Known But by Grace

Only, and far flung God,
Bursting upon the scene of Time
To start the clock
By uncreated might,
And usher forth
Your manifold good will,
In the splendor of creation,
Look on me,
In my becoming.
In this, the only now I know,
This precious fleeting instant,
Reveal Yourself evermore.

You entered Time
That Man might enter Heaven.
You, Who are Eternal Being,
Let me contemplate Thee
Wrapped in swaddling clothes,
Nursing at the Virgin’s breast,
Growing as men grow,
Yet knowing the Father Creator
As only Son.

I see Thee arrayed,
Transfigured in the Light,
Even as You are stretched
Between Heaven and Earth
On Your Holy Cross,
Becoming Sin,
And dying in my stead.
Lifted above the earth in Your divinity,
Higher than the mountains,
Yet pervading depth and breathe,
To shake and shape
The cursed land and Man anew,
In elegant Revelation of Mystery,
Rising from the dead,
To live in universal blessedness,
Across all time and space,
Known but by grace.

Copyright 2013 Joann Nelander

The Breath of the Spirit

 

O, Magnificent One,

O, Magnanimous One,

O, Adorable One,

In the splendor of Your Godhead,

You stoop to lift me.

 

As Father, You gently raise me,

To plant Your kiss.

You span the distance between us.

Your overcome the flesh, the world and Evil, itself,

In the humility of the Cross.

 

You paid the price of my son-ship.

Knowing Yourself from eternity,

Eternally begetting the Son.

You planned to make humanity holy

By the Spirit of Jesus, Your Only Son.

 

O, Magnificent One,

O, Magnanimous One,

O, Adorable One,

As You breathe forth Your Spirit,

I gasp and hold fast that Breath.

 

©2017 Joann Nelander

Stir into Flame

Fire once flame

Enkindled by the Spirit,

Smolder.

Embers still aglow,

Await a new Wind,

And a prayer,

Sent on the breath

Of the will,

Catalyst and fuel.

 

O Spirit blaze again

To the heavens,

Sending heat and light

To ignite those cold,

World-weary and, now, ready.

 

Then will the sparks fly

And the earth shake.

Lord Jesus, send forth Your Spirit,

We are athirst and longing.

 

©2012 Joann Nelander

 

Speak the Perfect One in Me

You spoke
And matter came to be.
Beauty and wisdom
Reigned over form,
And substance served
Your Thought.

You ruled the spheres and firmament
To create both void and fullness.
Your creation dawned in darkness,
And You let there be light.

First and last and all in between
Found a  place in Time.
You spoke forth Man
And, in my time, me.

You said,
“Be perfect
As I am perfect,”
And set free the human heart,
That it might know,
And love,
And serve Thee.
Yet will resisted service
And loved naught but itself.
“Tortuous and beyond remedy”,
We hid from Thee.

In Time, You spoke, the Cure.
Announcing to the Virgin,
And by a Star
And angels herald,
Saving throughout creation,
Twisted hearts.
Jordan’s waters, purifying
By the Holy to make men holy,
Love made manifest
By descending Dove
Again You spoke,
“This is my Son.”

Now, bowing will,
Longing in Your Christ,
Receive me as  son to Thee,
Anoint with Healing Balm,
Redeeming accursed Fall,
That perfect I, too,
May, please Thee, be.

When You speak
Life comes to be.
Speak now, the Perfect,
That I may perfect be
And, at long last, love Thee.

©2013 Joann Nelander

Known But by Grace

Only, and far flung God,
Bursting upon the scene of Time
To start the clock
By uncreated might,
And usher forth
Your manifold good will,
In the splendor of creation,
Look on me,
In my becoming.
In this, the only now I know,
This precious fleeting instant,
Reveal Yourself evermore.

You entered Time
That Man might enter Heaven.
You, Who are Eternal Being,
Let me contemplate Thee
Wrapped in swaddling clothes,
Nursing at the Virgin’s breast,
Growing as men grow,
Yet knowing the Father Creator
As only Son.

I see Thee arrayed,
Transfigured in the Light,
Even as You are stretched
Between Heaven and Earth
On Your Holy Cross,
Becoming Sin,
And dying in my stead.
Lifted above the earth in Your divinity,
Higher than the mountains,
Yet pervading depth and breathe,
To shake and shape
The cursed land and Man anew,
In elegant Revelation of Mystery,
Rising from the dead,
To live in universal blessedness,
Across all time and space,
Known but by grace.

Copyright 2013 Joann Nelander

Stir into Flame

Fire once flame

Enkindled by the Spirit,

Smolder.

Embers still aglow,

Await a new Wind,

And a prayer,

Sent on the breath

Of the will,

Catalyst and fuel.

 

O Spirit blaze again

To the heavens,

Sending heat and light

To ignite those cold,

World-weary and, now, ready.

 

Then will the sparks fly

And the earth shake.

Lord Jesus, send forth Your Spirit,

We are athirst and longing.

 

©2012 Joann Nelander

Speak the Perfect One in Me

You spoke
And matter came to be.
Beauty and wisdom
Reigned over form,
And substance served
Your Thought.

You ruled the spheres and firmament
To create both void and fullness.
Your creation dawned in darkness,
And You let there be light.

First and last and all in between
Found a  place in Time.
You spoke forth Man
And, in my time, me.

You said,
"Be perfect
As I am perfect,"
And set free the human heart,
That it might know,
And love,
And serve Thee.
Yet will resisted service
And loved naught but itself.
"Tortuous and beyond remedy",
We hid from Thee.

In Time, You spoke, the Cure.
Announcing to the Virgin,
And by a Star
And angels herald,
Saving throughout creation,
Twisted hearts.
Jordan’s waters, purifying
By the Holy to make men holy,
Love made manifest
By descending Dove
Again You spoke,
"This is my Son."

Now, bowing will,
Longing in Your Christ,
Receive me as  son to Thee,
Anoint with Healing Balm,
Redeeming accursed Fall,
That perfect I, too,
May, please Thee, be.

When You speak
Life comes to be.
Speak now, the Perfect,
That I may perfect be
And, at long last, love Thee.

©2013 Joann Nelander