Contemporary

A Despicable Tyrant by Mark Nenadov

With the worst of tyrants–self
clinks its cup
daily we must chase it
shrinking from its outrages
but we must fight
if we’re to press on.

Before the fall goes Pride
which causes self to prance
like a peacock–puffed up
saturated—strutting its stuff
Satan waits for the pounce
as the Old Man exerting
his will and Satan’s—in one accord.

Slip and fall
we will to some degree
but not finally or fatally
we must carry on the battle
reminding ourselves
that we are not our own—bought
with blood–a precious price.

A spotless lamb suffered for us—through which
we died to our self
with-Christ-slain
to rise again–and live with Him
as a New Man.

by Mark Nenadov

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Anger is Fire by Mark Nenadov

Anger burns brighter than a wildfire
and a wise man learns
not to poke its terrifying embers
but yearns to soak it–away
in the satisfying water of the Word.

The gospel teaches–and preaches
and imparts to our hearts
the sense that we are forgiven much
and an every-last-pence-debtor
being humbled thus
we need not fuss
or be bound to anger’s fetters.

Look at the Saviour
revealed in The Book
though not a stranger to righteous anger
He waged war against Evil One
yet remained meek and engaged
in His mission of dominion
until it was done
all the while in control
never sinfully enraged.

by Mark Nenadov

Luke 23:55,56 by Heidi Zartman

‘The women who had come with him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how his body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.’ (Luke 23:55,56)

How sweet, but bittersweet — before the dawn
Of the first day, to have rested
With God while His body lay in
Joseph’s tomb. As earth’s last Sabbath crested

Over Friday’s light, they had prepared their
Spices and their ointments for the
Burial — then wrought with despair,
That tense pause while He slept so tranquilly.

Since time began they had observed the rest
Of God. Now it lay all around
Them, as His Sabbath coalesced
With ours concretely. But how profound

His was — how disturbed, shattered, anxious must
Have been the women’s — til they wished
To wake Him as we waked Him once
On Galilee: ‘Carest thou not we perish?’

So little could they understand how sweet
And singular a thing occurs
When God’s respite comes, replete
To this convergence — for He rested with us

Perfectly. His labor had been finished:
He had only to fulfil our
Sabbath til our night diminished,
And He rose to wake His troubled sleepers.

by Heidi Zartman

Isaiah 11:8 by Heidi Zartman

‘The infant will play near the cobra’s den, and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.’ (Isaiah 11:8)

Now on my wall, a child gathers gold leaves
Quietly over buried Salem —
Bending where someone grieved,
Unconscious of that history —
Of her strange newness in old pain —
Of someone’s memory gathering her from the debris
Of gravestone, earth’s manifold vein
Of hope.

The graveyard, so I read, is haunted by a witches’ ghost,
Witnessed in images.
And on my wall the spirit of an innocence
Kneels artlessly,
Head bowed, in modern clothes,
Oblivious of her phantom nature
In their centuries —
Gathering from their fall a vivid shape,
Unaware of hers.

by Heidi Zartman

Accomplished And Applied by Mark Nenadov

Redemption.
Accomplished.
      And applied.
John Murray wrote
this gem
      in 1955.
Ends at page 192.
On the Atonement.
it goes through
Necessity.
  Nature.
   Perfection.
    Extent.
Redemption.
Accomplished by Christ.
Applied in progression.
To the life of the redeemed.
Thank you, Eerdmans

for this great book 
      of theology,
a must-read work
      of soteriology.

by Mark Nenadov (this poem previously appeared in Reformed Perspectives)

The Wrestler of Kettering by Mark Nenadov

(In memory of Calvinistic Baptist theologian and pastor Andrew Fuller, who was a wrestler in his youth)

A cub grappled on the mat of his youth
became a pen-wrestler for the truth,
a lion in the pulpit, den, and desk
ready to roar for a faith he’d confess.

Cubs of Sozzini and Glas roared as well,
you may notice that,
but the truth they couldn’t quell;
the Lord sent Fuller to the mat.

by Mark Nenadov (this poem previously appeared in Reformed Perspectives)