44. The Preacher Speaks

I have just one question
Here today,
One request of you
This warm March morning.
Maybe too warm, by a little,
Friends, and too dry, these storms.
I won’t keep you long.
One plain question:
Have you Christians
Looked into your hearts?

You and I know
What the Bible says:
Look into your hearts.
What I mean by that is, simply,
A simple thing.
“Pray ye all the day, and all
The night.” So.
Did you pray this morning?
To your loving Father, did you,
Or last night,
On knees beside your bed?
Or did you forget?
You let God wait?
Just now, when we
Bowed our heads together,
We were praying.
Were you here?
“Were you there?” our Lord said
On the Tree.
Or did you stray–
Maybe pondering
Which seed to buy, or where
To buy it from, what land
You’d put in first?
Ladies, were you
Cooking in your heads
Or dusting house?
Did you hear the Word of God?
Do not wonder, brothers,
If God takes back
Are you there?

The Lord wants us near
His Holy Word.
Good Book tells us
Christ is knocking now.
Maybe you won’t answer.
You’re too busy, paying bills.
You won’t hear.
You’ve got chores to do.
Brothers, sisters:
Our place is by that door.

Where is your heart?
I ask. Is it
In your house, or in your farm?
In your Sears and Roebuck
Catalogue? Your radio?
Did you spend one minute
Yesterday, confessing your known
Sins–oh yes, you know!–
To the God
Whose Son was slain for you?
For you.
As the song says, friends:
          Sinners, turn: why will you die?
          God, the Spirit, asks you why.
          He, who all your lives hath strove,
          Wooed you to embrace his love,
          Will you not his grace receive?
          Will you still refuse to live?
          Why, you long-sought sinners, why
          Will you grieve your God, and die?

Now, fellow Christians,
This is the Lord’s morning.
We’re all well this Sabbath,
Praise the Lord.
Sun is out, these
Dust storms will move on,
Crops rise.
But consider.
Each day, one day closer
To your grave.
Closer now, this morning,
Than the last.
You don’t want to be
Surprised: what week day,
Do you suppose, what
Hour is the hour
Of your death?
Friends, you won’t read this
In your catalogue.
Sears don’t sell it.
On the radio,
No band will play it.
Vanity, vanity, saith the Bible.
I am telling you
There is one fate
Awaits us all.
Do you doubt it?
One preparation:
Brothers, sisters,
I am here to ask you:
Have you prayed?

Where are your hearts?

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