Monday, February 18, 2019

Jairus' Daughter

By Ken G. Cooper

[Matthew 10:18-25, Mark 22-43, Luke 8:41-55]

FEAR
My daughter lies sick, she is moaning and crying
And I dread the worst, for it looks like she’s dying.
I am one of the rulers of synagogues here,
But in this I am helpless, my thoughts ruled with fear.
My prayers now seem hollow, for can this be God’s will?
I kneel for His guidance, how I need to be still!
My great love for my girl makes me both weak and strong,
What more help can I seek? she has not got long.

HOPE
I hear from a friend the prophet Jesus can heal,
He speaks of new life, God’s kingdom as real.
I feel deep within me he could heal her, but how?
My heart leaps with last hope, I must find him right now.
I make urgent enquiries, - he’s here, by the sea!
I find him quite quickly and beseech: “I pray thee!
My little daughter lieth at the point of death, 
Please come and heal her before she breathes her last breath!”

IMPATIENCE
I need him to come with me, his word will not do;
My wife needs to meet with him, to understand too.
He responds to my need, turns with love to my home.
We must now go quickly; can’t he see there’s no time!
But someone has touched him, - my heart misses a beat,
For he stands and looks round at the crowd in the street!
“Who touched my clothes?” he asks with a gentle request.
(But my daughter is dying! - I feel great unrest).

FAITH
A woman comes forth, kneeling and trembling with doubt,
What she’d hoped could be quiet we’ve now all found out!
Jesus spoke to her kindly, as God’s daughter true,
Her faith made her whole, she was free, become new.
For twelve years she’d been sick, - twelve years weary and worn,
The same number of years since my daughter was born!
But weren't both God's dear daughters? This gave me fresh zeal,
For I’d just glimpsed for myself God's love could sure heal.

BE NOT AFRAID!
We’re about to move on, and I’d taken the lead,
When friends come from my household: “Thy daughter is dead!
Why trouble the master any further” they say.
And Jesus replies, “Be not afraid! Only pray.” 
But what can he do? This simply beggars belief
That with her now dead we could find peace and relief!
We approach to my house, and the mourners wax loud,
My dear daughter already to them in her shroud.

REMOVE DOUBT!
Once more Jesus speaks, saying she is but asleep.
They so laugh him to scorn, calling him a mad creep!
Their thought is not helpful, and he casts them all out,
Which makes them scoff more and more stubbornly shout.
But he takes Peter, James, John, both me and my wife, -
We quietly enter, feel the presence of Life.
I think of that woman restored after so long,
But raising the dead? Are my doubts yet so strong?

ONLY ONE MIND
Jesus said to believe, and goes up to her bed:
“Maid, arise.” And she gets up, yes, she that was dead!
We’re both just astonished, for our daughter's made whole!
Fear proved as just empty! Life is God’s Love and Soul!
Yes, we'd all been asleep!  I see now there’s no death, -
In God the Almighty is all being and breath.
There is nothing to fear. And in Jesus so kind
He has proved to us all there is only One Mind.


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©Ken G Cooper 2019                         
kencooperpoetry.com                     
kengcooper@btinternet.com                                                       
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Monday, February 11, 2019

Sing Praise to God

By Ken G. Cooper

Sing praise to God all through the day,
Be true to Him in all you say:
In all you do, this be the test:
In all you do, is God expressed?

Sing praise to God through darkest night,
Negate all error with God’s might!
Where’er you are, God gives you rest;
Where’er you are, see God expressed!

Forsake all evil straightway,
And never give it time of day.
All wrongful thoughts we must detest,
With only thoughts of God expressed!

Sing praise as man, the child of God,
Man of the Spirit, not the sod!
This perfect man is always blest:
God’s man is always God expressed!

(Tune: Fight the good fight…)

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©Ken G Cooper 2019                         
kencooperpoetry.com                     
kengcooper@btinternet.com                                                       
Ken G Cooper Poetry You Tube

"Men as trees, walking"

 By John Woodsworth
 (Mark 8:22-25)

At first light of the morn the sun's weak rays 
Can scarcely make the world around to glow. 
Both men and trees are shadowy ghostly shapes... 
The form that's standing there -- is it friend or foe?

For nothing here about is really plain: 
That could be a tree, or else a living being...
It's even harder for me to explain… 
I'm still a child, and not yet used to seeing. 

It may seem to the mind, just for a moment, 
That this is our world's one and only face... 
That our eyes are seeing its only real component,
And nothing exists beyond these ghostly shapes. 

But thinking minds perceive another door since
They do not trust the verdict of their eyes... 
They know a clearer picture, all the more since 
Already they see light across the skies! 

We find our gaze no longer vacillating 
'Twixt sunlight and deceitful shades of dark... 
We'll then discern without such hesitating 
The true, clear view of all, which light imparts!

*  *  *

At first light of the morn weak mortal mind 
Can scarcely make to glow the world within. 
Myself and others seem not to be God's kind,
But only mortal shapes of flesh and sin. 

The world within? It's difficult to tell 
Just who I am beyond my body's being, 
To fathom and explain my spiritual self... 
I'm still a child, and not quite used to seeing.

That life beyond the body's real and factual 
To us by one great man was once revealed, 
He clearly showed the life that's real and actual, 
When through his touch the blind and deaf were healed.

I've now begun to see another door since 
The Spirit now outweighs all other might. 
I see the clearer picture, all the more since
Already heaven's sending me its light. 

Let's no more live in darkness, vainly gawking, 
But see the clear, true image of our soul -- 
No more see shapes of "men as trees, a-walking",
But God's full image -- holy, perfect, whole.

Ottawa (Canada), 19 November 2002
Translated from the Russian by John Woodsworth

Monday, February 4, 2019

BEAR WITNESS AS GOD’S CHILD

By Ken G. Cooper

[Nicodemus seeks the Christ.   John 3:1-13]

My name is Nicodemus; I’m a ruler of the Jews.

As one of the town’s Pharisees, this Jesus not good news!
My colleagues all despise him for he’s doing what we should,
He’s preaching of the kingdom but in terms of present good.
And as Jacob fought his angel that put him out of joint,
The miracles that he’s performed have put to us his point!
I’d like to go to meet him, and try to gain insight,
But without my fellow Pharisees , - will have to go at night!
I steal away in darkness so to find this holy man
I’m not sure where I’ll find him, but know somehow I can.
I feel I’m drawn towards him and my seeking’s not in vain,
I have an urgent question, and I know that he’ll explain.
“Rabbi, thou art come from God, in everything you do
It shows the wonders God has wrought for He’s at one with you.”
His answer takes me by surprise. I find it very odd:

“Except a man be born again, he cannot see my God”

I’m so glad that I came alone, for his message leaves me cold:
“How can a man be born again when he’s already old!
Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb?
Be born again! Must I die first/ Be brought back from my tomb?”

There is a gulf between our thoughts. In patience he replies;
“I’m talking of the Spirit, friend, you must lift up your eyes!
Be born again, baptised as new. Let Spirit be your key.

Release the lock, reach out your hand. The kingdom here is free!

What’s flesh is flesh. It can’t get in. Let loose the Adam dream.
Be born again. Repent in thought. Let Spirit be your theme!”
 
I feel his love as golden words unlock a future bright,
For I must drop all sense of self if I’m to see the light.
Be born again! What huge command! It says to start afresh!
And in his love I glimpse this truth: the Spirit’s real, not flesh!
The Master speaks and now I hear, my thought in joy awakes:
“The wind can blow, and when it does you hear the sound it makes:
But where’s it from, where will it go? There’s no man that can tell.
And everyone that’s Spirit-born is just the same as well.”
I still have doubts: despite his words, do I have faith to see?
I grasp the point, but have to ask, just how can these things be?
“If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe me not,
 What hope have ye to understand what is the heaven-slot?”
Once more his words embrace my thoughts and lift me to new height.
For in God’s kingdom there’s no flesh, where Spirit is all might.

My name is Nicodemus, have you heard my latest news?
I’ve met this prophet Jesus Christ, - he’s ruler of the Jews!
I’m born again of Spirit: and like Jesus pure and mild,
I’m fashioned by “Our Father”, God, and witness I’m His child!

Forsake all flesh and be baptised, let Spirit shine through you,
Reflecting God, we follow Him, and witness what is true.

God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. John 4:24
The Spirit itself beareth witness with or spirit, that we are the children of God. Romans 8:16

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©Ken G Cooper 2019                         
kencooperpoetry.com                     
kengcooper@btinternet.com                                                       
Ken G Cooper Poetry You Tube