Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Poetry & Art

In light of Easter coming tomorrow, here is a whole bunch of poetry that I have written over the years, as well as a few pieces by Amy Carmichael, missionary to India, from her book Toward Jerusalem, which has always been a favorite of mine. Finally, at the end, there are also some links for artwork on-line. I also encourage you to read Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22:1-18. These were written hundreds of years before Jesus was born, yet they foretell his death as the Messiah.
Rhapsody in M
by Virginia Knowles

Myriad mercies:
more and more
merited? no! no merit in murky miserable me
manic malice meted on Messiah Martyr
Mighty and Meek
manic malice meted on my Mediator misses me
marvelous mercies ministered on me
Majestic Master:
master me
move massive mountains in me
make merry melodies in me
mirrors of Thee in mere me
more and more
myriad mercies

Alabaster Jar
by Virginia Knowles from Matthew 26:6-13

Alabaster jar, costly sweet perfume
Devotion broke it open
Fragrance filled the room.
Poured over Jesus’ head
Anointing for the grave
Some saw only money lost
Jesus blessed the love she gave.
Broken and poured out, broken and poured out
But there’s no waste of life, just fragrant sacrifice
And it’s all because of love.
Can you see his love? Messiah on the cross
Body broken, blood poured out
For our sin’s redemption cost
Can you see his power? Victory over death
Hell could not contain him
Nor quench his living breath
Broken and poured out, broken and poured out
But there’s no waste of life, just fragrant sacrifice
And it’s all because of love.
Lord, break me for your glory, pour me for your name.
Let me share his sufferings and power just the same.
Crucified with Christ is what I want to be,
For when I’ve died to my old life, I’ll rise up to be free.
Broken and poured out, broken and poured out
But there’s no waste of life, just fragrant sacrifice
And it’s all because of love.

Who Is There Like Unto Thee?
by Virginia Knowles

Who is there like unto Thee, O Lord,
To Thy name give glory!
Full of compassion, righteousness and truth,
Full of strength and power, and clothed in majesty!
And yet on the cross, you were willing to bleed,
And you met us there, in our time of need.
And now at your throne room, we may boldly enter in,
To receive grace and mercy again and again!

Creator on the Cross
by Virginia Quarrier, 1984

Oh the love of the Holy God
For man whose life was lost
No greater love there is than this
My Creator on the cross.
He made me, yet he died for me
He paid the greatest cost,
The blood of Jesus Christ the Son,
My Creator on the cross.
Grace abounding and mercy free
Set fire to my frost
My blackest sin washed white by him
My Creator on the cross.

How Will They Know?
by Virginia Quarrier, 1980

When I was young, I went to Sunday school.
I learned “Do Unto Others”, that Golden Rule
I learned that Jesus loved children and fed the sheep,
But I never did give him my soul to keep.

How will they know unless we tell them?
How will they know unless we show them from his word?
I don’t like to think of where I would be right now,
If I had never, never heard.

Heaven was just like Santa Claus,
You’ve got to be good to get your reward,
You have to do right or you won’t get in.
No one told me that God forgives sin.
I guess I knew that Jesus died,
The pictures on the wall showed him crucified
But no one told me what he died for
I really wish they had told me more.

Easter was just a new spring dress,
Dolling up in our Sunday best,
Bunnies and chickies, and “Watch how you behave!”
No one told me Jesus rose from the grave.
No one told me that he was coming again
To take his loved ones back with him.

I thought when he left he was gone for good,
I only wish I had understood.
No one told me to ask him in
To enter my heart and take out the sin
To take my life as Savior and Lord
And that he was knocking on my heart’s door.

Somebody finally told me all the things I’m telling you.
Somebody finally told me all the Gospel truth.
I finally told Jesus I wanted him as my Lord,
When somebody finally cared enough to show me from his Word.
How will they know unless we tell them?
How will they know unless we show them from his word?
I don’t like to think of where I would be right now,
If I had never, never heard.

Psalm to Sweet Jesus
by Virginia Knowles

Sweet Jesus, you bring to me all that is good:
Comfort and hope when I am discouraged,
Peace and reconciliation when I am in conflict,
Strength and enthusiasm when I am weary,
Wisdom and guidance when I am confused,
Courage and confidence when I am afraid,
Forgiveness and mercy when I have done wrong.
You bore the fatal punishment that I deserved,
Yet rose up again in power,
Promising that if I would turn from my awful sin,
And believe in your awesome grace,
I could become your own precious child,
And enter into your everlasting Gloryland.
Such a rich salvation that I could never earn!
As a simple gift of gratitude,
With help from your Word and your Spirit,
I will trust and obey your loving commands,
I will worship you with my prayers and songs,
I will serve others joyfully,
I will share your Good News,
So that each one who hears and believes
May receive the matchless treasure
Found only in you.

Follow You
By Virginia Quarrier
(written sometime in college?)

When I serve you, Lord
I wait for a pat on my back
Until I remember
Whips came down on his back
Bloody raw
I want people to shake my hand
Until I remember
They nailed his hands
To the cross

And oh, my Jesus
What you have done for me
What have I done?
What can I do?
Unless I take up my cross
And follow you.

No Scar?
By Amy Carmichael

Hast thou no scar?
No hidden scar on foot, or side, or hand?
I hear thee sung as mighty in the land,
I heart them hail thy bright ascendant star,
Hast thou no scar?

Hast thou no wound?
Yet I was wounded by the archers, spent,
Leaned Me against a tree to die; and rent
By ravening beasts that compassed Me,
I swooned:
Hast thou no wound?

No wound? no scar?
Yet, as the Master shall the servant be,
And pierced are the feet that follow Me;
But thine are whole: can he have followed far
Who has no wound nor scar?

The Sign
by Amy Carmichael

LORD crucified, O mark Thy holy Cross
On motive, preference, all fond desires;
On that which self in any form inspires
Set Thou that Sign of loss.

And when the touch of death is here and there
Laid on a thing most precious in our eyes,
Let us not wonder, let us recognise
The answer to this prayer.

Love’s Eternal Wonder
by Amy Carmichael

Lord, beloved, I would ponder
Breadth and length and depth and height
Of Thy love’s eternal wonder,
All embracing, infinite.

Never, never have I brought Thee
Gold and frankincense and myrrh,
In the hands that groping, sought Thee,
Precious treasures never were.

What was that to Thee? The measure
Of Thy love was Calvary.
Stooping low, Love found a treasure
In the least of things that be.

O the Passion of Thy loving,
O the Flame of Thy desire!
Melt my heart with Thy great loving,
Set me all aglow, afire.
Art Links
These are links I gave to my English class last year during a mini-unit on Easter. Michelangelo did a sculpture called Pietà. Leonardo da Vinci painted his masterpiece “The Last Supper” as a fresco (click to enlarge the picture). You can find many paintings of the scene from Gethsemane on-line.

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