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Posts Tagged ‘pastoring’

For thousands of years it had been thus;

Day – then dusk – and the dark.

Light to night. 

It seemed absurd,

That the negative would be the last to be heard,

And positive leave without a remark.

 

As it had done, now it came again,

Beauty – then border – and then black.

Light to night,

Brilliant to dull;

Beautiful landscapes and pastels now null,

By the absence of sunlight, Oh, the lack.  – eab, 12/14/79

Written in East Tennessee, while pastoring Christ Church-Bible Methodist

 

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Whether his name was Zacchaes or Zacharias is unknown but in the hotel industry he became known as *Zack.

 

It is not known if he inherited Bethlehem‘s “Best Eastern” from his family,

his wife’s family, or bought it out­right. 

 

But on THAT famous night he was the proprietor of the inn.

 

Zack may have been young or old, the record does not say. We are not informed if he was wealthy or poor – barely meeting his pay­ments on the inn.

 

Was Zack tall or short, skinny or fat? 

No docu­ments exist to acclaim his great learning or lack thereof.

 

Was Zack a gentleman with a handsome profile or did his face reveal low breeding? Were his words kind and friendly or were they harsh? 

 

We’re not told if he was attired in the latest Roman robe or if his appearance was con­servatively Hebrew.  Was he mar­ried?  Had HIS wife ever given birth to a child?  Had HE ever traveled from Bethlehem and needed a room?

 

What was he worth the night he died?  What were his perks?  How much did he earn each week?  Where was he born?  What was his genealogy? 

 

How long did he own the “famous” inn?  Did Zack enjoy plain mutton chops and bread or was he a connoisseur of Mediterranean dining?

 

Did he race camels, collect Hittite pottery or trivialize his time with some other hobby?

Were his days simple or scheduled seg­ments of managerial perfection? 

 

Zack’s hair, was it black, styl­ishly cut or was it a mere shadow of its former glory with an ex­ceedingly wide part?

 

We do not know his race, face, pace, or even his grace.  Was he a faithful worshipper at the local synagogue or had he imbibed “modern thoughts” about God? 

 

Did he ever learn who his AL­MOST Guest was?

 

For a key player in history we know so little about him.

 

HISTORY HAS LEFT BUT ONE FACT, ABOUT ZACK

                 – HE HAD NO ROOM FOR JESUS!

 

Written while pastoring Bible Holiness Chapel, Oelrichs, SD and printed in the Hot Springs Star (newspaper) Dec., 1995

 

* No, we have not discovered some old scroll detailing the inns of the Holy Land, but allow me to use Zack in stead of saying “the innkeeper” each time and it could even make this story more real.

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“Now Thank We All Our God”   (stanza 2)

O may this bounteous God through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts and blessèd peace to cheer us;
And keep us in His grace, and guide us when perplexed;
And free us from all ills, in this world and the next!

Martin Rinckart died 12/8/1649, Germany (born 1586).  He was a Lutheran who began pastoring at 31 in Eilenburg, Saxony, his home community.  Between the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) and the Plague of 1637 Rinckart buried some 5,000 victims – holding as high as 50 funerals a day.

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The Greeks had developed their own way of talking,

A language with more than one way to say “love,”

And spread it abroad by tough sailing and walking,

From major port cities to high towns above.

 

The city of Rome had become its own nation;

Was mighty in men and machinery of wrath.

Long roads now connected each distant war station,

Flagged stones lay in order o’er many a “path.”

 

While kings in the East with a studied reliance,

Had carefully placed many stars on their chart. 

From speaking, to fighting, to far-away-science,

It seemed a new era was ready to start.

 

Yes.  Formal, predictable ritual held sway.

God, in His power was all but forgotten.

But glorious, wonderful, Son-perfect day;

The fullness of time came–He sent His begotten!

 

Exact parallels would be foolish to muster,

But some similarities seem to be found.

Greek is no longer the language to utter,

It’s English that’s now the wide-world-wanted sound.

 

But Rome still controls, iron-and-clay yet exists;

From titles like “senate,” to shapes of  “domed roofs.”

And Rome-borrowed gods and Greek words do persist;

Try “Juno,” “Apollo,” and “Titan” for proofs.

 

Ritual is freshly re-gripping most churches.

A “calendar year” is once more being heard.

Toward broadway, broadway the movement now lurches

Nor is “eucharist” (mass) an in-Bible word.

 

Christ came the first time when God opened time-gates

And He’ll come again when conditions are right.

But antichrist also awaits with his pit-mates.

The false may come first–as “an angel of light.”

 

By “modern” assemblies pure saints are thought odd;

Who celebrate nothing–nor worship the earth.

The saints will be caught up when God gives His nod.

His Return will surprise; as His first did, at birth.     –eab, 12/3/98

  

Written while pastoring in Olathe, Kansas – NOTE, written ONE  DECADE  AGO

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Ole Achan saw, coveted, took;

Became a bad name in the good Book.

Coveting is against God’s law,

Though the sin was not that he saw.

Watch – Do not take that second look.  –eab, 11/20/05

 

Written in eastern Ontario (Frontenac County) while pastoring with the Pilgrims.

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If we could have been there “Creation Morning,”

When God (I speak reverently) played in dirt.

And glimpsed His pleasure in making man,

(And seen His grimace at thoughts of the hurt).

 

If we could have watched Him lattice the heavens,

With a trillion stars at a splash,

And felt Him harness ‘lectric lightning,

Giving it its sizzle and flash.

 

If we could have stood by in wonder,

As He “finished” the peacock’s tail.

And sensed His majestic power,

When He first “invented” hail.

 

If we could have seen it all, from freckled feather

To the smallest, azure lagoon;

We’d have seen Him “step back” with pleasure,

And gently sign it all “Triune!” –eab, 3/1995

    

Written while pastoring cowboys in Oelrichs, SD – left part of my heart in South Dakota.      

 

             

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A rock and a tree are side by side,

The one alive, the other never died.

The one trim and tall, the other squat,

One “changeless,” the other will rot.

The one was here when Adam was here,

When human’s first sin brought the first stinging tear.

It felt the lap of The Flood in its face,

And knew earth’s tremor, when Christ died in disgrace.   -eab, 11/77

 

Written while pastoring Christ Chruch-Bible Methodist, Friendsville, Tennessee

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