Saturday, March 26, 2016

Christ is Risen...Just as He Said

For Resurrection Sunday, March 27, 2016

Until Resurrection Sunday

Christ is Risen from the Dead!

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I have to share the most wonderful news with those I love most in this world.
The news I have is more precious, by far, than diamonds or rubies or gold.

There was an enormous void in my life. “Is this all there is?” I would ask.
I searched far to find some meaning in life. It seemed an unknowable task.

One day someone shared the Gospel with me, and I learned that Jesus is real.
I prayed to invite Him into my heart and was filled with astonishing zeal!

The day that He gave His life on the Cross, to save all mankind from our sin,
He opened to us salvation by grace; life eternal, the prize that we win.

You know that I share the best that I have with my cherished family and friends,
so listen, dear one, to this wonderful news upon which ever-after depends.

Just open your Bible to the Gospel of John, third chapter, verse number three,
then read of God’s love in the sixteenth verse to learn what has happened to me.

Some people grow up with Bible in hand, without Jesus burning in heart,
some haven’t explored the true meaning of life, some wouldn’t know where to start.

Whether you’re Protestant, Jewish, my friend, Catholic, Muslim, atheist,
my news is for you and all who will hear, who long to receive of God’s best.

You needn’t become a fanatic or prude, I’ve no list of do nots and dos.
God’s Spirit will teach you all you need know. The offer’s too good to refuse.

Although tribulation may take you by storm and trials may bring a hard test,
God’s greater, He’s faithful, He’ll bring you through to victory. You’ll shine in His rest.

This can be the greatest day of your life, the day you receive the New Birth.
This can be the day you begin to know why we’re the happiest people on earth.

Like me, you will yearn to share the Good News with all of the people you love.
Like me, you will want all those you meet to be touched by our Great God above.

Maude Carolan Pych

The Resurrection of Jesus

For Holy Saturday, March 26, 2016

Until Resurrection Sunday

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It’s Holy Saturday

Dough is rising
on the kitchen counter

filling me with thoughts
of rising

helium balloons
set free

over the Sea of Galilee

waking up


soap bubbles
floating skyward

seagulls soaring

booming and bursting

jet planes at take-off

rocket ships
with long trails of fire
zooming to the moon

Oh! but nothing


and no one

has ever done it

or will

…like Jesus

Maude Carolan Pych

Thursday, March 24, 2016

A Poem for Good Friday

For Good Friday, March 25, 2016

Until Resurrection Sunday

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After the earthquake
the peals of thunder
the flashes of lightening 
across the sky
After the curious crowds dispersed
Mary sat in ominous dimness
upon a mound of earth
at the base of the Cross
holding the body
of her Son

She cradled Him
in the hollow of her lap
close to her bosom
as she had
when he was
her baby boy

Mary removed
thorns of mockery
that encircled His forehead
and tossed it to the side
Straining to see in the shadows
she carefully picked
fragments of thorn needles
still stuck in His lifeless flesh
although they couldn’t hurt Him
any longer

With her fingertips
she tenderly closed the lids
over His dark, vacant eyes
and smoothed
the disheveled, matted hair
…then she kissed Him

O my beautiful Son…

Tears flowed
down her face onto His cheeks
mingling with dried blood
With the edge of her garment
she wiped some blood away

John came
and rested his hand
upon her trembling shoulder
He was now her son
She was now his mother

too deep to comprehend
swirled in her mind
like the flap and flutter
of wings and overshadowing
Son of the Most High
and David’s throne

like pregnant Elizabeth’s joy
when the baby leapt in her womb
and the Baptizer himself, when grown
proclaiming his younger cousin
“The Lamb of God, Who
takes away the sin of the world”

and Simeon’s prophesy
that Jesus would be
a Light of revelation
to the Gentiles and the glory
of the people of Israel

Where is the Light?
Where is the glory?
Where is the throne?

Overwhelmed by sorrow
so intense it stabbed her
deep, deep in her inner parts
Mary cried out in anguish
and rent her robe

Was this what old Simeon meant
long ago in the Temple
when he held Jesus in his arms
and said a sword would pierce
my very soul?

O my Son, my beautiful Son…

I cannot fathom the ways of God, but

I do know this cannot be the end

Maude Carolan Pych

"Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?"

For Holy Thursday, March 24, 2016

Until Resurrection Sunday

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Oh, I am sure God heard it
as He sat on the edge
of His great golden throne
just moments away from Victory

This wasn’t the cry of Jesus’ physical pain
from crucifixion nails
pressed against His pierced flesh

No, this was different
It was the cry of separation—
a cry that rose from Earth to Heaven
from the One He was One with
from all eternity—

Why hast Thou forsaken Me?

This was the wuthering wail
from the weight of the sin
of the world, upon
the One who had never sinned

in that cold, dark moment before
Atonement’s Hallelujah!

This was the expiation
of my sin and yours
of all sin past and present
of as yet uncommitted sin
the sin of the yet unborn
the not yet conceived
the sin of those who would not be born
for thousands of years to come

This was the heart-wrenching cry before

It is finished!

the nod
of His thorn-crowned head

and His Father’s solemn


in Glory

Maude Carolan Pych

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

It's Friday...But Sunday's Comin'!

For Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Until Resurrection Sunday

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Twice I heard Tony Campolo deliver
his famous and rousing sermon
It’s Friday, but Sunday’s Comin’!
at the Great Auditorium in Ocean Grove
He drummed home the point
that everything may look bleak on Friday, but…
when Sunday comes, it’s a totally different story

Now, I’m not thinking of just any bleak Friday
I’m thinking about the original Good Friday—
thinking the only reason I can bear
to contemplate that good and terrible day
is because I know
three days later there was
a mind-blowing, miraculous Sunday—
…Resurrection Sunday!

The disciples didn’t have
the advantage I have—
They didn’t understand
life after death
couldn’t comprehend
atonement for sin
just didn’t get it
that their teacher and friend, Jesus
could die upon a cross
for the sins of the world
They didn’t know the future—
Sure, they may’ve read portions of the Scrolls
but they didn’t have the whole Book
I do have the whole Book
I’ve read ahead
and studied the pages         
I know what follows
the Good Friday story—
The victorious hope-giving
hallelujah happy ending

I know my sins are forgiven
I know I’m going to live forever
Yes, I know what happened next
and that makes all the difference

Maude Carolan Pych

Monday, March 21, 2016

Those Forgiven Much, Love Much

For Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Until Resurrection Day

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One day
the Lord’s long, long arm
reached all the way
from Heaven into Hell
to grant a blessing
upon a beloved child
in the hour
of her gravest sin

In great despair
she couldn’t imagine
a way out, still

she was moved
by the unfathomable vastness
of His mercy
and the awesome wonder
of undeserved love
and full of grace

This much beloved child
remembered hearing
about the woman
from ages past
who wept bitterly
upon His dusty feet
and ever so humbly
wiped away tears
with her dark
and silken hair

Like her,
she understood
one forgiven much
loves much

She is grateful
to be drinking of His mercy
drinking His forgiveness

drinking in His love

Maude Carolan

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Good Friday, 2014

For Monday, March 21, 2016

Until Resurrection Sunday
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Another true Good Friday experience
in poetry

Good Friday 2014, Packanack Lake, New Jersey
“I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, blood, fire and columns of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.” Joel 2:30-31 NASB

The alarm went off at 3:00 a.m., Tuesday
We went outdoors to gaze at the sky
hoping to get a glimpse
of the first blood moon of the tetrad—
Passover, 2014

It was there, but we couldn’t see it
Dense clouds obscured our view

Blood moon or not, this week is crimson—
I’ve been thinking about blood in the Nile
blood on the lintels
death of the firstborn sons

I bought blood oranges in Fairway, yesterday
Had one for breakfast. It was sweet

Today is Good Friday—
I am meditating upon the atonement
the Cross, the death of my Savior

Now it’s evening—
I’m on my way to the Good Friday service
at the Jerusalem Center in Wayne
As I drive down Osborne Terrace
approaching Packanack Lake
the sky is incredible—amazing—red as blood
fiery red, red like I’ve never seen it before

As the setting sun shines on the still water
the lake mirrors the brilliant crimson firmament
and I can’t help thinking of old Moses
as he dipped his staff into the Nile river

At the Jerusalem Center, the dancers
fittingly extol the Lamb Who was slain, and
Jonathan speaks of the sun setting and rising—
endings and beginnings

and I feel God may be telling me something, or
am I so deeply aware of Him this holy week
that I am seeing Him everywhere
and in every blessed thing

Maude Carolan Pych

Saturday, March 19, 2016

What's So "Good" About It?

For Palm Sunday, March 20, 2016

Until Resurrection Sunday

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When I was a child
I could hardly wait for Easter
could hardly wait to wear my new spring dress
and the flowery straw bonnet with velvet ribbon streamers
could hardly wait for the basket of marshmallow chocolates
tiny jellybeans and bright colored eggs
to magically appear in my bedroom
compliments of a big white bunny
Oh, the wonders of childhood’s imaginings…

I was glad about the Resurrection, too, of course

But first I had to get through Lent and "Good" Friday
first I had to sacrifice
and give a lot of serious consideration
to Jesus
first I had to think about a nice holy man
an awful death
upon a horrible cross
and I had to try to understand
that He died that awful death
for me!

I preferred, of course
to think about chocolate, bunnies and bonnets
rather than scourging, thorns
and nails
Good? I thought…
What could possibly be
"Good" about it?

I wanted to call it "Bad Friday"
"Cruel Friday" or
"Why Did God Have To Have It Happen That Terrible Way Friday?"

Of course
I was too young to understand…then

Now I realize
a basket-bearing bunny
cannot even be compared to what happened
that particular cosmic Friday
at the Cross

Now I know
what's so "Good" about it

is that it's followed by

that Stone-Blown-Out-of-the-Tomb-Sunday!!!
that Jesus-Was-Dead…But-Now-He-Lives-Hallelujah-Sunday!!!

and that
my brothers and sisters

is very, very, very


Maude Carolan Pych

Friday, March 18, 2016

Fall in Love with Jesus

For Saturday, March 19, 2016

Until Resurrection Sunday

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I can't make you love Him if you don't
can't strike a match
to cause your heart to blaze
at the mention of His Name
can't cause you to tremble
as I tremble
before His holiness
can't jumpstart love
from the outside in
It only happens from the inside out

No matter how much I love you

loving Him
is not something you can get from me
like a cup of mulled cider or a hug
not something you can inherit
like good genes, strong teeth or curly hair
not something I can demonstrate
like how to knead dough or rhyme couplets
nor is it something I can gift-wrap
tie with a crimson ribbon
and give you to make you happy

No, all I can do is tell the old, old story
about His beauty, as I perceive it
His mercy, as I've experienced it
His wonders and His love
All I can do is hope, pray
and wait

Truth will not impose
Truth waits to be sought
Answers wait for age-old questions
The Door waits for your knock

When He opens
you'll find He's been expecting you
already loving you

No, I can't make it easy, although it can be
I embarked on my quest; you'll embark on yours
No, I can't make you love Him if you don't
but should your quest lead you to His heart
I'll be waiting, like the One inside the Door
to dance in the glow of His grandeur with you

Maude Carolan

The Way of the Cross

For Friday, March 18, 2016

Until Resurrection Day

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Israel Pilgrimage—2006

Twelve feet below
the hustle and bustle 
and hawking,
the crowds, the spices, the wares
of the present Via Dolorosa
lies an ancient pathway
of trodden stones
Yeshua walked upon
in sandaled feet
on His way to Calvary
2000 years ago

ancient stones
stumbling stones
stones Yeshua, weak and weary
likely fell upon as He carried
the cumbersome crossbeam
along that terrible path
to Crucifixion

I remove a shoe
to feel the coolness
of hallowed ground
against my bare sole

We begin singing
Were You There When They
Crucified My Lord

and tremble
tremble, tremble
at the reading
of the Suffering Servant
in Isaiah 53

seem to disappear
It almost feels
like it’s happening here

There’s something
about it

isn’t there?

Maude Carolan Pych