Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Poetry From the Life of Christ--First Installment

So I've started reading through Luke, and figured it might be cool, or at the very least a good exercise, to pen some poetry in response to the text and my own meditations. Here is the first, raw and barely edited, based on Luke chapter four:

Wilderness Temptations

Behold the Christ, the Man, alone!
Limbs drip with weakness, footsteps fall
On rock and hill and bramble wild
Two sandals pasted gray with dust
For forty days He has endured
The devil's e'er persistent thrusts
While looking ever heavenward

Indeed, Belial, presses on
And entertains a desperate want
To cause a stain in Jesus' life
Now at the peak of hunger pains
The serpent coils, about to strike
For he has yet temptations three
Prepared in hell's dark furnace flames
To fell the Son of Man today

At first he plays the sycophant
And sees the pain of hungriness:
"If you are God who made the hills,
And turns the planets by Your hand,
Then take these stones I hold for you
And turn them into loaves of bread.
Loaves fresh and warm with sate the hurt
With sustenance that you deserve."

But Jesus turned, and looking down
Did cast the rocks upon the sand,
And brought to bear a sharper blade:
The perfect, mighty, written Word.
"Man shall not live on bread alone.
What need have I to use these stones?"

The stymied devil stumbled back
Yet battled on with new assaults
He grabbed the hand of Christ and flew
Into the sky o'er all the world
A flash in time of precious lands--
Great kingdoms, armies, broken souls.
"I'll give these nations all to You
At nothing but a simple price:
Just bow to me, proclaim my name
Relieve them from imprisonment."

How dastardly the Devil's plan!
All other men would fall, no doubt.
For how could Jesus pass up this:
A chance to miss the future cross
And reign without the blood and strife?
Perhaps His life He would preserve,
But what salvation could he craft
For Adam's seed on judgment day?

Again, He seeks the ancient Word
"You shall worship the Lord your God,
And He alone deserves the praise.
Now hear Me Satan, hear Me now:
I'll please My Father constantly.
My kingdom comes by other means."
And so the pair fell back to earth
A starving King; the lord of flies

The devil's wits remained intact
As he prepared the final shaft
To blackened God's own holy Son.
The jewel city, named by peace
Could be the scene of Christ's disgrace.
Clutching Him, he winged away
And set the Lord upon a spire,
The temple's pinnacle, alone,
Above the lowly cobblestone.

"If you're the Christ," the devil called
"Then jump, and see what God will do.
He said Himself that 'He'd command
His angels on behalf of you'
And 'On their hands they'll bear you up
In case your foot should strike a rock.'"
While in his mind old Satan thought,
"He must bend to my will at last
When challenged by this holy psalm."

Then Jesus spoke, with heart incensed,
"You tempter, you would dare to speak,
Perverting My own holy Words.
Be gone, I say, for Moses wrote:
'You shall not test the Lord your God.'
And even now I do refuse
To heed on poisoned word from You!
In weakened flesh My Spirit still
Will ever stand, and truth prevail!"

As this temptation passed away
The devil took to flight at last
Across the darkened evening sky
To bide his time in twisted thought
Until another chance should come.

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