Kronos

The cold winds blow from the bitter north,
Emissaries of their frigid lord.
He comes from the final sphere, devoid of mirth,
Carrying a sickle for a sword.

Once before a saturnine messenger came;
The Baptist preached repentance from sin.
The people could not bear the blame
And expelled him from the land of men.

Now in gloom his ruling Power
Descends upon our rebellious ball,
Ensuring that in this late, mournful hour,
we eat the fruit of our willful fall.

The reaper, grim-faced and grey-eyed god
Of unyielding time and dire judgment –
What madness possessed us? Now awed,
We once scorned his promised advent.

But Tellus is blanketed as with lead
And pressed by the grave weight of despair.
Saturn’s scythe swings with looming dread
To harvest the sons of the power of the air.

O Unfortunate Aspect, reminder of justice,
Man cannot bear the burden for long.
The snare of folly has surely crushed us,
Left us with little, left us alone.

Come, Venus, with your warm embrace!
Come, Mars, with your gleaming spear!
Join your brother, and, by God’s grace,
Temper his work in our earthly sphere.

O Mercury, fleet-footed messenger divine,
Bring us glad tidings of returning light.
The coming feast prepared, of bread, of wine,
In Jove’s kingly halls lit bright.

Let Jove now reign, king of kings,
Yet a shadow of the Highest.
These starry minstrels, the Heavens, sing
The glories of our Christ, the brightest.

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Charm

I wonder if Charles Wesley read Phaedo.

Cebes laughed and said: “Assuming that we were afraid, Socrates, try to change our minds, or rather do not assume that we are afraid, but perhaps there is a child in us who has these fears; try to persuade him not to fear death like a bogey.”

“You should,” said Socrates, “sing a charm over him every day until you have charmed away his fears.”

“Where shall we find a good charmer for these fears, Socrates,” he said, “now that you are leaving us?”

“Greece is a large country, Cebes,” he said, “and there are good men in it; the tribes of foreigners are also numerous. You should search for such a charmer among them all, sparing neither trouble nor expense, for there is nothing on which you could spend your money to greater advantage. You must also search among yourselves, for you might not easily find people who could do this better than yourselves.”

Where shall we find a good charmer for our fear of death?

Jesus! the name that charms our fears,
That bids our sorrows cease;
’Tis music in the sinner’s ears,
’Tis life, and health, and peace.

Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, our King and Savior – a far sweeter and more effectual charm than what Socrates and Plato had to offer!

Winter

Following the Anglo-Saxons, take spring and summer together as Summer; likewise fall and winter as Winter.

Summer is when Creation exhales. It’s the time for growing, spreading out. Leaves bud, flowers bloom, calves are born, seed is scattered. Children roam the countryside, sometimes quite far from home. Men go out into the fields. It’s warm, and the heat drives things apart. It’s the time to make a journey.

In Winter, the earth inhales. What had previously spread now pulls back; it contracts. Leaves fall to the ground and return to the earth, sap retreats to the roots, animals are taken to the stalls. The fruit of the field is harvested and brought into the storehouse, close to home. Life is centered more intensely in the house. The bitter cold drives the folk to the hearth; it presses them together. Death and adversity outside the household foster and strengthen bonds within.

War unto Peace

Christianity is War. To be a Christian of any sort is to be engaged in a martial enterprise. It is a war unto peace, no doubt, yet still a war so long as we live in this present age. In the world to come, we will have peace on all sides. The sword will be beat into a ploughshare, But for now, we fight.

Orthodoxy wars against heresy. Godliness against ungodliness. Holiness against sin. Wisdom against foolishness. Good against evil.

This war has fronts in every heart, in every church, in every family, community, and nation. Even between nations.

If you aren’t fighting, you’re dead.