Unwelcome

The church I serve has a wonderful day school and today is the last day of class. There are people and parties everywhere!!! Of course, today is the day a cute little skunk decided to wander around the campus courtyard. And while everyone of God’s children is welcome in this church, some of God’s critters are, at times, less welcome than others. Luckily, our little black and white air un-freshener decided to stay hidden amid the hubbub!!  This poem is dedicated to our little smelly friend!!!

 

Unwelcome.

Your shiny fur coat

notwithstanding.

I get that you are amazing,

made to withstand

any foe.

But seriously,

would you want you around?

Your little waddle

is endearing.

And that bright white

stripe is quite fetching

in its own unique way.

But the unpleasant air

surrounding you

when you are on edge

is just too much.

I’m sorry.

You have to leave.

This painful putridity

has brought me to tears.

I am sorry to say this,

but you are

unwelcome.

25 May 2017

An Easter Manifesto 2017

We are still in the Easter season so I thought it was fine to share my Easter sermon/poem.  Here is a bit of a reminder to continue to look to new life.  Inspired by Wendel Berry’s wonderful poem!

 

So, friends, every day do something

that won’t compute. Love the Lord.

Love the world. Work for nothing.

Take all that you have and be poor.

Love someone who does not deserve it…

…Practice resurrection.

(Wendel Berry; “Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front” from The Country of Marriage, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc. 1973)

 

An Easter Manifesto

Come out! Come out of your hiding places!

Everything has changed beyond our sight,

shaken open by God’s powerful Love

which cannot die, cannot be stopped.

The Tomb of Jesus is empty! He is

not there! He is Risen! Alleluia!

Open your eyes, dry the tears

Jesus lives. His face shining brightly

in the lives of friend and stranger alike.

Love your friends and love others knowing

that you are loving the Living Jesus in them.

Open your hands to be filled for sharing

what you have with others. Reach out

with compassion to those in need, feed them

as you have been fed. Hold hands and pray.

Open your heart to feel God’s deep love.

Feel joy in human connection and spiritual

experiences. Let love overflow like rivers leaving

their banks with power to change the landscape.

Open your life to the abundance of God’s gifts

for you. Step out with truth to speak Love in the world;

to undam to the waters of justice; to give life.

Live resurrection

in all you do today. The power of fear is ended.

Take resurrection

wherever you go today. Walls fall before God’s love.

Speak resurrection

in every word you utter today. The Enemy is silenced

and God’s WORD bursts in colorful blossom

from the barrenness of dead wood and cold stone.

So come out! Come out of your hiding places!

Everything has changed beyond our sight,

shaken open by God’s powerful Love

which cannot die, cannot be stopped.

The Tomb of Jesus is empty! He is

not there! He is Risen! Alleluia!

Waking up

Waking up

Slowly

Body stiff

Yesterday’s

Walking

Through life’s

Challenges

It’s not easy

Or

It wasn’t

Remembering now

What I forgot

Hit my knees

And pray

God, please light

My path.

Reveal your will

For this day.

Let your Spirit

Fill me,

Like slow-brewing

Coffee, with the

Aroma of your

Love.

 

 

21 May 2017

 

Palm Sunday Reflection 2017

I offered this on Palm Sunday as a reflection on God’s love.  I use the word “for” to mean “on behalf or benefit of” rather than “in place of.”  The cross means freedom, healing, hope, courage, meaning, transformation and the list can go on.  Of course, the cross means, most of all, that God loves you deeply.  And, of course, this eternal reality no words, however lovely, can adequately convey.  God. Loves. YOU!!!   -Ram


A Palm Sunday Reflection

Jesus died for you sister;

That you’d be free from your compulsions to be perfectly put together for the world to see while you deny the emptiness of your own heart.

God. Loves. You.

Jesus died for you brother;

That you’d be free from the bondage of your addictions which numb the inner pain of daily existence that churns in the depth of your being.

God. Loves. You.

Jesus died for you child;

That you’d find healing from the wounds of losing your truest self striving to meet the rigorous standards of achievement heaped upon you by well-meaning, but demanding, parents and other adults in the classroom, in athletic competitions, in your hobbies and activities making you feel that WHAT you do is more important than WHO you are.

God. Loves. You.

Jesus died for you my suffering friend;

That you’d find meaning in the midst of your chronic illness and find strength in God’s grace to face and to embrace your coming death with dignity; in hope of finding wholeness and eternal renewal in the nearer presence of God.

God. Loves. You.

Jesus died for you lost traveller;

That you’d discover that your life and time on earth has been neither lost nor wasted in the wilderness of life through which the Hand of God has guided you, shielding you from all enemies, gently leading you to this moment.

God. Loves. You.

Jesus died for you, bitter soul;

That you’d begin to see this world as abundant, full of God’s good gifts for you and all of us who share this planet; that you’d know deeply that all political thinking, all divisions, all violence, all walls, all anger, all fear, all greed and all that brings us anxiety and despair has been nailed to the cross and burned away in the fire of Jesus’ self-sacrificing love.

God. Loves. You.

Jesus died for you Seeker;

That you’d recognize that you are a beloved child of God and find a restored sense of self that seeks not only your own good but the common good of all humanity whom God created in love, for love, and to love.

God. Loves. You.

Jesus died for you, my enemy;

That our hearts would awaken in peace and hope to resolutely face the truth that, while missiles can change the landscape, only God’s love in Christ can change our violent hearts.

God. Loves. You.

Jesus died for us, fellow pilgrims on the Way;

That as we journeyed we would be bound together in ever-strengthening bonds of love, discovering our interconnectedness and interdependence, discovering that sharing in each other’s lives is how we share in God’s life.

God. Loves. You.

Believing is Seeing – A Sermon

The world is blurry beyond my eyes.

 

Words like arrows fly by,

an undeclared war amongst

family members who see

only that which proves

their fear shaping words.

 

Those same fears fill the

innermost places of my hidden

heart which grasps at a

fleeting certainty, a failing

story mistold for power’s sake.

 

The world is blurry beyond my eyes

 

perhaps because I who see

can claim my blindness, can

reveal my fears and their power

to misshape all souls, my own,

just as seeing claims believing.

 

Spit, mud and water – a healing balm –

washes away our blinded sight,

breaks down the dividing wall ‘tween

siblings built by arrogance, anger, fear’s

revealing God’s ever-growing heart.

 

The world is blurry beyond my eyes;

 

Human blindness – by grace of Christ – dissolving,

a Godly vision of a new Creation given.

 

25 March 2017

 

By Ram Lopez

Cathy’s Oak Trees

In a cluster of oak trees,

arms lifted, reaching high

towards heavenly realms,

gather the winged choristers

whose lilting songs like hymns,

floating far beyond this life,

Praise the Artist of the wildly

bursting blooms painting

the early spring landscape

with new life – as time

floods the space between

Life and Death – as Light

fades beyond this horizon rising

anew over other clusters of oak trees.

17 March 2017

Ram Lopez

A space

A space
 
A space to unravel
the anxious tightness of life,
to let the burdens of the soul
fall way like the old, dead skin
of slithering time as it grows.
 
A space to breathe
away the stale air of busy
days and frenzied tasks
to make room for the inward rush
of graceful, life-giving New Breath.
 
A space for peace
to settle into the heart’s contours,
clearing away the dust of doubt
as the tide of Godly compassion
washes over the shore of my quietness.
 
By Ram Lopez
18 February 2017
F9 Ranch
 

Night

The light that dulls Light

stretches to find the top

of the brush line. The deep

Darkness of the sky cannot

be matched by the genius

of glass and filament charged

by electric currents. In the

bright Darkness shine the Life

Sources of other worlds. Perfectly

placed, crisp fall air makes the stars

twinkle as though they had mischief

in their eyes, delighting in the wishes

spoken by hopeful Lovers, revealing

to poets their sweet songs of joy.

By Ram Lopez – 21 October 2016 – F9 Ranch