It is no exaggeration to say that one can trace the whole outline of Biblical theology and salvation history through the motif of clothing. — “Garments,” Dictionary of Biblical Imagery. Downers Grove: IVP, 1998, p 318.
I greet the world
and saints and angels,
yet torment greets me.
My only comfort seems distant
beyond the furthest horizon,
so I will go there
and go again
until my spirit rests
within the realm of our Father.
Then Love and I
and go home.
I scan the home and farm;
I scan my bank account and investments.
I see my wife and children dressed in finest fashions;
I see my workers smiling when they greet me at the door.
I smell the company dinners;
I smell the wine in private company.
I greet my neighbors in their also pleasant homes;
I greet my enemies from the security of my iron gate.
I think how God has blessed me;
I think how much more blessing I desire.
My heart yearns not faintly with longing;
My soul longs for more years to enjoy this world.
Till all is stripped away through heart attack;
Till my economy collapses beneath the wait of my greed.
My protection is breached!
My borders are unprotected!!
A heavy heart toils to find God among the ruins of disaster;
A heavy burdened back labors to lift my eyes beyond the horizon.
My children, home, lands and pleasant company are gone;
My wife wishes that I were gone as well.
How can a life so right
become so wronged?
I wrestle with the dirt,
as though digging my own grave.
I wrestle with my friends,
as though wrestling with my God.
I wrestle with the devil,
and find myself wrestling with myself.
Where has my love gone?
The simple love of children laughing;
The simple joys of cattle calving.
Where has my hope gone?
The simple hope of heaven yet to come;
The simple security of forgiveness won.
Where has my faith gone?
The simple faith in the Lord unmoved;
The simple humility of trusting Truth.
The Lord reveals Himself amid the storm;
He shows me that all that I thought was norm
Was merely what I’d seen
Yet hidden beyond my wildest dreams
I had not known the Maker of the stars;
I had not known the Designer of all my million parts.
“Lord, let me simply walk with you,
and though my path is marked with thorns
Let me speak in simple truths
and behold you sitting on Your Throne!”
I lift my eyes to see my friends gather round,
I lift my ears to hear with joy the sound of laughter once again.
The Lord has settled me alive in this broken world;
and though the swirls of life seem unsettled …
A broken heart proves plenty an offering in the plate that passes by.
Now I can taste once more His Presence at the table with my enemies.
My story & my song. – Mert Hershberger, remembering Job, in honor of all my loved ones.
February 17, 2017.
Beginning as a single, helicopter seed.
Seed taking root and giving sprout in spring.
The sprout grows up, grows thick, year in, year out,
Until birds land to rest their weary wings.
The summer comes, sun shines, and trees build strength
The sap is made within the broad green leaves.
When birds descend to celebrate and sing,
The roots spread out beneath mushrooms and weeds.
Fall seems to start when school kids start to enter.
Shadows stretch, extend their darker length.
The sap descends into the roots down deep.
The spread of autumn shades leaves little angst.
When Christmas comes and children play, give shout!
Snow blankets warmer earth in dead of winter.
Maple serves as toys or floorboard planks.
Morning light on untouched snow then splinters.
Crocus blooms, birds start their annual fling,
While maple sweetness rises to the spigot’s spout.
Young children to the breakfast table sprint.
Refined syrup flows: a pancake fount.
Dedicated to family & friends who store up the best sweetness during the darkest months of the year. May the Lord be with you.
The one my King loves is shattered in a thousand pieces.
Lying on the ground,
unable to stand against the waves.
Sea glass washed upon the shores of heart & mind,
crushed strength & shattered soul.
I look beyond the shores of time
beyond the farthest stars
upon a Light I can’t yet see,
beyond the universe’s mars.
The stains shall fade.
The Light shall brightly shine.
And on that day the King of glory whole,
I’ll be wholly Thine.
For now I face the pain of
burdened back, aching feet, pained heart, humbled soul, & loneliness in crowds
I look this way and that,
Yet my blankets are but nightly shrouds
to shield me from the chill of winter
and the pain of frigid death.
Alone, I cower back, while marching forward
Hurting all around and deep within.
The songs of saints a comfort,
Their sayings distant memories.
A release from captivity shall come,
Though now I see it far,
Though now my heart is harmed.
One day my hope shall be won!
Now mere promise then.
Even less, the hint
of any sort of sin.
“Hail King!” I shall be with Him.
I offer you my pain
and trust you for healing.
I offer you my tears
and trust you for comfort.
I offer you my darkness
and trust you for light.
I offer you my loneliness
and trust you for companionship.
I offer you my despair
and trust you for eternal hope.
I offer you my death
and trust you for new life.
I offer you all that I have in this world
and trust you for a new heaven and new earth.
I offer you nothing
and trust you for all.
Three Crosses Stood Outside The City Gates
One held a king called heretic,
One held a criminal pardoned soon before his death,
One held a rebel mocking pardon altogether.
The rebel’s future held no hope.
The pardoned one is in now paradise.
The “heretic” is now the measure of all orthodoxy.
1 Peter 1:3-5 “… you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him—you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
The Lord, the Living Stone, the Son of God, Jesus Christ was rejected by people but chosen by God. Indeed, our Father in Heaven delights in Jesus.
We, like him, are like living stones, joined to him into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God. Our lives will therefore be marked with rejection on earth. If you never are despised on earth, you are probably not a child of God, for the very Son of God was despised. If the elite of your community do not hold you in disdain, it is likely that you are not following Jesus, for the elite in his day held him in disdain. If you are not rejected by at least some people, you need to ask yourself if you are truly chosen by God.
It is through suffering that that a hero is made. It is through pain that muscle is gained. It is through hard labor work that a house is built. It is through blood & sweat & tears that the house of God is established in hostile territory.
If nobody is willing to burn out because of zeal for the Lord, the fragrance of Christ will not spread. If nobody is willing to be crushed, the anointing will not flow. If nobody is willing to be hurt, nobody will be healed.
The more profound fountains of hope always flow from the driest of deserts. The best meals are often preceded by the greatest hunger. The most satisfying gains usually follow the greatest losses.
The resurrection which secured our hope followed the crucifixion of the King of all eternity.
The fountain of life sprang from the ground where the murdered Son of Man was laid in burial.
Perhaps, you have lost something. Count it joy. God will replace it with something better if you look to Him before you look for what you lost.
Perhaps you have been kicked out of a ministry. Count it all joy. God is calling you to serve him more single heartedly.
Perhaps you have been fired from a job. Count it exceeding great joy. God is preparing to fire you up for greater labor.
Perhaps you have been laid low with illness. Rejoice and be glad. God is preparing to raise you up in a new body on the last day.
Perhaps you have been exiled from your home, original or adopted. Oh, what pleasure is yours, there is a new city waiting and you are being called to go to the nations as an ambassador of peace!
You are nearing death. There is no greater joy than this … other than the joy to follow when you step through that door and enter life.
Now I have written these things to Christians, to those who believe in Christ Jesus and are looking for a Savior from heaven.
For those who are not waiting on the Lord, but seeking to take their own life, beware of the pit you will fall into when you plumbing the depths of the caverns of your own soul.
For those of you leaving your home to run from responsibility, beware of the dangers to your soul which are imminent to all who stray.
For those who are sick of trying to do the right thing, watch out lest you give up before you are made right.
For those who are not doing their jobs nor loving their neighbor nor telling the truth about Jesus, what sorrow will be yours when all pleasure is stripped from you and you are cast out from the house into outer darkness.
For those who are not ministering in Jesus name, but are only serving themselves, Caution: this is the road to destruction and ruin!
For those who are not looking for the lost nor looking for the Lord’s return, you may find that you are not ready for the Lord’s return, and then what disappointment will await you when He does come.
Get dressed!! Put on holiness!! Put on Christ!! Don’t let him be just a put on, let Him dwell richly in your heart. Inhale the Spirit of Christ. Walk in His path.
Yes, it leads to a cross, it leads to rejection. It leads to death in this world.
But God promises life to all who die to the pleasures of the world.
– Brother Mert
Jesus is Jesus, for the Lord is our Salvation.
Jesus is predicted throughout the Scriptures, for He our Predestination.
Jesus was conceived in the virgin Mary, for He is our New Creation.
Jesus was greeted by John in the womb, for He is the Father’s Salutation.
Jesus was born in Bethlehem, for He would bring Regeneration.
Jesus and Mary were cared for by Joseph because He is our Adoption by our Father in Heaven.
Jesus was circumcised and later dedicated in the temple, for He is our Sanctification.
Jesus was worshipped by the Magi, for He is the Focus of our Adoration.
Jesus was immersed in water, so we would know Him as our Initiation.
Jesus overcame the temptations of the devil, He brought our Liberation.
Jesus called people to turn from sin, for He is our Correction.
Jesus announced the Kingdom of God, for He is the Lord of all hosts and our Invitation.
Jesus invites us to humble ourselves under His yoke so He can grant us honor, for He is our Instruction.
Jesus showed people the pattern of service before success, for He is our Vocation.
Jesus sent out the disciples on mission trips as He brought Redemption.
When Jesus led groups of His disciples up the mountain, we became His Congregation.
When Jesus raised the dead in Israel, He proved to be our Resurrection.
As Jesus had his last Passover, He offered Himself as our Libation.
When Jesus laid down His Life on the cross, He became our Sure Foundation.
When the sun was darkened, the earth shook & the veil was torn, Jesus proved to be God’s Revelation.
Jesus’s body was laid in the tomb over the Sabbath, for He is our Restoration.
Jesus rose from the grave, for He is our Justification.
Jesus appeared to the missionaries, so He became our Proclamation.
Jesus ascended on high to sit at the right hand of the Father, He for is our Intercession.
When Jesus baptized the Church with the Spirit so we could preach with power from on High, thus He is our Vindication.
When Jesus joined foreigners to the family of Abraham, both Jew & Gentile,
we became a new and true and holy nation.
He will come again to judge the living at the dead, for the Lord is the Source of our ultimate Glorification.