Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Bible in Poetry: The Burial to Peter's Sermon

Extracted from the Bible In Poetry

From Genesis to Revelation

The Burial to Peter's Sermon

The Burial & Resurrection
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Joseph of Arimathaea, a Jew, was a good man and a just,
Went to the Governor Pilate, asking for the body of Jesus;
Taking the body from the cross, carefully wrapped in linen,
He laid it in a sepulcher for no man had ever lain therein.

On that preparation day as the Sabbath was drawing near,
The ladies returning home, spices and ointments prepared;
Mary went to the sepulcher very early that Sunday morning,
It was at that time of the day just before the sun starts rising.

Arriving at the sepulcher, noticeably absent was the stone,
This was Mary Magdalene; she had gone there on her own;
She ran to Peter and John and she quickly came to them,
His body is not in the tomb; I don’t know where they lay him.

John had outrun Peter and was before the tomb stooping,
Peter rushed right past him deciding that he would go in;
He observed the linen clothes in the organized way they lay,
The napkin for his head was positioned in a strange way.

John finally went in the tomb; what Mary said He believed,
But that Jesus would rise again, this they hadn’t received;
Then the disciples went away and journeyed to their home,
Mary stayed outside the tomb and there she stood alone.

Before the tomb she turned and there she saw a stranger,
Somehow she did not know this stranger was the Master;
He noticed she was crying; she told him the reason why,
Then she recognized him and she said to him Rabboni.

Then reaching out her hands intending to hold the Master,
He told her touch me not for I must ascend to the Father;
She went to tell the disciples what she did learn and hear,
They had been shut away; of the Jews they were in fear

Sightings of Jesus
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Jesus appeared in their midst; Thomas did not believe,
Jesus gave him the proof; he knew he was not deceived;
Until he had seen the wounds, Jesus he wouldn’t receive,
Blessed are they, Jesus said, who do not see but believe.

Peter became restless and again he longed for the sea,
“I go a fishing,” said he and the others, “we’ll go with thee.”
They fished and they fished but nothing to show that night,
Jesus stood on the shore but he was not the familiar sight.

In reply to a question they explained to him their problem,
Cast the net to the right was the instruction he gave them;
They caught so many fish they were forced to call for help,
To get them hauled to shore they summoned another ship.

The disciple that Jesus loved told Peter it was the Lord,
Peter being naked covered up as soon as he had heard;
When they came to shore there on the beach would find,
Jesus had prepared the meal and invited them to dine.

Now the third time he was seen since rising from the dead,
Do you love me more than these to Peter he had said;
Thrice he asked the question and thrice Peter had replied,
Perhaps he began to consider that time the Lord he denied.
These and many more were the signs that Jesus had done;
But these have been recorded to prove he was God’s son;
Not long after this, his disciples would view his ascension,
A preview of our Lord’s return, on that day will be jubilation.

Forty days post resurrection they having assembled together,
Began to question Jesus about restoring the kingdom of Israel;
He said they didn’t have to know of the times or of the seasons,
That was in the Father’s power and He only knows the reasons.

The Ascension

He told them not to depart but they should stay at Jerusalem,
For when the Holy Spirit would come upon every one of them;
And when he spoken these thing he was taken up in a cloud,
Right before the disciples’ eyes and a small but select crowd.

As they gazed upward to heaven watching Jesus go away,
They were told he would return in like manner some day;
From Olivet to Jerusalem was just a Sabbath day’s journey,
A secret room was where they went and there began to tarry.

Awaiting the Promise
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Peter and James and John, Andrew and Philip and Thomas,
Bartholomew, Matthew, Simon, James the son of Alphaeus;
Judas the brother of James, Mary and several more women,
Continued praying with one accord along with Jesus’ brethren.

Then Peter reminded them no one was in Judas’ position,
So when they had cast their lots Matthias had won the election;
They had been told by Jesus that the Spirit would fill all them,
And they would be witnesses unto him beginning at Jerusalem.

The Promise Fulfilled

They were all in one mind when the day of Pentecost came,
They received the Holy Ghost as the Spirit upon them rained;
None of them was omitted but all were filled at that instance,
They began to speak in tongues as the Spirit gave utterance.

People heard their own language and they were all amazed,
Some said they were drinking; they were in a drunken craze;
Marvelling and wondering at what they had head and seen,
They were puzzled by the fact that these were all Galileans.

There were Parthians and Medes, Elamites and Judeans,
Mesopotamians and Asians, Pamphylians and Egyptians;
Parts of Libya and Cappadocia, Jerusalem, Pontus, Cyrene,
Cretes, Arabians and Romans; one international scene.

Peter’s Sermon
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But Peter with the eleven stood and lifting up his voice said,
These are not drunken men and from Joel’s prophecy read;
That in the last days God will pour His Spirit on all Persons,
Some people shall prophesy while other will see visions.

Blood and fire, vapour of smoke, wonders God will show,
Wonders will be seen in heaven, signs in the earth below;
That great and notable day them that on the Lord shall call,
Will certainly be saved; salvation will be given to them all.

Speaking with authority of his crucifixion and resurrection’
Jesus Christ the Lord was the theme of his presentation;
They that heard him speak were pricked to the very heart,
Repent in the name of Jesus; that’s a good place to start.

Receiving of the Holy Ghost is the promise made to you,
To as many as the Lord shall and to all your children too;
Save yourselves said he from this untoward generation,
Accept the word of the Lord and receive your salvation.

Stewart Russell © 2013

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Bible in Poetry: Gethsemane to Calvary

Extracted from the Bible In Poetry

From Genesis to Revelation

Gethsemane to Calvary

In Gethsemane
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Imploring his disciples to watch, he prayed in Gethsemane,
There he prayed to his Father, “Take this cup from me,”
No doubt the Father was sharing in the anguish of His Son,
“Nevertheless,” He would continue, “Let Thy will be done.”

Then he came to his disciples and found them fast asleep,
They could not watch with him one hour, neither vigil keep;
“Rise and let’s be going,” he said “the hour is now at hand,”
Lurking near was Judas who would betray the Son of man.

The Arrest

Forthwith he came to Jesus with a great multitude in train,
Sent by the priest and elders the plan was now made plain;
At Judas’ kiss the Lord asked my friend why did you come,
Next cruel hands arrested him; they took away God’s Son.

One of them with Jesus had severed the high priest’s ear,
Jesus told him put up his sword restoring the ear with care.
He could pray to the Father for protection if it were his will,
But all this was done that the scriptures might be fulfilled.

Then all the disciples forsook him; all of them had fled,
Even Peter following afar off had forgotten what he said;
The priests sought false witnesses; none they ever found,
But still they trumped up charges even though unsound.

They asked, “Are you the Christ; are you really God’s Son?”
You will see me later said he coming in the clouds of heaven.
The high priest had rent his clothes for he was very angry,
“He has spoken blasphemy,” said he, “Of death he is guilty.”

  Peter’s Denial

As Peter sat in the palace a damsel came to him saying,
“You were with the Galilean; it’s no use your denying.”
When he went into the porch he did meet another there,
Yet he denied the second time; Peter was full of fear.

The third time Peter was accused, curse and swear did he,
On Peter’s third denial the cock had crowed immediately;
“Before the cock crow twice,” Peter remembered instantly,
And as Peter went out of the porch he was weeping bitterly.

Jesus’ Trial

When they had bound Jesus they led him away to Pilate,
When Judas saw him condemn he was in an awful state;
The money he tried to return the priests and elders refused,
So to go and hang himself was the way Judas did choose.

The elders then took counsel; with the money bought a field,
They had taken this decision; together it had been sealed;
Called the potter’s field because it was paid for with blood,
Just thirty pieces of silver was the price at which it stood.

Pilate’s first question to Jesus: “Art thou the king of the Jews?”
Jesus said “Thou sayest” and all the other questions refused.
Then Pilate said to the people, “I find no fault with this man.”
Then sent him off to Herod after he learnt he was a Galilean.

Herod had wanted to see Jesus for quite a long season,
He had heard a lot of him and the miracles he had done;
To the questions Herod asked he answered not a word,
Herod must have wondered at all the things he had heard.

Herod and his men of war had Jesus mocked and ridiculed,
Then he sent him back to Pilate as though he were a fool;
He placed on him a royal robe; no longer would he bother,
Pilate and he at war before now they were mates together.

Pilate then called together all the rulers and the priests,
I find no fault, he said, I’ll flog him and have him released;
But of necessity someone must be freed for the feast,
They cried crucify Jesus so Barabbas’ jail term ceased.
But Barabbas was a robber, an unrepentant terrorist,
His release for Jesus was merely a farce of justice;
Pilate heeded the people’s “We have no king but Caesar,”
So he released to them one guilty of sedition and murder.

Pilate was very disturbed by a dream his wife had told,
“He is a just man,” she said, but Pilate had to be bold;
“What must I do with Jesus, he who is called the Christ?”
"Crucify him! Crucify him!" That was their form of justice.

As Caiaphas once reminded, someone must be sacrificed,
Thus just as God would have it Jesus must pay the price;
As they led him out they laid hands on Simon of Cyrene,
Making him carry the cross as support for the Galilean.
The Crucifixion

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Crucified with two thieves, hanging from the middle cross,
God had paid the ransom price for His world that was lost;
Father forgive them he said for they know not what they do,
His death covered our shame, crucified for me and you.

Truly I say to you today you will be with me in paradise,
One malefactor was a beneficiary the other was unwise.
“Woman this is your son,” he said, “Son this is your mother.”
Even from the cross, for his absence, he provided another.

“My God, My God,” he asked, “Why have you forsaken me?”
Jesus experienced this anguish; hell need not be our destiny;
Creator of the rivers and the sea yet he had said, “I thirst.”
Suffering death by crucifixion he as such became a curse.

The greatest words ever heard, “It is finished,” Jesus said,
Some do say the devil laughed now that Jesus was dead;
He would rue this fact for he knew not what lay ahead,
For Jesus soon would rise, leaving the grave clothes in bed. 
“Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit,” Jesus shouted,
Here a shout of assurance, to the Father he was committed;
Should have reminded all the rulers and Pilate the Governor,
That laying down his life he takes it up; Jesus is the Creator.

Now when the Roman centurion had seen what was done,
He too would conclude that of a truth this was God’s Son.
But all of Jesus’ acquaintance then followed from afar off,
And the far off women too, they stood beholding the cross.

Stewart Russell © 2013

Friday, August 07, 2015

Leaving God's Basic Template: That's Queer!

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Oh dear! Oh dear! What have they gone and done?
Oh dear! Oh dear! What a travesty under God’s sun!
Showing scant respect for the entire family
Setting new record lows for human immorality.

Can you really believe it?  Discarding Adam and Eve
In exchange for a new family built on Norman and Steve
Or just as abnormally for Mary Jane and Emily
Living together and pretending to be a family.

A whole lot of talk and discussion to and fro
Then legally deciding God’s design really must go-
A courtroom of persons born of a woman and man
Moved to take family completely out of God’s hand.

Had the majority of them stopped to contemplatively reflect
They would have moved swiftly to unanimously reject
And take heed of God’s design as they sensibly project
Rather than a verdict that this law we must accept.

I find it hard to believe that such intelligent minds
Could concertedly find themselves in such a bind
To legalize marriage between two of the same kind,
Decreeing all and sundry must accept its bitter rind.

Out of the assembled panel of legal luminaries
Only four stood up for truth and human dignity-
As a good brother dutifully drew to my attention
Certainly such lights in the darkness deserve a mention.

It appears to me that as they sat to deliberate
Just four of them paused to thoughtfully evaluate
The fallout that would attend each and every plate
Simply because the others voted to open the floodgate.

Be informed that this matter touches each and everyone
And life as we once knew it is now practically gone;
Exchanging God’s plan for a very cheap thrill
No amount of water now will help us swallow this pill…

Fallout number one is the certain depopulation
That will definitely decrease the coming generation,
For how will two of the same be able to generate
Unless they turn to opposites in order to procreate?
And since children are an essential part of the family
What right do they have to someone else’s fertility?
Sperm and egg that is a man and woman thing
Should not be given to any two in a same sex fling…

I vote that if two of the same want to live together
Let them both work together to produce another.
Any court that accedes to their unreasonable demand
Is not worth the paper that carries that command.

In all the animal kingdom there’s male and female
But I guess some may say this argument is now stale,
However, let me state again and let the record show
That this is God’s design for those who still don’t know.

Let me say before I leave this matter though
That depopulation is an agenda, I’m sure that it’s so,
What better way to achieve it than by such a rule
For same sex unions can’t produce so that is cool.

By now you and I should have clearly deduced
That this law favours those unable to reproduce,
For same sex unions is the sure way to reduce
Future generations and we have signed that truce.

Let’s chat about discrimination for a moment or two
As to this everyone is guilty both me and you;
In every choice we make all of us discriminate-
We choose what things to like and what to hate.

However, it baffles me when minorities are given
Rights over majorities and with new laws driven
To amend the established law as they put in place
A law that removes majority rights without a trace.

“This law wouldn’t affect those who do not agree.”
This was how some tried to placate you and me.
It is merely to provide a legal framework for the LGBT
To live out their orientation under the right of equality…

Consider the hapless minister who refuses to honour
This law that has been passed in the LGBT favour
Refusing to join a same sex couple in holy matrimony
Could well find himself out of a job and out of money.

Think of the doctor who’s now required to perform
A change of sex operation although not the norm
But refuses to do so since it was never his practice
And ends up before the law courts, another on the list.

Take for example: it would now be an illegal act
To refuse to render a service or engage in a contract
To provide accommodation for a same sex couple
Or even bake their cake would be asking for trouble.

You see while ordinarily I could refuse to comply
And decide to whom I sell and from whom I buy,
That would now only be all right with heterosexuals
But certainly not in the case of same sex couples.

You see this now constitutes a crime of discrimination
When ordinarily it would just have been a preference
To trade or to do business with whomever you want
But… refusing a same sex couple will come back to haunt.

Before it appeared that the majority was ruling,
Now society is changing and so in need of retooling-
Democracy now decides that the fewer is the better,
The minority vote determines the law and the letter.

Then there is the matter of the rights of the child
That the law had sworn to uphold but now has denied
In its urgent haste to honour this strange request
The child has been thrown into a peculiar… mess.

In some cases foster homes have had to be closed
Resisting the authorities was the way they chose.
The idea of two mothers or two fathers they clearly resent
And objected to placing children in a same sex arrangement.

Within the close confines of the nuclear family
The infant distinguishes between Mummy and Daddy.
Imagine the difficulty that child will have then
When the parents are two females or even two men.

Will little John Doe have two mummies or daddies?
Or will little Mary Jane have two daddies or mummies?
Which of the two will perform the role of motherhood
Or change the roles from time to time? I guess they would.

Which gender would these children eventually be?
Which of the two parents would they model, pray, tell me?
Why didn’t the authorities stop to consider such anomalies
Given the entitlement of children to have stable families?

And what of the situation where you don’t know better
And you address the child’s father but it’s the mother,
And you are harshly reprimanded for such an offense
Then suffer great embarrassment having no defense.

“This is my mummy, not my daddy,” the child may correct,
“Please teacher I must inform you I’m extremely upset
And so is my mother too, for she really didn’t expect
That you couldn’t tell the difference when you first met…

But didn’t someone consider the moral implications?
This sordid act is really worst than discrimination
For God is displeased with those that indulge therein
For same sex intercourse is one of the abominable sins.

Some intellectuals argue that some were born gay,
Nature’s design is to blame, they characteristically say.
Even if that is true and there’s no proof to show that it is so
One must remember we are all in a fallen state here below.

So because some have a propensity for a certain behaviour
Does that mean that they should be granted special favour
To practice that activity though it’s morally wrong
And laws be implemented to encourage such a throng?

Can’t we envisage a society that has lost its value system?
Give them whatever they want even if it kills them-
A law to make right wrong and wrong right
And a sworn duty to punish any that against such fight.

There’s an oncoming tsunami but it is no use to run,
We have exchanged good practice for short-lived fun,
Erotic and erratic behavior have replaced common sense
So the minority can have fun at the majority’s expense.

What chaos!  What trouble!  What utter confusion!
What a sick world that’s in need of a spiritual transfusion!
HIV right here among us as Hell’s Invitation Veiled
An Assured Inherent Death Sentence AIDS clearly displayed!

But there is a CURE: Christ the Universal Reliable Escape!
God has provided for everyone who would choose to take
Hold of the offer of salvation that is in Christ alone
Whose blood effects the transfusion and for sin did atone.

Refuse this great offer and we could only ask, “What is next?”
We’ve had promiscuous heterosexual and same gender sex.
Next could be pedophilia, bestiality and maybe necrophilia
And whatever else might be listed on the one world’s agenda.

That we are in for a rough ride is clearly how it appears
More laws to eliminate human rights and increase our fears
For as time passes human rights will be for a selective few
Who will live as they please, and do whatever they wish to do.

This takes me back to George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”
And “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, and a little boy’s alarm
The animals enacted the very hardships that the humans did
And the Emperor before his subjects behind nothing hid.

Another courtroom, another parliament, another poll,
Another law, another enactment… and a modified role,
An unveiling of Satan’s strategies… just as Jesus foretold,
His offer might glitter but remember it’s not genuine gold.

Stewart Russell © 2015

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