This is a sonnet based upon the second temptation of Christ in the wilderness. In this temptation, the devil offers Jesus the kingdoms of the world in exchange for his worship. Though he answers in the moment with, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve'”, he shows the full measure of the extent he was willing to go in that worship and service during his passion week. I imagine Peter’s reflection upon both Jesus’ temptation and his washing his feet at the Last Supper and what that must’ve worked in Peter.

If helpful, you may listen to me read the sonnet below.

The devil sweeping the Son of God away
Up out of the moment, crossing out of time
Showing the kingdoms of every realm and day
And a path to have them without a hill to climb.
“To you, I will give all that you can see
Glory, authority, the kingdoms and their worth
It’s mine to give; it was delivered unto me
If you will worship me, kneel down to the earth.”

Three years later, he did get down upon his knee
Set aside his cloak, took up a towel and bowl
Became a servant’s servant, my master serving me
To wash my dirty feet, cleansing to my soul.
This sweeping down begins his ascent above
To deliver him to his cross, the answer of his love.

© Randy Edwards 2017.
This sonnet is for Christ’s church. If it is helpful, please feel free to copy or reprint in church bulletins, read aloud, or repost. I only ask that an attribution be cited to myself (Randall Edwards) and this blog (backwardmutters.com). Thanks.

artwork: William Blake: ‘The Second Temptation’ from Milton’s “Paradise Regained”, c. 1816-25, object 7 (Butlin 544.7). Pen and water color over pencil on wove paper. Fitz- william Museum, Cambridge, UK. blakearchive.org

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