Revelation Poetic Commentary

I’ve collected all the poems written as I preached through Revelation through the summer and fall in an audio playlist. You can listen here. Below you can find the texts and accompanying audio files as well.

Every Tear

A Villanelle
based on Revelation 21:2-4 “And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

When the holy city descends from the skies
And the dingy blanches before brilliant white,
He will wipe every tear from their eyes.

The tears of sadness, regret, shame, and lies
Wet no longer those standing upon Zion’s height
When the holy city descends from the skies.

In the heavy crush of holy, death now dies;
Preserved through the shadow of that dark night
He will wipe every tear from their eyes.

In consummated glory, every creature cries,
“Worthy is the Lamb! Irresistible His might!”
When the holy city descends from the skies.

And for those who in weakness did not despise
But bore graciously every wounding and slight
He will wipe every tear from their eyes.

And beholding in joy where time no longer flies,
Our earth-born blindness shall give way to sight
When the holy city descends from the skies
And He wipes every tear from our eyes.

(c) Randy Edwards
Artwork: detail of the revelation of the heavenly Jerusalem to St John, Add MS 42555, f. 79v

The Feast

Revelation 19:17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, “Come, gather for the great supper of God, 18 to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.”

Veiled in coronal aura the sun-angel calls
Down the circling arc of the carrion feast—
Consumers consumed by their own human thrall
From restraint given over, wretchedness now released.
Upon what do we feed when discomforted or pained?
Do we numb our realities, medicate our fears?
Do we jealously eye where blessing has rained—
Wishing deprivation in envy leaving others only tears?
But One came who did not take the analgesic relief;
Did not take the wine and myrrh but received faithfully
The meal set before him: the cup of wrath and grief
And fed upon affliction, drank the dregs — and patiently.
For our strength and comfort in this world of pain and sin
The Lamb gives us bread and wine to feed ourselves on him.

(c) Randy Edwards

artwork from moliero.com

Any Length

Based On
Revelation 18:4 “Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues”;
and
Hebrews 11:8-10 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.

At a word Abraham uprooted and left
Not knowing whither he was taking his wife
Who when told of the promise sneeringly laughed
As if they in twilight could beget a new life.
Yet by faith in His calling he did forsake
Obediently got out, went to any length
In search of a city which trouble could not shake
But rested on God’s plan, provision, and strength.
And The Seed of Abraham got out too —
Wandering the world’s wilderness healing its woes,
Calling others away from boats, booths, and tombs
To leave their own homes, to follow where he goes.
And what shall I do when he calls out to me,
Promising to bless if I follow where he lead?

(c) Randy Edwards

Artwork: Abram Journeying into the Land of Canaan (engraving by Gustave Doré from the 1865 La Sainte Bible)

The Seven Bowls

Revelation 16:1 Then I heard a loud voice from the temple telling the seven angels, “Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God.”

God buffets to waken Babylon the Great
From her self-satisfied sanctimonious weight
To shake and rattle and to de-create
To awaken the lost from her slumber.
Unmoved she continues to rage and cry
Of the unjust hardness of life under the sky
Never considering, to think to ask why
She is never satisfied with the plunder
And so the predatory harlot she plays
Stalking her lovers as a lioness does prey
To receive in due time her punishment that day
Announced by Thrice Throned Thunder
My foundations the Lord’s lightening shakes
My Great Pride splits in thirds with shattering soulquakes-
Cursing while hail falls upon my brow to break
That I may receive the finished wonder.

(c) Randy Edwards