The Word for today:
Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,
The night above the dingle starry,
Time let me hail and climb
Golden in the heydays of his eyes,
And honoured among wagons I was prince of the apple towns
And once below a time I lordly had the trees and leaves
Trail with daisies and barley
Down the rivers of the windfall light.
And as I was green and carefree, famous among the barns
About the happy yard and singing as the farm was home,
In the sun that is young once only,
Time let me play and be
Golden in the mercy of his means,
And green and golden I was huntsman and herdsman, the calves
Sang to my horn, the foxes on the hills barked clear and cold,
And the sabbath rang slowly
In the pebbles of the holy streams.
All the sun long it was running, it was lovely, the hay
Fields high as the house, the tunes from the chimneys, it was air
And playing, lovely and watery
And fire green as grass.
And nightly under the simple stars
As I rode to sleep the owls were bearing the farm away,
All the moon long I heard, blessed among stables, the nightjars
Flying with the ricks, and the horses
Flashing into the dark.
And then to awake, and the farm, like a wanderer white
With the dew, come back, the cock on his shoulder: it was all
Shining, it was Adam and maiden,
The sky gathered again
And the sun grew round that very day.
So it must have been after the birth of the simple light
In the first, spinning place, the spellbound horses walking warm
Out of the whinnying green stable
On to the fields of praise…
(excerpted from “Fern Hill” by Dylan Thomas, 1945)
When the Pharisees tested Jesus with questions about common practices of divorce and remarriage, Jesus responded by pointing back to the origin of marriage at creation:
And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?" He answered them, "What did Moses command you?" They said, "Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away." And Jesus said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and female.' 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate." (Mark 10:2-9)
Jesus took them way past the law of Moses to the very beginning of time, before promises and hearts had been broken, before man had rent the design of God asunder.
I am a covenant breaker in many areas, including this area of divorce. You are a covenant breaker, too. It may not have been divorce, but in some way we all have broken the tablets.
We have regrets and sorrow over our sins, but there comes a time when we have to take ourselves way back to a time before our hearts were broken, to a time before we’d broken another’s heart, to a time when we were brand new and at play under the approving eye of God in the splendor of his garden.
That time is now. All of our regrets will never pay for even one of our transgressions, so for many of us it’s time to lay them aside. We have regretted enough.
It is time now to leave all of our baggage at the cross and turn to the newness that Jesus purchased there.
He wants the re-born to approach him now as a child does, without a care or a tear or a fear:
"Let the children come to me, and do not stop them, because the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” (Mark 10:14)
Very often, you will find that the only person thwarting the brand new you from approaching your Redeemer is the you you used to be.