As many as they were before

“I will whistle for them and gather them in, for I have redeemed them, and they shall be as many as they were before.
Zechariah 10:8 ESV

It has occurred to me
That the first garden and the last garden
Were always the plan

And the glory of the last garden
From its bejeweled walls
To the majesty of its tiniest leaf vein
Is brighter, deeper, more profound and poignant
Than it would have been
Without the serpent

Not because he was anything
But he believed he was making something
Something big
Yet in the end what had been intended
For very good
Turns out to be inevitable
And very good
And like the serpent never was

And even – and he’ll hate this –
Better
As if he’d never slithered

Because of the middle garden
And the blood-like sweat
And a cup drained
By one who did not slay the garden invaders
But submitted to their serpent whips
And venomed nails
And sweated out blood like thick rain

So to gather
All of his
Without one of them lost

Again

Without one of them lost

A snake-bitten people looked up at the exalted one
Crowned in thorned fangs
and were healed

And in the end
The serpent
Got nothing at all

Shaken

Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the Lord . Work, for I am with you, declares the Lord of hosts, according to the covenant that I made with you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not. For thus says the Lord of hosts: Yet once more, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land. And I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the Lord of hosts. The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the Lord of hosts.'” Haggai 2:4‭c-‬9 ESV

The covenant out of Egypt was a covenant of people-hood and adoption. Out of the plagued and shaken old kingdom to a Kingdom of priests, yet wandering, wandering, wandering from the furnace to a milk and honey-flow garden.

Don’t be afraid, God’s Spirit hasn’t departed. He has shaken and is shaking the heavens, the earth, the lands, the seas, the nations. All will fall before an unshakable Kingdom whose Sovereign rode into the town of the Temple, veiled power in humility, seated on a donkey. He shook the temple, small and close, in cleansing, righteous rage.

The Lord owns the treasures of the earth, and the cattle on a thousand hills. His Temple will be filled with glory as those he treasures come forth from every nation, drawn by the Advent, the Incarnation, the Atonement delivered on the day the earth shook, the Veil tore and the Blood flowed. Drawn by the Resurrection that fulcrumed the center of all history as a tomb door shook open, exploding the seals as hell shook apart

Out of the shaken ground, in an upper room tongue-lashed in bright flame, the true unshaken Temple stood as the wind shook the shutters and the tongues reeled back the Babel curse, the un-scattering together of a shaken-apart people.

The Temple.

Now in divine diaspora dispersed among billions of Spirit tabernacles world-wide, walking the earth in community unshaken by distance, in veiled glory, from glory to glory, as we await the final shaking when our beautiful King returns, and the shaking is fulfilled, and garden peace reigns once again.

Righteousness and rescue

The Bible
God’s word
The Word
The Word made flesh
The Man
The Word, the Man, enacting
In flesh, in bones
in veins, in muscles, in neurons
The righteousness, the rescue
Spoken of, performed
For centuries
Under the shadow of Rome
Spoken in a new tongue
Once unknown, in Greek, new languages, new customs
In lights fueled by unquenchable oil
By sad rivers in Babylon
Besieged, blinded, childless
In scenes of unspeakable horror
Yet with hope in the lament
Morning, new morning, in the night
Righteousness and rescue
Spoken of in the word
Performed
In a new temple
In a tent
Milk and honey
Across a river
Across the wilderness
One dark night in Egypt
Hope within lament
Lament and cacophony
A bush burns
Righteousness spoken
Wonders performed
Hungry bellies filled
Reconciliation
Hope in famine
The Word
A family
A flood
A bloody stone
A tree
But not alone
Righteousness and rescue
Now in flesh appearing
Carrying in his body
The power, the surge
of righteousness and rescue
Now in the written word
Now in the living Word
Become flesh
At last