Our Strength

This is another poem based upon Psalm 126 which is a Song of Ascent.

If it’s helpful, you may listen to me read the poem via the player below.

Our strength is not in “being upbeat”.
Is not our performance record
It’s not our popularity, being greeted on the street
We are not our own, we aren’t our own lord.

Our strength is not our authenticity
Nor our capable application
Not in being efficient, exemplars of productivity.
We stand on a firmer foundation.

We are not strong because we know
Whats to know, posses sophistry’s acumen
We are the tearful who in weeping sow
Who know what it means to be fully human.

Our strength is not in the people like us,
Who like us or who like to fight
We don’t fight to win, to be self-righteous
We fight, to be sincere, walk humbly, upright.

Our strength is not that our families are better
That our marriages and children are enviable
Meeting expectations right down to the letter
Never experiencing any trouble.

Our confidence is not because our pantries are well-stocked
Because our 401Ks are properly diversified
Our hope is not that our comfort in retirement
Will allow shell-seeking at some sunny seaside.

The joy of the Lord, His joy is our strength!
Even so Lord, restore our fortunes!
Make us fruitful! Give us faith to go to any length
Be our sole solace. Be our living portion.

© Randall Edwards 2017
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: detail from an illustration of The Pilgrim’s Progress or Christian’s journey form the City of Destruction in this evil World to the Celestial City; Published July 1, 1813 by J. Pitts No 14 Great St Andrews Street Seven Dials.

Bread of Heaven

Today, I was able to give the message at the Kernersville Community Lent Service at Main Street UMC — an opportunity for which I am grateful. As a part of the message which was on the Bread of Life passage from John 6, I read a spoken word piece based upon that passage.

I am reposting here along with the Soundcloud player so you can hear me read if it’s helpful.

They asked him about the Bread of Heaven.
And so he told them:

“There’s no work that can earn it.
There’s no sin that can’t be overcome by it.
If you are in it you can’t resist it.
If you want it you won’t be denied it.
Moses didn’t give it.
He merely told them about it.
For it was the Father who gave them manna
And in a place they couldn’t make it.
And now, even as you hunger,
I am telling you that you are looking at it.
I am the bread come down from heaven.
The bread which satisfies,
Nourishes, sustains — upon which you can rely,
To which he testifies.
Don’t go spending your work and your toil on food that will spoil.
I am the bread.
The bread of all fulfilling,
The Cosmic Gospel-filling,
The fast-ending feast.
A table set for the least.
I have come to end the slow, hard, soul-famine
And give thrilling, life, joy, and peace.
And all fear ended.
I tell you, I am the bread of heaven.”

Are you hungry yet?
Do you want that filling?
Tired yet of that life you are killing
Yourself for and your spouse and mother and father and friend?
He’s the bread come down from heaven.
The bread of God unleavened.
Pierced and scored in the furnace of affliction,
Bearing for us , God’s malediction.
Cursed for our benediction.
Given for you and your Cosmic Hunger-Thirsting.
Given for you–to you.
It’s him, I’m telling you.

He feeds, nourishes, satisfies, justifies, makes holy and does it solely.
The door is wide open. If to him you’ve been given,
Give in. He’s gonna win
‘Cause the Father has called you–the Spirit will draw you.
Believe in him.
Receive him.
Look to him.
Are you hungry yet?
Afraid you’ve been left out of the feast?
Afraid you’re the least?
He said, “Whoever.”
That’s not you?
He said, “Whoever
Comes, I will never drum out of line
–drive away.
Come while there’s time.”

“I am the bread of heaven,” he said.
“And it’s the will of him who sent me
That I should lose none of those he’s given me.
But I shall win for them a standing in eternity
One long, glorious Olympic victory.
Forever singing the anthem,
‘Worthy, worthy, is the Lamb that was slain!'”
Praise Jesus name.
His love-banner flying overhead in his house of wine.
The love we’ll proclaim and enjoy for all time.
Eternal banquet filling and life and telling:
We believed.
But with the angels shaking,
Stumped, new breaking in a glorious humility
A person quake,
Shaking our heads,
“Who would’ve believed, that he was the bread
Even for me?”

He said, “I am the bread of heaven.”
Do you hunger?
Do you wonder,
“Will I ever be satisfied?”
Believe in the Son who is himself now alive
Even though crucified.
And even if you die or have died,
On the last day you’ll be there
And full for time upon time
With the Bread of Heaven.

© Randy Edwards 2010.
This 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.