In the United States this weekend is full of holidays (or holy-days), and though they vary in degree of holiness, they all bear the marks of hope, devotion, promise, and of blessing or cursing. Black Friday marks the inauguration of the holiday shopping season, and with its sales and special offers, Black Friday offers the promised blessing of just the right gift at just the right price. Another holiday consists in the many football game rivalries which are scheduled this weekend; the victories or losses will make each team’s and their fan’s seasons. Lastly, this Sunday is the Feast of Christ the King in which the church recognizes its hope of ruling and reigning with Christ in the new heavens and new earth.
Abram in Genesis 14 found himself in the midst of battles, kings, and kingdoms. Rather than receive the blessings of the kings of this world, he instead declined what was offered in hope of a greater blessing. He tithed of the spoils of this world to Melchizedek, King of Salem (whose name means “king of righteousness” and who was “king of peace”). Melchizedek met Abram, received his tithe, and gave him bread and wine so that Abram might be strengthened to resist temptation and continue in faith.
At the end of Hebrews, the author writes that it is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace (Heb 13:9). This is a weekend full of kingdoms and the kings who are their people’s champion and who offer the promise of strength and blessing. This sonnet is about those competing realms and the promise of the King who delivers.
If it’s helpful, you may listen to me read the sonnet via the player below.
Consumption’s cathedrals host The Holy Day
Where pilgrims search stalls for the perfect offering
To consummate their duty on Black Friday,
Join profit and promise, right price and right thing.
This is the week when the pigskin pilgrims seek
To vanquish the evil whom their champion fights
In the gridiron coliseums of Rivalry Week
In hope of a year of restored bragging rights.
On this Sunday the church will stand and sing
“At the Name of Jesus,” “Come Thou Almighty King”
Either full of the spoils of victory’s feasting,
Or hungover, hopeless, stuffed and still keening.
Whosoever you are, as Abram come, dine,
Taste the richest of fare: the King’s bread and wine.
© Randall Edwards 2017