This sonnet is a bit reworked. (Is any poem ever finished?) It is based on Hebrews 7:1-8:1 in which the author of Hebrews explains the priestly ministry of Jesus Christ in light of the priest and king, Melchizedek, who appears in Genesis 14 blessing Abraham and giving him bread and wine.
Of all the weekends of the year, this weekend embodies the clash between the city of man and the city of God. For the church in the United States, Thanksgiving Thursday is coupled with Christ the King Sunday. This culmination leads to the recapitulation of the church calendar in which the church returns to imagining a time when the coming of the Messiah was only a promise and his people waited expectantly for the coming of the King of Peace.
In between those two days, the city of man holds two of its highest holidays: Black Friday (did you know Google has Black Friday as a US Holiday?) and college football’s rivalry week; these two days mark the beginning of the holy season of consumption: (me getting stuff for you; and my team giving it to them). James K.A. Smith book, Desiring the Kingdom first exposed me to the spiritual formation taking place in our cultural liturgies. The city of man has its offer of promise and hope of peace as well. If you give the perfect gift, you’ll be blessed; if you buy it at the perfect price, you’ll be blessed; if your team wins, you’ll be blessed, etc….
The question begging to be answered this weekend is, what and who will bring us lasting peace and satisfy the desires of heart?
If it’s helpful, you may listen to me read the sonnet via the player below.
Consumption’s cathedrals host The Holy Day
When pilgrims seek out their perfect offering,
Consummate their duty on Black Friday
Wed profit and promise, right price and thing.
Saturday brings what pigskin pilgrims seek
Teams do battle, win despair or delight
In the coliseums of Rivalry Week
For the victor’s joy of bragging rights.
And on Sunday the church will stand and sing
“At the Name of Jesus,” “Come, ‘mighty King”
Full of the spoils of the holiday’s feasting,
Or hungover, hapless, stuffed but keening.
Whoever you are, to the King come, dine,
Taste the richest of fare: His bread and wine.
© Randall Edwards 2018.
This poem 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: Nicolas, French painter, French enamelist, 16th century