October 11, 2016

For Susan

Posted in Eastertide, Grief at 8:05 pm by Teresa Roberts Johnson

O Death, you coward cur, so brave you were
To crush a lovely bloom and try to seal her doom,
To break a porcelain doll and still her hands so small.
Her bright smile you eclipsed; you silenced gentle lips.
Frail creature she, but strong immeasurably
In joy and grace and peace, virtues that shall not cease;
In family and friends, in love that never ends.
Your meddling only served to grant the rest deserved
By one who labored long to make God’s Kingdom strong.
Her legacy outlasts your raging noisome blasts.
O Death, have you not learned you have been overturned?
The Savior’s majesty has set your captives free.
To Easter hope they cling, trusting their risen King
Whose victory is sure, whose promise is secure.

Copyright © 2016 by Teresa Roberts Johnson (All rights reserved)


Today I am in shock at the passing of a third dear friend this year, a dear Christian lady, wife of an Anglican priest, mother of seven, beloved child of a sovereign God. We attended church together for many years, raised our children together, swapped recipes, and encouraged each other in the faith. May our Lord comfort her family until they see her again.

August 18, 2016

Women’s Conference

Posted in Liturgical Calendar at 8:17 pm by Teresa Roberts Johnson

Hello, dear readers,

I will be speaking at the 60th Spiritual Enrichment Conference sponsored by the  Reformed Episcopal Church Committee on Women’s Ministry. The conference will be held Friday, September 30 – Sunday, October 2, 2016, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Williams Hotel and Conference Center, 50 Kingsmill Road, Williamsburg, Virginia. The conference theme is “Consolation and Good Hope Through Grace.” For more information, click on the link below:

More information

August 7, 2016

Selling Doves

Posted in Dove, Holy Spirit, Lamb of God, Sanctification, Son of God, Trinity at 8:21 pm by Teresa Roberts Johnson

Our Lord went to the Temple to the feast;
The Lamb of God would bring a sacrifice.
And entering His courts, the Great High Priest
Found His own Father’s house teeming with vice.
He saw the place where sin was to be purged
Corrupt and reeking with the greed of gain.
So He the Righteous Son prepared a scourge
To cleanse the temple from its awful stain.
Then pouring out the coins He arraigned
The moneychangers for their blasphemy
In profiting from sacraments ordained
To show God’s people He must set them free.
Lord, cleanse the temple of my wayward heart,
So that Your Holy Dove will not depart.

Copyright © 2016 by Teresa Roberts Johnson (All rights reserved)

Reference: John 2:13-17

Last Sunday’s Gospel was the counterpart to the scripture on which this poem is based. Jesus cleansed the temple of moneychangers twice, once at the beginning of His ministry and once shortly before He was crucified. The passage in John refers to the first of those events.

It is sobering to find the One who is the original for the types and shadows of the Temple being mocked through price gouging that took advantage of the people for whom He had come to offer Himself as a free sacrifice. It is even more sobering to note that the religious leaders of his day had never rebuked the greedy merchandisers but rebuked Him for doing so. It is most sobering to realize that three years later, after having the benefit of His teaching and His miracles, not to mention the glory of His presence, the hearts of the scribes and pharisees were even harder than before they met Him.

May He ever guard our hearts from all that is not holy.


March 19, 2016

Once for All: A Good Friday Poem

Posted in Atonement, Good Friday, Lamb of God, Liturgical Calendar, Redeemer, Resurrection at 4:25 pm by Teresa Roberts Johnson

One wretched curse embraced by Him, the spotless Lamb,
One bloody death He faced, the Eternal, Great I AM.
This one death for all time perfected guilty men;
Remitted every crime and purged the stain of sin.
By this one offering life freely was bestowed
On us in darkness dying, who bore sin’s heavy load.
Now perfect, we still grow in grace that sanctifies.
Our burdens gone, we trust that with Him we will rise.
Shadows dispelled, He reigns, seated at God’s right hand.
And loosed from sin’s dread chains, before Him now we stand.
Invited to draw near, we join the covenant feast
And serve Him without fear, our ever-blessed High Priest.

Copyright © 2016 by Teresa Roberts Johnson (All rights reserved)

Inspired by Hebrews 10Ephesians 2:13Matthew 11:28-30, and Luke 1:70-74

The epistle reading at evensong this Wednesday was from Hebrews 10. I have read and heard this passage many times, but it seemed that I was hearing it with new ears. The sorrow that I felt upon being reminded that the old covenant required daily sacrifices for sin, yet never completely dispatched its effects, was overcome by the powerful statement that on the cross Jesus served as both the sacrifice and the High Priest, and as the perfect Son of God who was also fully man, He broke the chains that had held mankind since the time of Adam. His sacrifice being sufficient, He sat down, as none of the old covenant priests had ever been able to do.

The verse that really captivated me was this:

For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. (Hebrews 10:14 NKJV)

It was a much needed reminder that although I am saved, I am being saved and will be saved. Counted as a member of God’s family, I still fall short from time to time, but by His grace, He is sanctifying me. I have been through a difficult three months or so with health issues, and so I don’t need to be reminded that the flesh is weak. I do, however, always appreciate a reminder that His grace is sufficient.

February 10, 2016

Fasting to Feast

Posted in Eden, Lent, Original Sin, Shepherd, Suffering Servant, The Eucharist at 3:18 am by Teresa Roberts Johnson

Surrounded by a surfeit of life-giving food
That would sustain them while replenishing the earth,
Our parents spurned His gifts in gross ingratitude
And ate the fruit that plunged them into pain and dearth.
That stolen meal tastes bitter to this very day;
It set our teeth on edge and left us desolate.
Now in the wilderness of Lent we fast and pray,
Finding our starving souls on every side beset
By dainties that can never meet our heartfelt need
To eat the food of Eden at His table spread
In pastures green where we may safely feed
While resting on the Shepherd who removes all dread.
He suffered Lenten loss so that we may return
To the great feast for which our spirits yearn.

Copyright © 2016 by Teresa Roberts Johnson (All rights reserved)

Genesis 3

Psalm 23

December 27, 2015

Angliverse on TNAA

Posted in Holy Spirit, Noah, The Church, The Trinity, Water of Life at 2:58 pm by Teresa Roberts Johnson

Merry Christmas! An Angliverse poem was featured on The North American Anglican today.

Edit: Since TNAA is having some technical difficulties as of October 8, 2016, I’ll repost the text of the poem here. I’ll leave the link for when the site has been restored Baptism


The dove surveyed the vast expanse of sea,
Yet found no branch on which to rest her feet.
The world lay dead, covered in water thoroughly,
Until God’s solemn judgment was complete.
Then she, by bringing back one olive leaf,
Preached grace and mercy as the floods withdrew.
At God’s word, Noah stepped out in belief;
The task of earth-replenishing began anew.
Then in due time the Dove engulfed a virgin maid
To plant in her the holy Olive Tree
For whom the faithful ones had daily prayed.
In whom God’s grace and truth the world would see.
At Pentecost the Dove released a deluge on the Church.
The glory of God now flows throughout the earth.

Copyright © 2015 by Teresa Roberts Johnson (All rights reserved)


December 9, 2015

Sonnet of the Vineyard

Posted in Advent tagged at 10:33 pm by Teresa Roberts Johnson

The prunéd vineyard lies abandoned now
As cold winds sweep among the vines
To strip away from every trembling bough
Remembrances of plentiful sweet wines.
Frail, disembodied leaves ascend like prayers;
The wind abates, and they fall brittle to the earth.
As they decay, their sacrifice prepares
The ground to feed the vines through winter’s dearth.
Throughout the somber days when light is dim
Their roots are cradled safely in the ground
Where icy winds can do no harm to them;
They wait in hope for spring’s warmth to abound.
Though winter may seem long, yet it will end,
And death will flee when Life returns again.

Copyright © 2015 by Teresa Roberts Johnson (All rights reserved)

Psalm 80

December 7, 2015


Posted in Advent, Atonement, Christmastide, David, Eastertide, Good Friday, Light of the World, Redeemer, Resurrection, Shepherd, Son of God, Son of Man, Suffering Servant tagged , , , at 10:57 pm by Teresa Roberts Johnson

Heaven’s herald bore the glorious news
Of the Child a Virgin pure would bear:
Servant, yet Heaven’s everlasting Heir
And Son of David, monarch of the Jews,

Heaven’s army stormed the grassy plain
Near David’s city, lowly Bethlehem,
Overcoming shepherd-warriors, David’s kin,
With the battle cry that peace on earth would reign.

Heaven’s King walked justly among men
To heal the sick and bring to life the dead,
To feed the hungry pilgrims living bread,
To preach deliverance from every sin.

Heaven’s Face turned from the Son of Man
And plunged the earth in darkness deep
When Light and Life hung on the curséd tree
To suffer, bleed, and die, yet rise again.

Copyright © 2015 by Teresa Roberts Johnson (All rights reserved)

1 Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

November 28, 2015

Drink Offering

Posted in Advent, Atonement, Bread of Life, Incarnation, Lamb of God, Suffering Servant, The Eucharist tagged , , , , at 12:30 pm by Teresa Roberts Johnson

From the fiery altar in the temple door
Twice daily sacrifice was made from which arose
Sweet savour that was pleasing to the Lord
Who meets His people where His mercy flows.
Tried by fire, the altar sanctified the dead,
And through the death of lambs God’s hand was stayed.
But His thankless children mocked their sovereign Head;
Rebellious, in the wilderness they strayed.
Yet in the fullness of God’s time He sent
Another Sacrifice whose death would end
All types and shadows, for in His first advent
He stooped to tabernacle among sinful men.
The perfect Lamb poured out His sinless blood,
As a drink offering flowing from His riven side
To sanctify the earth with its life-giving flood,
And in His body is the bread of life supplied.

Copyright © 2015 by Teresa Roberts Johnson (All rights reserved)

Scriptural context:

Exodus 29

John 6:35

I have had the idea of Christ’s blood as the drink offering on my mind for a while, but as Advent has approached, I felt compelled to complete the thought. The poem needs little explanation, but I do want to call one thing to your attention. I have heard many times that because Jesus is the perfect Son of God, He cannot be defiled by touching sickness or death. To the contrary, anyone who touched Him (like the bleeding woman who touched His garment) or whom He touched (like the son of the widow of Nain) became clean and was restored to abundance of life. Similarly, the earth on which His blood was shed was not defiled as it had been by the blood of Abel but sanctified instead.

But as many times as I had read the book of Exodus, I had never noticed this verse, which is a harbinger of His gracious reversal of the curse of sin:

Seven days thou shalt make an atonement for the altar, and sanctify it; and it shall be an altar most holy: whatsoever toucheth the altar shall be holy. (Exodus 29:37)

I had never considered why the presence of dead animals did not defile the altar. It was because the altar itself made them holy. Praise God for His eternal Son, who sanctifies the whole earth with His glory!

November 11, 2015

Veterans Day

Posted in War tagged at 11:06 am by Teresa Roberts Johnson

Some trudged for days through sullen swamps,
With water soaking into boots and socks and bones.
While others marched on desert sand
Through insolent, remorseless winds
That parched their faces and assailed their souls.
Still others, travelling in metal frames
That moved through perilous seas or skies,
Tried to remember how it felt to touch the earth.
All these, the brave, stood firm against the foe.
Their pockets cherished letters that conveyed
News and normality of life at home.
And every hour of liberty they spent
Was filled with thoughts of all they left behind,
Of kisses sweet, and yes, of comforts too.
From far, far distant shores they strained to hear
Church bells on Sunday or a baby’s cry,
Knowing they might never see their home again,
Counting the days until their duty had been done.
Lord Jesus, haste the day when wars will cease,
When all the earth is draped in perfect peace.

Copyright © 2015 by Teresa Roberts Johnson (All rights reserved)

Today is Veterans Day, so this post is a bit different from previous ones.

My grandfather, two uncles, two cousins, a cousin-in-law, a nephew, and countless friends have served from France to Japan to Vietnam to the Middle East and beyond. Those who came home were never the same because of what they had seen and experienced. By the grace of God, I have never had to stare into the face of an enemy soldier or live in fear of imminent death from an enemy invasion. I have the utmost respect for all who have spent sleepless nights in swamps or soil or sand or at sea or in the sky, ever vigilant for the cause of freedom. But most of all I pray for that day when war is only a distant memory.

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