The Christmas Truce, 1914

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“All the lands are at rest and at peace, they break into singing. Isaiah 14:7”

The Christmas Truce of 1914 during the First World War is a profound legacy of Peace, as foe greeted friend with hymns of Silent Night, Holy Night.

Hosanna rang out from the sacred trumpet as the Star of Bethlehem hovered over no-man’s land beckoning comrades to follow it. Laying down their weapons, they arose from the trenches bearing gifts of food, trench art and smokes. In holy silence, brothers marched towards the space that once divided them.

“Peace, be with you!”  “And also with you!”

Halleluiah! Halleluiah! A hallowed night indeed as good will toward men echoed in the trenches. The Christmas Truce of 1914; a holy reminder of our Canadian Forces as we pray, “Thank you for our nations’s Peace.” Halleluiah!

Peace my friends, Merry Christmas! Jane.

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Called to stand with those who serve.

The Middle Space of Time

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And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.  – Matthew 24:31.

The trumpeters stand poised, on the edge of the field, waiting for his commissioning. The birthed few linger in anticipation for the Holy One’s nod to release the sound.

“Who are they?” I inquire.

Gabriel whispers, “They are the messengers.”

The sent ones wait patiently for the Ephphatha dew that opens the ones to behold. The restrained alarm waits for the few who ready for what is to become. The middle space of temporal time transitions into the fullness of unity and the tick tock of waiting from one to the other prepares the ear to hear the new sound.

Those who contend in the waiting of time are those prepared to stay awake on His battlefield.

The wind hovers, waiting to seize and carry the messages of the trumpeters to those who, in the waiting, have trained their ear for war. The trumpeters stand ready to tap out Heaven’s Morse code to the earth’s few who hear the wind’s whispered call of Ephphatha.

The enemy takes aim at the trumpeters hoping to silence the signallers on the edge of the battlefield. He quietly waits to intercept and deflect the new sound so that those who slumber miss the trumpeter’s plea.

For without the trumpeters who will hear Heaven’s battle cry for war?

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Apostola Apostolorum

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“That I might know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings; being conformed to his death.” Philippians 3:10

Between the tree and the rising of the root, the Roman watchmen sleep. An unexpected woman whispers into borderland and mourns the empty womb-tomb. His brethren flee, but she of seven demons alone shall be.

Pouring out an intercession of suffering she cries out her longing to behold. Intentional waiting precedes beholding, and  mourning heralds knowing. In the fellowship of his suffering, she must bear the depth of his mercy for the ones who live in his absence. Blinded with anguish, the woman gazes up to heaven, praying for the sacred rain to wash away the sting.

Moved with compassion, He whispers his mercy, “be opened.”

Quietly, He rests in his shadow waiting for her eyes to receive Ephphatha.

The holy spit salve rinses her eyes, and the well woman blinks. Ephphatha opens the beholding of the veiled knowing. Seeing the colour of the red-stained-wombed hands and feet is Ephphatha’s first fruit.

The first to see is the first to hear, and a gendered John the Baptist is called by name.

‘Mary!’

The unexpected apostle sees her beloved in his shadow, and hears his living utterance.

‘Rabboni!

Her primal heart wants to hold him, but he extends his holy arm. In the shadowed safety of his holy sword, she listens intently to his whispered request.

‘Go Mary, tell the sent ones you have seen me!’

Called by name, the first apostolic commissioning takes place. Courage replaces mourning, and the unexpected apostle obeys.

‘I have beheld him,’ she cries out to the brethren.

‘Nonsense!’

An apostolic dissonance blinds the apostles as they hide in their shadow. Dissonance restrains recognition until the breaking of the bread. Fear wrestles with belief; pride and faith conflict the mind and heart.

Moved with compassion, in communion with the brethren, He whispers his mercy, “be opened.” The scales of dissonance fall from their eyes, and the veiled manna is revealed.

“As the Father sent me, so I send you.”

‘Ephphatha’ opens his red-stained-wombs, and the living word unfolds in the two-fold gift of mercy and revelation. In unity with the three, the Apostola Apostorum and the Apostolic Sent Ones receive the storm of his breath to go…so that all might know.

The tree lies bare and the womb-tomb empty, but in the tender shadow of borderland lingers Ephphatha.

 “Ears that hear and eyes that see – the Lord has made them both.” Proverbs 12:20

Ephphatha

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“The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign LORD, “when I will send a famine through the land– not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD.” Amos 8:11

The Gethsemane womb protects the end time birth, an incubator for the pregnant revelation. His final miracle cocoons in the suffering place waiting for ears to hear the cry of the birth:

“Ephphatha!”

A holy huddle surrounds the birth. In haste, the Bride acts. The fallen comrade mourns the zeal of the Bride who cuts off the ear of the one He died for.

“Put away your sword,” the Commander of Host cries out.

The arm of the Lord is the only sword that can slice the membrane that holds back the spit. The sword that cuts; heals. His sacred sword reaches out with sharpened finger dipped in the healing balm of Gilead.

“Ephphatha,” He whispers. “Be opened.”

With hallowed breath, Ephphatha is named; the birth of the ear witnessed by the midwifery defence shield. An Ephesians crowd of witnesses unknowingly stand in the gap protecting their comrade who humbly laid down his life for their birth.

The purity of sound begins to rain. Holy manna moistens the birth canal of the ear and readies it for the sonic boom of salvation.  The holy spit of Ephphatha rains down and dormant ears begin to hear. The hushed sound from heaven echoes in the kingdom. The hardened stones open to receive the cry of Ephphatha. The parched famine of the word is hushed and the silence of sound opens with a whisper,

“Ephphatha!”

Sound pours out on the House of David, and those who hear, mourn. Ephphatha opens the understanding of the sin and the sharpened holy arm cuts off the resonance of idolatry. The prophetic sound of the return of the king is opened to those who mourn the pierced one.

Ephphatha precedes The Acts of the Bride and the third walk into the fire. Silence is purged and the ear opens and sanctifies in the heat. Ephphatha consecrates the ear, morphing it into a holy vessel to receive revelation. For one does not interpret revelation; one must hear revelation.

A soft chorus of Ephphatha murmurs to and fro, opening the hearing of utterance. The sound from heaven, the mighty rushing wind sings the final hymn. In unity of three, Ephphatha is whispered from heaven and opens the seal of the alabaster jar. The fragrance of the healing balm of Gilead follows Ephphatha and the perfumed breath releases the healing hallowed spit.

 Where Ephphatha is whispered, there is healing.

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Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him. Luke 22:51

Sanctum Sanctorum

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The sack-clothed glory readies in the womb as wailing women give voice to its imminent arrival.

“EX INTIMIS VISCERIBUS MISERICORDIA COMMOVEOR!”

His womb aches for a resting place but there is no room in the sanctuary. The marketplace hustles and bustles in anticipation of the Harvest Census but buyers and sellers dismiss the value of the fertilized seed. The merchants know there is no margin in a fruit freely given.

There is movement in the womb. The fruit is ripe, saturated for birth, and the midwifery stones wail in anticipation. His eyes dart to and fro longing for labourers empty enough to bear the olive pressed fruit.

It is the ninth hour.

Splagchnon makes room for the ache of His womb. The cry of Nineveh transitions through the blue penciled line between the seen and the unseen. The membrane of silence shatters with the final push:

“LAMA SABACHTHANI?”

The divine dew pink with the blood spews forth. A longing so deep, it overflows from the heart of Him into the humble who long to give. The ring of fire sears those who bear the Gethsemane twinned fruit. Compassion and Mercy are named. The swaddled fruit whimper, still tender from the birth. Incubated in the shadow, they wait for the Father to make room. The Lord of Hosts raises his sword and cries out:

“SANCTUM SANCTORUM!”

The yielded sword, sever unholy alliances that stop the flow. The beloved are pruned and those who do not succumb to the sword are driven from the sanctuary. The Father of Mercy reclaims His key and unlocks Sanctum Sanctorum; its counterfeit is hurled into the fire. A tear trickles down his cheek as He surveys the lost multitude huddled in the secret place. Moved with Compassion, He raises his sickle and whispers:

“I will have Mercy on whom I will have Mercy,
I will have Compassion on whom I will have Compassion.”

The eyes of the heart reveal the wisdom of His fruit. Travailing at Gethsemane precedes the entrusting of the precious multitude. Ichabod remains constipated but Humility opens loins that long to be moved. Compassion pushes out judgement and Mercy boomerangs back blessing those who bless. The twinned fruit bear more fruit. Preaching, Teaching and Healing become the heirs of Compassion and Kindness and Forgiveness are begotten of Mercy.

Compassion and Mercy restore the breach that wall the cubed ember. The repaired rampart protects the flame and the newly polished pearl illuminates the way. Hand in hand, nations return to the square drawn by the brilliance of the Lamb. On bended knee they drink from the chalice of the river that roars from the fire. Ha’etz is shared and in communion they eat of the fullness of the fruit tree. The agony of the garden that birthed the fruit, blossoms into leaves that heal Gethsemane. Glory and Honour take their place; the rear guard fruits of Compassion and Mercy.

The root rises up to kiss the star as the twelve watchmen position at the gates. At the sound of the trumpet, in unity the Sentinel Host cry out for Nineveh:

Holy, Holy, Holy,
 Sanctum Sanctorum.
Blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
 Kyrie eleison,
 Christe eleison,
 Kyrie eleison.
 -Amen-

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“But when he saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them…”   Matthew 9:36

The Feast

The feast of the seagulls hover over no-man’s land waiting for the unprepared to strike the first blow.

Foolish men of war help themselves to heavens armoury and with unknown arrogance they assume the knowledge of instruction on how to wield them. They sharpen tools for the vintage wrath of the King while the humble quietly empty their hands.

The meek know the power of the sword and who bears the weight of it.

The visible bride veils the true bride as she readies in the sanctuary. A purity set apart prepares her while the foolish flaunt the tools of their own destruction.

In peace, the humble shall inherit borderland because they go forth not. They wait in the shadow of the King as heaven releases the almighty host for war.

At the sound of the trumpet, God’s army thunders across borderland while men of war charge into the enemy’s ambush. The angelic host cry out:

Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus Dominus Deus sabbaoth.
Pleni sunt caeli et terra gloria tua.
Hosanna in excelsis.
Benedictus qui venit in nomine domini.
Hosanna in excelsis.

With shield and sickle the harvest begins and in peace, the meek inherit borderland.

 …the birds will feed on those who die in the country. 1 Kings 21:24

Between us

There is a line in the sand beyond which I proceed no further.

Where grace meets dismissal I hide from the line of the stick I carry.

I see borderland but not the one of my making.

I cry mercy for the line I now see

between us.

Borderland

“He marks out the horizon on the face of the waters for a boundary between light and darkness.” Job 26:10

The middle space of war narrows to a hairline fracture as kingdoms prepare for war.  The Borderland Kingdom of God is here. We camp on the edge of war and in kingdom borderland discernment speaks.

Glory readies to shatter earth’s glass ceiling slicing the veiled invisible. Holy smoke trickles up through the cracked glass beckoning thy kingdom down. Bleeding hands stretch up through the cracks in want of the shield and the white stones of peace.

The dim glass clouds the seer as he struggles to discern what his heart sees. Invisible gives light to visible as the convergence of kingdoms bleeds on the ridge of borderland.

In communion of shields we ready for war and with faith cupped hands we release the pebbles of his peace at borderland.

“He grants peace to your borders and satisfies you with the finest of wheat.” Psalm 47:14

Borderland – land located on or near a frontier or boundary, an indeterminate region
Kingdom Borderland – the spiritual frontier located between the visible and the invisible

The Song of Deborah

“When leaders lead in Israel,
When the people willingly offer themselves,
Bless the Lord!”
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“Hear O kings! Give ear, O princes!
I, even I, will sing to the LORD; I will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel.”
For 1 Chronicles 12:32 says,
“And of the sons of Issachar, were men who had understanding of the times…”
“And the princes of Issachar were with Deborah…”