Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Gospel of Thomas: Logion 12

His students said,

We know we cannot hold on to you
so who will lead us then?

Yeshua said,

“Wherever it is that you find yourselves,
turn to James, one of the Just
for whom heaven and earth
have come into being.”

(Note: This image originally published as Psalm 6)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Psalm 10

The Cry for Justice

1. Lord, when there is such deep need
and I am in distress,
why do you remove yourself and stand so far away

2. While evil roams this world, hunting down the poor?
Catch the prideful, wicked ones
in all their evil ways.

3. Just listen to their boasts and schemes,
their terrible desires.
For they deride your name in scorn,

4. They care nothing for you at all.
They even say, “There is no God,”
you’ve vanished out-of-sight.

5. Yet still they prosper in their ways,
contemptuous of all that’s good.

6. They boast of vast securities,
protecting them from you.

7. Deceit and cursing fills their mouths,
crooked their every word.

8. They hide among the innocent,
seeking for their prey.

9. They seize upon the helpless ones,
and drag them to their lair.

10. They hold them in captivity,
waiting for the feed.

11. You see, O God, these innocent,
how weak ones cannot stand.

12. You also hear the wicked say,
“God has forgotten them.”

13. Rise up, O God, do not forget,
in this our hour of need.

14. Let not these wicked ones
deride or trample on the good,
Or say, “God does not care at all,
we’ll never have to pay,”

15. You’ve seen it all by now, O God,
our troubles to you are clear.

16. You know these tired, these tortured ones,
they cling to you in fear.

17. So break the power of evil,
lay bare what hides to harm,

18. And we shall live forever
where evil is no more.

19. O helper of the helpless ones,
hear this our great lament,
Lean close to touch the needy and the poor,
and make them strong again.

20. Then all across this world of ours,
the orphaned and oppressed
Will see at last true justice done,
that terror reigns no more.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Gospel of Thomas: Logion 10

Yeshua says,

See, I have sown fire into the cosmos,
and I shall guard it carefully
until it blazes.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Psalm 9

Great, Good News

1. Everything within me wants to cry out “thanks,” and “praise!”
Everything wants to tell the great good news of what you’ve done.

2. So full of song am I, O God, so full of joy,
the mention of your holy name sets my soul to singing.

3. My enemies are gone,
you’ve driven them stumbling and far away,
and as they fled in fear they vanished out of sight.

4. For you upheld my right, my cause,
you’ve rendered justice from your throne.

5. You’ve brought the many nations low,
and wiped the slate of evil clean.
You’ve destroyed the very heart of wickedness,
with its list of many names.

6. Gone these dreadful enemies of ours,
Gone their habitation, their memories fading fast.

7. But you remain forever
as a good and righteous judge.

8. Your rulings are based in justice,
you judgments, balanced, fair.

9. You are for us a place secure,
to whom we turn in faith, and unafraid.

10. We’ve come to love your sacred name,
and trust your loving care.

11. So now I offer praise to you,
I proclaim what you have done.

12. The true avenger of the blood of innocents
did not forget the lost and little ones.

13. So save me from my enemies,
close the yawning gates of death.

14. Then I too shall enter your city,
proclaiming your praise with joy on my lips.

15. For my foes have fallen deep into the pit,
they’ve entangled their feet in their own nets.

16. And you have revealed yourself, unhidden,
the schemers are caught in the plots of their hands.

17. The heedless have sunk low in oblivion.
The wicked go down to the dead.

18. But the needy and poor, they’re remembered forever,
their hopes and their dreams do not fade.

19. So rise up, O God, again judge the nations,
let all that’s eternal prevail.

20. Put fear at last in the hearts of the peoples,
make us know that our life is but days.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Gospel of Thomas: Logion 9

Yeshua says,

A farmer went out to plant,
scattering seed everywhere.

Some fell on the surface of the road.
Birds came and ate it.

Other seeds fell on rocky ground
and could not take root in the earth,
or send grain heavenward,
and so never germinated.

Still other seed fell among weeds and brambles
which choked it out, and insects devoured it.

Some, however, fell onto fertile soil
which produced fruit of high quality
yielding as much as sixty and
one-hundred and twenty percent.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Psalm 6

I’m Weak, Be Merciful

1. Lord, I feel your anger aimed against me,
do not reject or punish me, I pray.

2. I’m weak, O Lord, be merciful.
Heal this racking pain I feel to my very bones.

3. I’m shaken to my core, depressed and all alone.
How long can I go on in judgment and despair?

4. Turn back to me, O God,
in kindness set me free,

5. For who remembers you when they are gone?
What tongue can praise you from the grave?

6. I’m tired of my groaning and this aching pain.
I’m weary of lying in this tear-soaked bed.

7. My eyes grow dim with weeping, grief, and agony,
all my troubles have worn me thin.

8. Go away, all you who seek to do me harm.
God feels my pain and hears the storming of my grief.

9. Yes, it is God who gathers up my tears.
My prayers are never ever turned away.

10. But the day will come
when my foes shall stand astounded, Lord;
they shall turn and see what you have done.
then it is they who shall be confused.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Gospel of Thomas: Logion 6

His students asked him,

Do you want us to fast?
How shall we pray?
Should we give offerings?
From what foods must we abstain?

Yeshua answered,

“Stop lying.
Do not do what you hate,
because everything here lies open before heaven.
Nothing hidden will remain secret,
for the veil will be stripped away
from what lies concealed behind it.”

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Gospel of Thomas: Logion 4

Yeshua says,

A person of advanced age must go immediately
and ask an infant born just seven days
about life’s source.

Such asking leads to life
when what is first becomes last.
United they become a single whole.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Psalm 7

Longing for Justice

1. Help me, Lord my God, for I flee for safety into you,
I am looking for a hiding place from all who hunt me down.

2. I fear the lion-like adversaries of my world,
those who tear and rend the soul.
I fear them when no place is sure,
when there is no one near to save.

3. O God, my plea to you is this,
if I have caused this evil or this pain,
if you find blood upon my hands,

4. If I have been the source of harm,
if I have plundered foe or friend,

5. Then let them come and take me, Lord,
let them bring me to the ground.

6. But God, I beg of you to rise
and in your fury stand against my foes.
Awaken to my cause, O God, and be the judge of all.

7. And as you ascend the judge’s seat,
Let all be gathered there,

8. Judge us, judge me, judge everything
and all that’s in your care.

9. Weigh me on the scale of innocence,
according to your law,
and as you establish justice, bring evil to an end.

10. For this I know, you are the source of justice done,
the fairest judge of all,
You know what’s in the human heart,
to the very secrets of the soul.

11. You are also the great protecting one,
you shield the good, defending all that’s true.

12. Your justice moves the many nations
often against their will.

13. But if the peoples of the earth will never turn or change,
then you must sharpen sword and bend your bow.

14. You must make yourself a weapon of our death,
an arrow tipped with fire.

15. Your target, those who deal in sin,
who live out crime and lies.

16. For the life they lead digs for them a pit,
their traps become their graves.

17. And evil is always, in the end, a cheat,
it recoils upon its “friends.”
It descends from nowhere like a crown of fire
and rests upon their heads.

18. O God, I give you thanks for justice done,
I raise your name in praise,
My tongue gives tribute to the name of one,
exalted over all.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Inside you

The imprint of the divine Word is upon you.
The mirror of the divine Beauty is shining out through you.
Not a thing in this world is outside of you.
Whatever you are seeking you will find it
already there waiting inside of you.

—Baba Afdal Kashani

Monday, August 15, 2011


Companions on the path were discussing this question: 
What is your experience of God’s presence?
One spoke these words: “I don’t know much, but this is what I do know.
God’s presence is there in front of me, 
a fire on the left, a lovely stream of water on the right.
One group walks toward the fire, and then into the first, 
another toward the sweet flowing water. 
No one knows which are blessed and which are not.
Whoever walks into the fire appears suddenly in the stream. 
A head goes under the water’s surface, 
and then that head pokes out of the fire.
Most people guard against going into the fire, and so end up in it. 
Those who love the water of pleasure and make it their devotion 
are cheated with this reversal.
The alchemy goes further. 
The voice of the fire tells the truth saying, I am not fire. 
I am fountainhead. Come into me, and don’t mind the flames.
If you are friend of God, fire is your water. 
You should desire to have a thousand set of mothwings 
so you could burn them away, one set a night.
The moth sees light and goes into the fire. 
You should see fire and go toward the light.
The fire of God is world-consuming. Water is world-protecting. 
Somehow each gives the appearance of the other.
To your ordinary eyes what looks like water burns, 
and what looks like fire is a great relief to be inside.
You’ve perhaps seen a magician make a bowl of rice 
seem like a dish full of tiny worms, or with one breath 
make the floor seem to swarm with scorpions.
How much more amazing is God’s alchemy.
Generation after generation lies down in death, defeated, they think, 
but its like when a man and woman 
lie down together encircling each other in love.
Just one split second of God’s mind 
can change the whole nature of comfort or pain.
That splinter of divine Intelligence is the Real Substance.
Fire and water themselves are mere accidents, 
done with temporal smoke and mirrors.
Its all alchemy.”

—arranged from Rumi

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Psalm 5

The Question

1. O God, do you truly listen when I speak to you?
Do you hear the sounds of my distress?

2. Listen to this cry, O sovereign of my life.
It is to you alone I direct my prayer.

3. In the morning, at first-light,
I rise to make my plea to you.
Turn towards me, I pray, as I turn towards you.

4. For this I know,
you do not delight in evil or its schemes,
in you nothing but the good can find a home.

5. You despise the schemers and the cheats, O God.
The proud, inflated ones do not stand a prayer.

6. The liars and destroyers of the truth you hate,
you must end their constant thirst for blood.

7. But you send an invitation of unfailing love,
you invite us to your home,

8. And there at last we’ll surely come to you,
and bow in honor before the God of All.

9. So lead us, God,
our many enemies are strong to bar the way.
Clear out the path before our feet that leads to you.

10. Do not listen to their lies, their heart’s desire.
They mean only to destroy the sacred and the good.

11. Their mouths are hollow like an open grave,
they use their tongues in flattery that only leads to doom.

12. Bring these before your courts, O God, let justice judge.
Sentence all who side against the good.

13. But let all who put their trust in you, rejoice,
for you take us in and give us shelter in your love.
Your name becomes our shielding presence,
our sure defense,

14. In you we find our place secure,
and know your grace as home.