The Parable of the Covenant

Happy Resurrection Sunday!

I still think this needs a LOT of editing, but I’ll probably make a 2.0 in the future. (I might make a 2.0 series, actually. There’s so much I still want to edit HAHA).


 

I

 

You set the world into motion

And rocked my heart from its stillness

You were the murmur

That called me from the lull of the dust

 

You promised me a future like the stars

And it put lights in my eyes

I left my mother and father to join You

And begin our Story together

 

I was the least of my brothers

But in my weakness, You are strong

You delivered bounty in time of meagerness

Until man’s heart worked me for gluttony

 

Then You put a sea between me and those who owned me

And gave me freedom in claiming me as Yours

You wrote Your love for me

To abide in in a home of milk and honey

 

I celebrated and studied Your enchanting world

I rejoiced in the richness of the earth

And the possibilities of wealth and new things

But in relishing it, You faded into the background

 

I replaced You with Your gifts

Forgetting past and future, my side of our vow

I struck out, wanting what was already ours

So my vanities consumed me but did not satisfy

 

I threw my voice into the cacophony around me

And grew deaf to You

You offered Your hand and Your mercies

But I’d slid out of reach and numbed to tenderness

 

All the while staying Your disappointment,

You sent messengers, until You had to send soldiers

I was snatched away,

And my pride was broken, apart from You

 

In my suffering, I glimpsed who You are

And realized who I was in You

And I dreamt of You, of home

And persevered with what I had left of You

 

You championed my release from my own trap,

And we rebuilt our house

I knew now that I wanted none other than You

And I would make sure our children knew the same

 

II

 

I meted out Your words

And measured my neighbor by them

I sterilized my habits and refused to reconsider

I nitpicked the complexities of Your desires

 

I became haughty and self-assured of Your favor

I obsessed over the power of being Yours

I colored the light of Your heart with my black desires

And the old me snuck under the sheepskin of restoration

 

I misunderstood You

So You became like me so that I could know You

Your servants recognized you and rejoiced

But Your lover never noticed

 

Yet You told stories anyway

And touched my sores and opened my eyes

Your presence filled the loneliness

In the gaps between me and You

 

You were unafraid of upturning tables

So that disparities could be levelled

You did not hesitate to disturb my tranquility

To give me true peace

 

You clothe the lily and feed the birds,

Quench my thirst in this desert,

And sustain me through Your word,

Just like five thousand others

 

But I kept seeing You for something else –

I insisted on what I thought I knew about You

The self You were showing me

Was unlike anything I’d known before

 

Your words were mysteries – but Your voice, truth;

Though I hardly realized it

Through patience, despite hurt and anger

You pulled me from paralysis to stand beside You

 

But I left You

I ran away when they came for You

I denied You

As many times as You would ask if I loved You

 

I laughed while they hoisted You up in suffering

I went back to business when You let go

And my hopeful fervor went with You

“Appears there’s nothing more there.”

 

And then you proved me wrong.

You did the impossible –

You came back to me

Despite all that was done to You

 

Your truth struck down to my rawness,

Your love clarified my murky sight,

Your will surpassed my expectation,

And Your embrace liberated me

 

Now You break the dawn and

Cast me blazing into the shadows,

Running over them in bounding leaps,

And shaking off their hold on me

 

My voice will carry melodies for You,

And my heart will carry crosses.

My shoulders will carry leaders,

And my arms will carry the broken.

 

My mind will sanctify in truth,

And my feet will crush injustices.

My hands will plant seeds,

And my legs will cross earths.

 

Every part of me is Yours –

And even if the Spirit of You holds me,

Past the faltering and stumbling,

The whole of me aches for the final day

 

The day Your vow will be completed –

And I will be completed in my purpose,

Completed in love unbound by flesh and blood,

Completed in You.

Christians and Duterte

This post was incited by an online post that a fellow Christian made, and at this point I knew that I had to say something. This is an effort to correct in love, as Paul advised in Galatians 6:1 and 2 Thessolonians 3:15.

As a Filipino and as a Christian, I really, REALLY DO NOT want Duterte to win (the possibility worries me, since he seems to have a good chance of winning, according to recent polls).

First, he’s proud and ignorant. He makes promises he can’t keep (it is not possible to clean up a government in a matter of six months). He is ignorant of policy and the truth (or at least, he doesn’t show he knows policy and law in the debates or his campaigns. I know he served in executive, legislative and judiciary, but the fact that he isn’t showing his knowledge in these fields proves something about his attitude towards them regarding their importance in government procedures. And he hasn’t said ANYTHING concrete about what he plans to do once in his position, aside from slay all the wrongdoers. And he is closed to whatever other truth might come to light, i.e. lack of due process, his ignorance about Mar’s Wharton degree).

He has shown a great level of indecision (as seen in how he keeps promising things and then changing his mind when he was filing for candidacy. When he finally made the absolutely final decision, his reason was so that Grace Poe wouldn’t win. Now in the footage before the second debate aired, we see him sweet-talking her. His conviction isn’t just flawed, it’s inconsistent and flimsy).

Furthermore, he has no respect for women (as seen in the images of him kissing female supporters), and does not honor the sanctity of marriage (he even said he’d bring both his wife and his girlfriend to Malacanang).

But worst of all, he is a murderer, and unashamed of it. He ignores due process. He is without mercy and does not see the capacity of a human being for transformation.

It bothers me that there are so many Filipinos, even Christians, especially some I really look up to, who, despite all these terrible things, in full love for their country, still support this mayor. A mayor who has monopolized a city for two decades, a city which was only VOTED safest city on a non-prestigious site (Anyone could vote for this, and we don’t know the criteria used. And another thing is, people outside of Davao were ignorant of his administration until the “world” recognized us; the funny thing about Filipinos is that we only ever appreciate something about ourselves once a foreigner approves of it).

People believe that what he did in Davao, he can replicate on a national scale. But doing good in one city does not mean that you have the capacity to change an entire nation (much less in six months. He’s been in Davao for 20 years and things still aren’t perfect. It had the 4th highest crime rating in 2014). Didn’t we trust Binay because of what he did in Makati? And there’s proof that he doesn’t know what he’s doing as VP. Duterte is not a thief, but the result will be the same – he won’t know what he’s doing, either. I think Duterte means well – I vouch for the purity and intensity of his intentions. He’s not out there for power or money. I think he genuinely wants to do everything he can to help the Filipino people. But he will fail as a president, because the system does not work the way he’s used to it working. The Philippines is not Davao – the culture is more diverse, the needs are greater, more widespread, and more varied. And the president is not a mayor – the responsibilities are not the same, and the processes are not the same.

Then people would be so disappointed – either because he failed to deliver his full platform within his promised time period or from the suppression of freedom that they feel – and there’d be rallies and disorder. And Duterte being Duterte, he will react by killing off those who oppose his administration.

That’s what vigilante justice is going to end up looking like on a national scale. Isn’t this what he promised, to cut off anyone who comes in his way? Knowing his pride, he’d probably stick to it when things go awry. Slippery slope, maybe? But if you’ve seen how things can go viral, how people can be lit up aflame in excitement, how society can be overturned in a day, then I think you can say I have all the right to fear this.

Returning to Christians being avid supporters of Duterte – they’re entitled to their own opinions, sure, but I really don’t think Duterte should be given the Christian vote for the myriad of reasons I mentioned above (not to mention Duterte even badmouthed the pope in an unnecessary way, which I think shows how little reverence he has for spiritual figures, and perhaps even for God). It’s not something to be advocated. Yet I see these Christians posting Duterte support posts on Facebook. And I’m just like, is this consistent at all with Biblical teaching?

“Thou shalt not murder.” Exodus 20:13

“Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Exodus 20:14

“Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” Proverbs 11:2

There are a million other itty bitty verses and character traits I could nitpick on, but let’s stick with those monumental three. And here’s the biggest question of all: where is the mercy? Isn’t that what we are supposed to preach above everything else? Where is the love? We were saved by grace. We were supposed to suffer and die. THAT’S what we deserve, just as much as all the drug dealers and criminals deserve (Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”). But no. Our debt was cancelled. We have been made new. I can’t even begin to reference all the verses that teach this. This is the foundation of our faith.

Are we going to be like the unforgiving servant in Matthew 18:21-35? We were given grace, and we should give grace. To do otherwise is to slap away the merciful hand of God when he reached out to us.

The Bible is clear. There is absolutely NOTHING in Duterte that a Christian should find attractive.

But this is what Christians are espousing, and this is what their followers and those in their spheres of influence see. Some people look up to them and rely on them for wise counsel and guidance. Is this really what our Christian brothers and sisters are going to teach them? To honor a murderer by giving him the highest position in the land? To call a man who cheats on his wife without remorse a man of integrity, even when he is unopen to the idea of divorce in the Philippines as seen in the debate last Sunday?

None of the presidential candidates lead quite like Christ leads, granted. Even the person I’m voting for, Mar, doesn’t. But Duterte’s behavior and morals are unacceptable in the Christian community, and I cannot believe that there are even Christian pastors who vouch for him. We are to involve Christ’s love in all that we do, even politics. Even non-believers can see the perils of his possible presidency and the fault of his character, why can’t we?

http://www.listofrecipe.com/he-is-qualified-he-is-a-lawyer-he-knows-the-law/

 

LEGACY

When everything begins, it promises so much. And the fact that everything ends makes the promise so much more urgent. You see, we’re capable of having something more permanent than human flesh. It’s called legacy. You have one life time to build your legacy, and to do this you must fulfil your full potential. It isn’t guaranteed that you’ll have your legacy cemented before you die, but you’re made if others will keep on building it up for you. But eventually, your name will fade away and the names of the others who kept on building your legacy will be added. Because a legacy isn’t about you. It’s about a value or a belief – a fire in your heart that you shared with other people who in turn shared it with others. Making your mark is simply the passing on of the torch.

The Good and the Bad

I’m aware that bad things happen. It’s not like as if we can stop bad things from happening. It’s not like we can rewind time and change the things we want to change. It’s not like we can take an eraser and eradicate a day or a year or a decade of our lives. The bad things are there with the good things. And I suppose, just like people, these bad things are beautiful too.

Can you see light if there were no darkness? It would be too much for your eyes and you’d be blinded, and you wouldn’t be able to enjoy the light or its gifts at all. In a painting, the right mix of shadow and brightness create beauty. Only those who have been to the bad know just how good the good is. Bad things are painful; some worse than others. But just like the physical earth needs day and night, our human world needs it too. There has to be some joy, there has to be some sorrow. Bad things can come from good things, and good things can come from bad things. It’s a cycle, and it’s the truth, and it will remain the truth as long as there is Heaven and Earth and the fiery pit.