Mark 1.21-28: The Battle Won

Darkness
Darkness loosed
Darkness run riot
Fingers of evil reach
Clawing away peace of mind
Tearing apart by fear, hatred, alienation
Yet, evil’s desperation reveals Truth, Victory won
His Cross stands empty - evil defeated
Light, Love, Life His gift
Wounded hands, saving all
Light breaks free
Light Victorious
LIGHT!


The reality of evil abounds in our own day. The evil forces of this world, as we hear in the Baptismal Liturgy in the Book of Common Prayer, continually seeks “to corrupt and destroy the creatures of God.” Yet, God has already won the battle over evil. Jesus’ cross stands empty. Death has no power. Life, through the saving act of God in Christ, wins. Light wins. Love wins. God wins. The only power evil has is the power humans give it through selfish, self-centered actions and words. We are invited to live in the light. To live a life filled to overflowing with God’s love. Today, reject the powers of evil and live in the power of God’s Love, live in the power of Christ Jesus who has given us the power to cast out the works of darkness. Today, live assured of the Love of Jesus who is the Light of the World.

As the fog burns away

As the fog burns away 'neath the brightening
Sun, a clearness settles in my blurred eyes.
Landmarks of a familiar place begin to emerge;
Slowly at first, their outlines sharpening in the Light.

As the fog burns away a path appears at my feet
New again the Way ahead slowly winds ahead,
Lengthening, inviting tentative steps as of a child
Learning to walk, discovering a new, growing world.

As the fog burns away an inner light is kindled,
Becoming brighter, reflecting the dawning Day
Which beckons to be explored with hopeful promise,
With unfathomable treasures for the Pilgrim who dares,

Who dares to take the first step; who dares to walk;
Who dares to live a new life as the fog burns away.

Times of transition are difficult. Whether the change we face is chosen or forced upon us, the flurry of the changes can leave us in a fog. But the fog clears. It always clears – sometimes slowly. When it does we can begin to see that change is possible. We can see that the way forward is clear. And as we move, as we take step after careful step, we find the promise of newness. Whatever has brought the fog into your life, know it will burn away and a new world awaits your exploration.

-Ram

At the end of what was known

At the end of what was known,
comes a new beginning
filled with unknowns, promising
the hope of restoration.

At the end of what was known
a better life awaits;
promises abound, a brilliant morn
of endless possibilities.

At the end of what was known
Love comes to heal;
the very Grace of God pouring
blessing on tired souls.

At the end of what was known
a New Creation awaits discovery.

21 January 2021

As much as life has been upended by all that we have endured, hope endures. Hope, the promise of God’s activity on our behalf, is alive. And not all that has been lost out of the lives that we led need be re-found. Perhaps we are invited to consider the blessing of time spent with family and a slower work pace as a part of our new lives. Perhaps the life that is emerging is one that no longer takes for granted each breath, each waking moment. Perhaps what what we have gained is how God desires to shape us as people who can love. Peace be with you.

-Ram

Hunting for sunsets

Poem written at Camp Capers and photo taken at the F9 Ranch. Two places where I encounter the Holy.

Hunting for sunsets

wherever I go.

Chasing down rays

of shimmering light

breaking through

tree branches

which, like arms,

reach out with

empty embrace for

a lover moved on

before the oncoming

darkness covers

a land who’s stories

fill hearts and minds

of days long past,

with moments of joy

and song filling this

newest night with

wonder and hope.

29 May 2017

Ram Lopez

The Gift of Connection

Too often I find myself overwhelmed by the day.-to-day chores of life. When that happens I miss the opportune moments to notice who God has placed in my life.

This poem is a about a moment when I stopped what I was doing to say hello, to introduce myself and connect with another human being and discover that, in spite of our outward differences, we all share challenges, hopes and dreams.

Take some time in the next few days to look around at the people you encounter regularly. And see if God might be nudging you to make a connection with another human being, another precious child of God!

…she persisted…

I wrote this to find my way through a text that has particular importance at this point in our history.  Jesus’ encounter with a Canaanite woman in Matthew 15 is the point at which we see that his mission is to bring the whole world into a new relationship with God and with each other.  The Gospel is not for few chosen folks who have the right look, the right language, the right culture or the right anything.  The Gospel of Jesus and the promises therein are for all of God’s children.  All.  Those who seek the exclusion (or worse) of others based on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and whatever else seems to them unacceptable are ultimately on the wrong side of Jesus’ love.  Thankfully for them, Jesus is gracious and forgiving and does not give up on anyone.  Remember, he told us to pray for our enemies and those who persecute.

Ram Lopez

20 August 2017

Yet, she persisted…

 

Who can blame her?

  Who could fault her efforts?

     If he is good; if he is of God

        Then he can deal with this demon;

           This god-awful demon tormenting

              My love, my child, my life…

 

“Show mercy!  Have pity!

  Dear messiah, Son of David, salvation!

     Help her!  Dear God – please, sir, help.

        Release her from this torture,

           Set her free, break the unseen chains

              Of this heinous, diabolical oppressor.”

 

“Send her away now!” yell his own.  “No longer

  Let us be bothered by her self-inflicted poverty.”

     “I was sent,” utters He, “to the lost sheep of Israel,

        To God’s chosen ones, who for many generations

           Have yearned for this sacred time of freedom.

 

Yet, she persisted…

 

“All we need, sir, is just some scraps;

  Scraps of your power, scraps of mercy.

     All my daughter needs is a small portion

        Of the unused grace, of love taken for granted,

           Of peace abandoned by those whom

              You seek to feed and save.”

 

“Great is your faith!” says He.  “Love fills you, wells up

  In your heart, pouring out through you to many,

     Filling the hearts of many others, ushering boldly

        Into this wounded, warring world a renewed mission

           A vision of all people and nations finally gathered together,

              God’s children resting in my arms of gracious salvation.”

 

Yes. She persisted.

 

And where stand I among these ancient players?

  And where stand you among the beloved redeemed?

     Do you hear her cries and seek her silence in favor of comfort?

        Maybe I am a small Canaanite woman persisting greatly in prayer?

           Or, can we be Him – who hears her deep, unrelenting cries for help,

              Who finally takes her side, to free her from the oppressor’s yoke?

 

This world of walls, unchanged amid centuries of change,

  Still excludes, still seeks to silence the crying voices of the shunned.

     No more do His followers seek after only the lost chosen children.

        He gives us eyes to see sheep, alone, harassed and helpless.

           His heart, beating through our own, is still moved by persistent cries.

              Godly love, flowing from us, swallows division, makes the world whole.

 

And so, we persist…

Transfigured

Reposting this on the Feast of the Transfiguration 2017.

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Transfigured

(Based on Luke 9.28-36)

In milliseconds, an eye blink,

all is changed, transfigured.

No longer draped in the dull

clothing of yesterday’s life,

rather, beautifully clothed in

tomorrow’s hope, today is

shining brightly, bathed in a

new lightness, pulsing with a

vibrancy that comes only after

an encounter with the Divine.

Revealed atop this mountain

is living – not mere existence –

but full, true living, minus fear,

filled with hope, radiating love.
6 August 2015

The Transfiguration of our Lord Jesus Christ

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