Sunday, January 16, 2022

"This Old Bible"

 I'm back. I took a few weeks off from posting after Christmas while my hubby, Bob, was recuperating from injuries sustained from a fall down our basement stairs earlier in December. Then my beloved 96-year-old aunt also took a spill and her injuries landed her in the hospital, then a nursing home. Aunt Carol developed pneumonia and passed away on January 9th. In the midst of providing TLC to Bob and Auntie, Bob and I came down with Covid-19. Fortunately, our cases were mild and we're doing better now, so here I am at my laptop ready to resume posting a poem to my blog on Sundays. Today's selection is, "This Old Bible." Enjoy!


Photo credit: desiringgod.org


THIS OLD BIBLE

 

It’s not one of those expensive

gold-edged, leather-bound volumes.

Its margins are filled

with scrawled notations

gleaned from personal revelations

and years of teaching

under Jonathan and Wayne.

There are yellow highlights,

asterisks, exclamation points, arrows,

underlines, sometimes double underlines,

sometimes double underlines in red ink.

There are little line drawings, dates,

Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic

transliterations, translations,

prayers copied on blank pages in front,

prayer cards tucked in its pages,

bookmarks, tracts,

a few notes and letters.

Its pages have lost their brightness

from handling and caressing,

they’ve absorbed tears,

illuminated joys.

There are jagged pen slips

from dozing,

many index labels have fallen off.

Its spine has been repaired

again and again.

It doesn’t look like anybody’s treasure.

 

When I pass on,

there might be a little money,

property, some poems.

There might be a few pieces

of inexpensive jewelry.

You’ll rummage through

the way we did when Grandpa died,

when lots of things were thrown in dumpsters,

lots of things were divided up and given away.

You may be tempted to toss this book,

but, no, no, I know you’ll know

this old battered Bible

is the most valuable possession

I’ll leave behind.

 

Maude Carolan     


     

Behold the Lamb...poetically!

By Maude Carolan Pych

is available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

maudecarolanpych.net

     

 


Saturday, December 25, 2021

The Savior is Born!

 And now, the final poem in this series:


A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas...

Simeon

SIMEON & ANNA

 

Simeon wondered

if he were seeing things

He rubbed his tired old eyes

squinted and peered again

at the little family

that came through the Temple doors

 

The Sanctuary

was shadowy and dim

Flames from the oil lamps

were flickering—

Were his eyes playing tricks?

 

Wasn’t this an ordinary family?

…a couple like any

ordinary Jewish couple

here to present their firstborn son

holy to the Lord?

 

Nothing special about them

Just poor folk

with two lowly turtledoves

for the sacrifice…yet?

 

Perhaps this was wishful thinking

Perhaps, his imagination

He needed to be sure

Simeon moved a bit closer

 

Oh, he’d been waiting so patiently

for the fulfillment of the promise

of the Lord to comfort Israel

 

He knew He would—

for the Holy Spirit

assured him

he absolutely would not die

until he beheld the Messiah

…but that was long ago

 

Suddenly an unmistakable quickening

began rising up in his spirit…Yes!

…O Glory! Glory!

 

He bounded

toward Mary and Joseph

with arms outstretched

and swooped up

their swaddled infant son

uttering prophetic proclamations

jubilant and terrifying

 

I behold God’s salvation!

 

A light to the Gentiles

 

The glory of God’s people Israel

 

and directly to Mary, he prophesied:

 

…a sword will pierce your soul

 

She shuddered…

for she knew God had a plan, but…

What could this mean?

 

Then the widow Anna approached

Bent and grey and pious

she was a prophetess

who dwelled in the Temple

most of her life, praying

fasting and serving the Lord

with a joyful heart

 

Spontaneous praise

sprang from her lips

as she beheld the babe

Then Anna proclaimed

to all who would listen:

 

Come and see…

This is our newborn redeemer!

 

…from that day forward

Jesus grew

in wisdom and grace

 

the Cross before Him…

 

…and a sword did pierce

Mary’s soul

 

Maude Carolan Pych




"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

 Poems about the Birth, Death & Resurrection of Jesus

by Maude Carolan Pych

Published by Elm Hill,

is available online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, CBD, etc.

Website: www.maudecarolanpych.net

Email: maudecpych@gmail.com



Jesus, Our Messiah, is Born...

A Blessed Christmas to All!

 

Friday, December 24, 2021

"'Twas the Night...Of All Nights!"

A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas...

A Special Poem for the Children
On Christmas Eve


 

Maude, reading her poem, "'Twas the Night of All Nights!"


‘TWAS THE NIGHT…OF ALL NIGHTS!

 

Children gather round. It’s time for a story,

one that’s filled with hallelujahs and glory.

 

It’s about the glorious night of all nights,

angels and magi and sight of all sights!

 

About God, a virgin, the birth of a king,

wooly sheep, poor shepherds and gift-giving!

 

My story takes place long ago, far away

and starts with a Babe in a crib full of hay;

 

His mother’s a virgin, His father is God,

the birth, a miraculous Heavenly nod.

 

The Baby is born in a Bethlehem barn

near a few smelly animals, like on a farm.

 

Poor shepherds in a field shudder with fright

when suddenly the dark sky fills up with light

 

as beautiful angels, bright splendors winging

tell of the birth with hallelujahs and singing!

 

So, the shepherds and sheep the very next morn

set off to visit this special Newborn.

 

Rich wisemen follow a bright beaming star

to the Bethlehem barn; the journey is far.

 

They ride astride camels, carrying treasures

to give to the One they’ll worship forever.

 

Why in the world would they do such strange things?

Why travel so far? Why great treasures bring?

 

The reason is simple, the Babe in the hay

becomes the world’s Savior, Who takes sin away.

 

His name is Jesus and He loves you and me

and wants us to love Him for eternity.

 

That was the night of all nights here on Earth…

the wonderful story of Jesus’ birth!

 

Maude Carolan Pych



"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

Poems about the Birth, Death & Resurrection of Jesus

by Maude Carolan Pych

Published by Elm Hill,

is available online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, CBD, etc.

Website: www.maudecarolanpych.net

Email: maudecpych@gmail.com

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Mary, at the Crib of Jesus

A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas...

Mary, at the Crib of Jesus
The print was a gift from my friend Holly Fritzky.



Maude reading her poem, "Another Silent Night."


ANOTHER SILENT NIGHT

 

My friend Holly (who has a special

affinity with all things Christmas)

once gave me a picture

of Mary at the crib of Jesus—

She said the image of Mary

reminded her of one of my daughters

 

I framed the picture

and hung it on the wall

not because of any resemblance

to my daughter, but

because I was moved

by the striking look of anguish

upon Mary’s lovely face

 

This had to have been the day

Mary and Joseph went to the temple

to dedicate Jesus, the day

they offered two turtledoves

as a sacrifice for their firstborn son

 

Simeon was present when they came in

and knew immediately

by the power of the Holy Spirit

that this Child was

God’s promised Savior

 

He told Mary—

A sword will pierce your soul!

 

This silent night in Bethlehem

as Jesus lay sleeping

Mary lifts his tiny hand

to her trembling lips

She wonders about God’s marvelous plan

wonders how a Savior saves

 

and as she wonders, she feels

the point of an unseen sword

pressing against her flesh—

 

What did that wise old man mean?

 

There’s so much I do not know—

So much I do not want to know

 

tonight

 

Maude Carolan Pych



"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

Poems about the Birth, Death & Resurrection of Jesus

by Maude Carolan Pych

Published by Elm Hill,

is available online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, CBD, etc.

Website: www.maudecarolanpych.net

Email: maudecpych@gmail.com

 

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

"Spotless Little Lambs"

A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas...


Our friend, the late Rick Sabato's painting, "Lambs."

 

SPOTLESS LITTLE LAMBS


Before their drowsy eyes, during watch, last night

some shepherds witnessed a startling sight—

 

The sky came alight! There were fluttering wings

hallelujahs and so many splendored things!

 

Angelic hosts proclaimed Our Messiah’s birth

with “Fear not!” and “Glorias” and joyful mirth,

 

so this morning from that field in Bethlehem

they set off to laud the Infant Son of HaShem[1].

 

Without defect or blemish, the shepherd’s pride,

spotless little lambs trotted close by their side.

 

When the shepherds and sheep came to the birthplace

Mary and Joseph welcomed them, face to face.

 

Each shepherd bowed down before the Lamb of God;

the lambs drew close to Him, but that wasn’t odd

 

for there was a link that united them all

in God’s marvelous plan to save the world.

 

All of the lambs were destined for sacrifice—

the spotless wooly lambs and God’s Lamb, the Christ!

 

We’re grateful for the LOVE of the great I AM;

Atonement’s achieved at the Cross of His Lamb!

 

Maude Carolan Pych



[1] HaShem is one of the Hebrew names for God. It means “The Name.”

 

To read or listen to Maude’s poetry or order books, visit her new website: www.maudecarolanpych.net

Behold the Lamb…poetically! is also available at amazon.com.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

What Was God Doing?

 A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas...

Image credit: wallpaper-gallery.net

WHAT WAS GOD DOING WHEN HIS SON WAS BORN?

 

What was God doing?

What was He thinking

high up in His Heaven

when He sent the angel

to the virgin to tell her

about overshadowing

and childbirth

and salvation for the world?

 

What was God doing?

What was He thinking

high up in His Heaven

when in great anguish

Joseph didn’t believe his betrothed

and was about to call off their union

until in a dream he realized

they were a part

of an awesome and holy plan?

 

What was God doing?

What was He thinking

high up in His Heaven

when heavy with child

Mary traveled with Joseph

by donkey in the dust and hills

clip-clopping to Bethlehem

for the census

and once there,

couldn’t find a proper place

for them to stay

and time for the travail

had come?

 

What was God doing?

What was He thinking

high up in His Heaven

when in a cool cave

with livestock and hay

and dung and dampness

Joseph helped his wife

bring forth the Child

with rugged, splintered hands?

 

What was God doing?

What was He thinking

high up in His Heaven

when Joseph held the Babe

Heavenward, in thanksgiving

and blessing, then presented

Him to Mary,

who called Him, Jesus,

and nursed Him at her breast?

 

What was God doing?

What was He thinking

high up in His Heaven

when Mary wrapped Jesus

in swaddling cloths

and placed Him in fresh hay

her husband prepared

in a crude wooden trough?

What, oh what

was God thinking

looking down from His Heaven

upon His only begotten

born into the world

as the Least

and the Most?

 

What was God doing?

What was He thinking

high up in His Heaven?

Did He celebrate with the angels

before sending them Earthward

with their jubilant glorias

and triumphant trumpets?

Did His joy set ablaze

the beckoning star above Bethlehem?

Did He preen with pure pride

as shepherds and kings

came bearing their gifts?

 

Did He shudder an Almighty shudder

high up in His Heaven

at the movement toward fruition

of His cosmic plan?

Did He see flashes of thorns

and spikes and tree,

flashes of Blood

washing sin?

 

In the dark stillness,

as Joseph and Mary

fell into exhausted sleep,

did God reach quietly down,

chuck Jesus’ chin,

and whisper in His tiny ear,

“You have Your Father’s eyes,

My Son.”?

 

Maude Carolan




"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

 Poems about the Birth, Death & Resurrection of Jesus

by Maude Carolan Pych

Published by Elm Hill,

is available online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, CBD, etc.

Website: www.maudecarolanpych.net

Email: maudecpych@gmail.com

 

Monday, December 20, 2021

"There Was Nothing Cute About It"

A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas...

Image credit: godshotspot.wordpress.com
 

THERE WAS NOTHING CUTE ABOUT IT—

 

When Mary traveled with Joseph

from Nazareth to Bethlehem

over ruts and rocks and hills

on the back of a donkey

during her final month of pregnancy

it was an arduous journey—

There was nothing cute about it!

 

And when her labor pains began

and she was far from home

far from the midwife she trusted

and the birthing room turned out to be

the hay strewn floor of a dirty stable

there was nothing cute about it!

 

and when following the birth of Jesus

Joseph had a dream

and determined they had to flee to Egypt

to escape Herod’s twisted plan

so they quickly tossed a few necessities

in a saddle-bag and the three of them set off

for a place of safety—

there was nothing cute about it, at all!

 

But, when I open my pretty Christmas cards

and see the holy family journeying

with Mary, draped in a lovely blue gown

and Joseph strolling alongside her

staff-in-hand, as their donkey

plods along agreeably

it all looks pleasant and serene

 

and when I gaze at manger scenes

(including my own)

arranged tidily on polished table tops

the scene is as perfectly charming

as the Christmas tableau

at Radio City Music Hall

 

still, the reality is—

There was nothing cute about it!

 

but wasn’t it positively

wonderful and miraculous

just the same?

 

Maude Carolan Pych



"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

 Poems about the Birth, Death & Resurrection of Jesus

by Maude Carolan Pych

Published by Elm Hill,

is available online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, CBD, etc.

Website: www.maudecarolanpych.net

Email: maudecpych@gmail.com