Every Thursday during Lent, I post a poem that I find helpful for deeper engagement with Jesus’ journey to the Cross and the significance of Lent. Here is Emily Pauline Johnson’s poem “Brier (Good Friday)” from Flint and Feather: The Collected Poems of E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake). Johnson, known also by her adopted name “Tekahionwake,” was the a Canadian poet popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Her father was a hereditary Mohawk chief of mixed ancestry and her mother was an English immigrant.
Because, dear Christ, your tender, wounded arm Bends back the brier that edges life’s long way, That no hurt comes to heart, to soul no harm, I do not feel the thorns so much to-day.
Because I never knew your care to tire, Your hand to weary guiding me aright, Because you walk before and crush the brier, It does not pierce my feet so much to-night.
Because so often you have hearkened to My selfish prayers, I ask but one thing now, That these harsh hands of mine add not unto The crown of thorns upon your bleeding brow.
Every Thursday during Lent, I post a poem that I find helpful for deeper engagement with Jesus’ journey to the Cross and the significance of Lent. Here is Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem “I Wake and Feel the Fell of Dark, Not Day.” Gerard Manley Hopkins was a Jesuit priest of the Victorian era whose poetry was published after his death and had a significant influence on the modernist movement of poetry in the 20th-century.
I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day. What hours, O what black hours we have spent This night! what sights you, heart, saw, ways you went! And more must, in yet longer light’s delay.
With witness I speak this. But where I say Hours I mean years, mean life. And my lament Is cries countless, cries like dead letters sent To dearest him that lives alas! away.
I am gall, I am heartburn. God’s most deep decree Bitter would have me taste: my taste was me; Bones built in me, flesh filled, blood brimmed the curse.
Selfyeast of spirit a dull dough sours. I see The lost are like this, and their scourge to be As I am mine, their sweating selves; but worse.
Every Thursday during Lent, I post a poem that I find helpful for deeper engagement with Jesus’ journey to the Cross and the significance of Lent. Here is Langston Hughes’ poem “The Ballad of Mary’s Son” from The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes. Langston Hughes was one of the central figures of the Harlem Renaissance and a renowned 20th-century African American poet.
It was in the Spring The Passover had come. There was feasting in the streets and joy. But an awful thing Happened in the Spring – Men who knew not what they did1 Killed Mary’s Boy. He was Mary’s Son, And the Son of God was He – Sent to bring the whole world joy. There were some who could not hear, And some were filled with fear – So they built a cross For Mary’s Boy.
You can view the message video and outline for the message is below. You can follow along with the entire series here and the devotional that accompanies the series here. You could always join us for weekend worship in-person or remotely via Eastbrook at Home.
“Jesus said, ‘The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!’” (Mark 1:15)
Jesus and the Gospel of the Kingdom (Luke 4:16-21; Mark 1:14-15; Matthew 4:23; 9:35)
Fulfilling the promise
Proclaiming the kingdom
Calling for repentance
Bringing healing and salvation
Telling stories of the kingdom
Jesus, the Kingdom, the Cross, and the Resurrection
The King crucified: representative and sacrifice (Mark 15:22-24; Galatians 3:13; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Corinthians 1:18-25)
The King and the powers: conflict and victory (John 18:33-38; Colossians 2:13-15)
The King resurrected: the first step of total renewal (Mark 16:1-8; 1 Corinthians 15:20-24)
The Church and the Kingdom
The church witnesses to the kingdom by the Holy Spirit’s power (Acts 1:8; 2:1-4; 8:12; 19:8)
The church lives in the kingdom of God as both now and not yet (Mark 1:15; 1 Corinthians 6:9; James 2:5)
The Fullness of the Kingdom Yet to Come
Living for the kingdom yet to come (Hebrews 11:10, 13, 14)
Two visions of the eternal kingdom (Revelation 7:9-10; 21:1-6)
Key themes of the kingdom of God in the New Testament
Jesus is King and God’s kingdom has arrived
In His crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus brings salvation, healing, and victory in God’s kingdom
God’s people play a part as witnesses to God’s kingdom before the nations
God’s kingdom has come, yet its fullness is yet to come