly back.

No Phoenix-bird this,
The ashes of industry
Do not bear such fruit.

The city returned,
Her glory much abated,
No coastal queen now.

The man-works fall so,
When God in glory speaking
Shatters the cedars.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Song of the Fall and Redemption

First-fired pride in Lucifer
kill-kindled selfsame spark in Eve and Adam,
forefather freely fallen from fealty to his Lord,
begat a baneful brood, 
rebel-race run down in time, rundown in mind,
all fair faculties clouded, shrouded, for the sake
of sated curiosity and pride,
damn├ęd pride.

Son-savior Jesus Christ sought souls of Adam's race,
His grace to drown the hellfire-hardened hearts of His
redeemed, reclaimed, remade, refashioned out of water
and the Spirit freely given, put paid to sin and left a newmade man,
upright again, a strong man fit to run his course -
His course, our captain, killer of the serpent,
servant, King, in Him we run right on against a troop;
Praise Him! ye gods, swear oath and bear allegiance to the Lord
of two-edged sword.
Praise Him!
for what we are now, bowed low before the Lord,
held humble by His hand; His deeds done in His people,

by those who love not life but Christ the King.

Luther

If there is anything in us, it is not our own; it is a gift of God. But if it is a gift of God, then it is entirely a debt one owes to love, that is, to the law of Christ. And if it is a debt owed to love, then I must serve others with it, not myself.  Thus my learning is not my own; it belongs to the unlearned and is the debt I owe them.

- Martin Luther, Lectures on Galatians, 1519