Communion Sundays At Captivate Presbyterian

On a Sunday in North Ryde

I sat on a makeshift pew

Wooden benches these days

Were far between and few

I had come to hear Jesus preached

And remember what he had to teach

Yet some things are better shown than told

Especially in matters ancient and old

As I sat there remembering

That it happened once, in a December month

That God met a donkey, 3 men and a sheep

And condescended to be born

In a barn and in a heap

I thought back to my friends

And our conversations of late

Wondering why it was

That I had been so irate

That divine and mundane

Could scarcely be contained

Unwilling to share

And yet unwilling to part

We live between two worlds

Dreams of dreams

Fairytales and lores

We yearn for a lost time

That was once of our yores

Our memories are foggy

Our souls complacent

And yet in the darkness

There is remembrance in communion

Grace in memory

A welcome mystery

Bread and wine

Simple made divine

A welcome to the unwelcome

A Word to us made flesh

Mercy and grace

Meets a guilty race

Broken body and spilt blood

Sings atonement and redemption

And more of resurrection

Remembrance leads to worship

As we remember

He remembered us

He heard our cries

Delivered us from slavery

And led us with fearful bravery

Now in communion

We travel to a land before time

The presence of the eternal

The infinite in the finite

The limit of the temporal

The ineffable made effable

The transcendent in the immanent

And as Calvin would say

God’s presence in the present

An Ode To Mom On Her Birthday

Mom you’re 55 now

You’re not getting younger

I will list your accomplishments

Without sounding like a funeral parlor

First you bore me for under a year

And I popped out with a pow

I had a big furry head

But no monkey’s tail in my stead

If that wasn’t exciting enough

You had me for another 28

And Debbie for 26

Without her being second rate

You’ve had Dad even longer

33 years! Who can fathom

Living with such Chinese boredom

Mom could you have hoped

That at 22 you’d live with such dopes?

The years have flown by

And still you stood nigh

A tower of refuge

A stronghold of safety

Even for friends

And not just family

Still Mom I thank God

For each of those years and naught

All of them well spent

And all of them planned

By the one who holds you in his hand

I thank you mom for holding me to sleep

Your own tears drowning my stomach’s cries

I thank you mom for a shirt that’s dry

The brain that’s big and the heart that’s deep

I thank you mom for words and stories

Even Goosebumps and Blyton’s lorries

I stayed up each night to read your books

And didn’t even give the darkness second looks

I thank you mom for the library excursions

And a schooling that went beyond convention

But most of all I thank you mom

For pointing me back when my way was lost

Not to a warm house safe from frost

Nor to your warm arms

Though warm they were

But to my creator

The God who stirs

And brings home even sons of curs

This prodigal son found his home

In the arms of the shepherd his own

You’re the Monica to my Augustine

The Eunice to my Timothy

Like many godly men I know

You’re the mom that’s made me so

The Australian Sun

In many cultures

In many times and places

The sun is an object of worship

To many peoples and many races

The emperor is the descendant

His father the sun

But here in Australia

There is only one

The individual I

And the son of no sun

A morning stroll

Under Sydney’s sunny skies

Along Burwood’s shopping atoll

I saw just an example of this

Red ran around my eyes

Brown sizzling skin

A man had gone for a run

Banana boat clearly in the bin

This jiggling sunburnt ham

Was naked and exposed

To the sun and to the sons

Who could not find their eyes’ repose

But where was he running to?

He glided along

His jiggle strong

As his skin shook its fist

Against wrinkles

Against time

Against death

Against the sun

Sometimes it’s hard to tell

Has it been so long

Since I met the morning

Instead of it meeting me

Sometimes it’s hard to tell

Has it been so long

That clouds were white dreams

Instead of leering faces pressing

On the earth’s window pane

Sometimes it’s hard to tell

Has it been so long

That the Word kindled flames

Instead of a gray wilted ashtray

Sometimes it’s hard to tell

Sometimes I think the trees

Have an answer for me

As leaves rustle and whisper

‘Sometimes it’s hard to tell’.