Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Authority of Love

And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?” And they discussed it among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From man,’ we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet.” So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things. What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him.Matthew 21:23-32

The Authority of Love

The morning light filters through
old warped clouded glass
smoothing out all the rough edges
seeing love clearly as the day begins.

There are no rules but heart's call
an ache and desire to bring a smile
to fill a belly to rock a child
working in the fields despite ourselves
for love's sake alone.

Sultry afternoons heat rising in waves
we bend under responsibility standing
long hours in the burning sun
hanging worn clothes on an old line
weeding and planting the garden
tenderly nurturing seedlings
watering and waiting the shade
of night falls and we pray.

Love alone commands us we dance
to the music and breathe deep
we lift our heads once again
we are children of a loving parent
offspring of compassion and joy
we come running to offer our full
and empty baskets our open arms
the mark of love on our sweat stained faces.

Love incarnate, love renewed
we have no authority but love
love made over, transformed, reawakened
a heart desire to care and watch
to hold and to coddle, lift and bandage
a life of service, a daily walk
for love's sake alone.

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