I should like a great lake of beer for the King of Kings.
I should like the angels of Heaven to be drinking it through time eternal.
I should like excellent meats of belief and pure piety.
I should like the men of Heaven at my house.
I should like barrels of peace at their disposal.
I should like for them cellars of mercy.
I should like cheerfulness to be their drinking.
I should like Jesus to be there among them.
I should like the three Marys of illustrious renown to be with us.
I should like the people of Heaven, the poor, to be gathered around from all parts.
Number one, let’s get this out of the way, it’s possible that this poem will offend a few of my readers who aren’t letting themselves understand the context or the spirit of the poem. I hate to be a troublemaker…… okay, that’s not true. I hate to cause trouble for those who don’t need it, but some people do. The poem is about hospitality and joy, and for most people ‘a lake of ale’ would certainly bring those things to the forefront. (If you are trying to decide if you are offended, think of the poem in terms of the Wedding Feast of Cana when Jesus turned the water to wine.) We are to be joyful! Celebratory! If Christians are who they say they are, how are we not living a joyful existence everyday?
Look, I get it, I’ve been down and out a few times, read my last post or any number of them, but I simply refuse to let the down times dictate my life. Even in my worst places there have been reasons to celebrate, moments to celebrate in, and people to celebrate with! I have two friends fighting cancer right now, one is a believer and one is not but they both have been inspiring to me, because they both have this “Lake of Beer” mentality! They choose, when they aren’t dog tired from chemotherapy, to LIVE NOW! How do the rest of us have excuses not to live. Ecclesiastes 2:24-25 says it best.
A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?
Jesus states one of His purpose was to give us an abundant, full to the brim and overflowing life. Now honestly, who doesn’t want that? And yet a good portion of the Christians I know are too busy predicting the doom of mankind to actually live an abundant life. No wonder we can barely convince people to seek Christ anymore, what reason could they possibly have? Our happy demeanor? The way we deal with our problems? The way we never run each other down or give in to selfish rage? Love is supposed to be our hallmark and yet, love has to do with living life, with people, and enjoying it! So, quit screaming that the sky is falling, of course it is, it has been since Adam and Eve; it has been since you were born and started the journey from cradle to grave; entropy happens, it’s the curse, but today……
Today I have Jesus who turns my mourning into dancing; who gives me songs in the night; who blessed my life with the laughter of children and the beauty of their ‘growing-up.’ Today I have the passion of torrid and amazing love affair with my wife and a backyard so full of trees that I can’t get satellite television, and great friends and an amazing church and barbecue and steak and theater and film and barefoot walks and rainy days and sunny days and, and, and……….My God, how wonderful everything is if you just pay attention! And He wants to celebrate it all with you and through you.
A lake of beer, indeed!