“Today in Paradise” (Luke 23:43)

Today slips through our grasp,
How many do we have?
A sense of our mortality,
Would drive us on in urgency.

We number all our days,
And wisdom comes to stay,
How soon will come our final breath?
Who knows the hour of their death?

With death the litmus test,
To hell or heaven pressed,
And in that moment transferred then,
To life, or torture for their sin.

And the most gruesome death,
Forgotten by what’s next,
Cast off in fullest ecstasy,
Or swallowed up in agony.

Yet words will not suffice,
For those in paradise.
A thief returns to Eden’s arms,
The real of every shadowed charm.

Our mask of sin dissolved,
Our understanding solved,
All left to us is the new man,
That God has molded with his hands.

This garden He has grown,
Before His awesome throne,
Was cultivated for our sakes,
For love and grace He now creates.

The joy the Father gives,
Eternal we shall live,
The center of our joy we spy:
Or risen Lord, our Savior, Christ!

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Keep the Love of God (Jude 20-23)

The love of God will outlast any strain,
Is not revoked or given you in vain,
Take not for granted: actively maintain,
To keep yourselves in Jesus’ love.

And build your faith – a fort for your defense,
The primal scaffolds follow His blue prints,
To fuller knowledge, love, obedience,
To keep yourselves in Jesus’ love.

And pray at all times in the Spirit’s course,
To guide yourselves through this world’s sinful course,
In fellowship with the Triunal source,
To keep yourselves in Jesus’ love.

Anticipate the Lord’s redemptive acts,
As Simeon, in vigil never lax,
And share His works of mercy known as facts,
To keep yourselves in Jesus’ love.

The Covenant Blessing of Jesus (Leviticus 26)

The blessings of the covenant,
Fulfilled at several times,
But totally in Jesus Christ,
Let me recall to mind:
His way bred productivity,
With bounty born around,
With fish and bread with few to find,
And wine in water found.
His way brought children all could see,
For He, a child, came,
With children best His praises sang,
Their emblem He acclaimed.
His way was paved in victory,
For none could overthrow,
He cast down soldiers, walked through mobs,
He even death laid low.
His way displaying liberty,
Demoniacs released,
Both death and sickness came unbound,
Those free whom He set free.
And in His way was always peace,
Who healed His foeman’s ear,
Uniting Jews and vulgar Greeks,
And stilling seas of fear.
And in His way, too, God was seen,
For He is “God with us,”
And with His blood bought us for God,
Betrothed, to heaven thrust.