Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Disciples' Song - I John 1:1

Kurt Strassner (pronounced "Court") is a good friend and the pastor of a very blessed people at Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church in Cincinnati, OH. I didn't know he was also a poet par excellence.

I highly commend to you Kurt's sermons which can also be found on the church's website - especially his five part series on the church.

The Disciples' Song
(based on 1 John 1:1)

1. What Was from the Beginning

As darkness hovered o’er the deep

And earth was still a miry heap;

Before the Dippers hung in place

Or moon was lit with manly face,

And man had not from clay been wrought

And paradise was just a thought;

Before the dawn by sun was kissed

Our blessed Christ still did exist.

Before the devil scoffed His might

And led his angels in their flight,

Or left his tracks on virgin sod

And bade man shake his fist at God;

Before man’s fall was yet fulfilled,

Before His blood must needs be spilled,

Before all flesh in sin was damned,

Christ waited, slain, the precious Lamb.

When Abram lived in ancient Ur,

Where nomads dressed in cloaks of fur,

God plucked him up like desert rose

And led him to the land He chose.

He promised him a mighty clan

While Abram still was just one man.

Before his offspring God did bless,

Through faith Christ was his righteousness.

It did not take the fall of man,

Nor promise made to Abraham,

Nor God’s creation turned to vice—

He always was and is the Christ.

2. What We Have Heard

Our hands were blistered bloody red

From mending nets where fish had fled.

Our temples beat like warring drums.

Our ears were filled with seaside hums

Of market slang and bickering

And haughty laughs and snickering.

But then above the deaf’ning noise,

A gift of God: The Master’s voice.

The beauty of “Come follow Me”

Made boats and nets and fish and sea

Seem like a chasing after wind

Given the chance to follow Him

Whose words could sting like whirling sand

“Gouge out your eye! Cut off your hand!”

and even harsher phrases said,

“Repent or you shall all be dead.”

But harshness always dripped with grace

As sweet as honey to the taste.

A word could meet a beggar’s need

Or splint a bruised and wilting reed.

That voice robust with sovereign might

Became a salve for blinded sight,

A balm for leper’s rotten skin,

A flood to cleanse the stain of sin.

This word that caused out hearts to burn

Will never shade, nor shift, nor turn.

We testify to what we heard—

The Son of God, the Living Word.

3. What We Have Seen with Our Eyes

He grew up as a tender shoot.

He wore no jewels, nor sash, nor suit.

His clothes were of the working trade—

Sturdy, clean, and slightly frayed.

A carpenter with hands rubbed raw

From gripping hammer, adze, and saw.

This Nazarene, a faithful son

Was also the Anointed One.

Before our eyes He fed a host:

Five thousand men, two fish, five loaves.

With gentle hands He felt at ease

To bounce the toddlers on His knees,

Or tickle them and watch their grins,

Or wipe the crumbs off of their chins.

He was a Shepherd for His flock;

A gentle, kind, but solid Rock.

This Man the leaders put to test.

With blackened hearts they tried their best

To lasso Him with Moses’ Law,

But in Him they could find no flaw.

And when He did not take their bait,

A story they did fabricate—

“He does not do as Caesar said!”

“O Pilate, we would have Him dead.”

And so we watched His form be marred—

In cowardice, watched from afar.

On that good day we saw God’s grace,

Eyes fixed on Him who took our place.

4. What Our Hands Handled

This one who washed our sinful feet

Was now wrapped in a corpse’s sheet.

But mangled flesh and strangled screams

And bloodsoaked garments filled our dreams.

But then burst Mary in the room—

“I have been to the Master’s tomb!

He is not dressed in fun’ral shroud.

I kissed His hand. He spoke out loud!”

Alive, He came to us that night;

And robed in garments glorious white.

Our hearts whose light had been so dim,

Burst open wide to worship Him.

We bowed our knees with trembling souls

To kiss His feet—and felt the holes

Where flesh was to that wood affixed

And blood with rust and splinters mixed.

Unworthy men touched hands and side

Where God’s own wrath had been applied.

Those wounds in hands and feet and head,

Our nightmares while his frame lay dead,

No longer red like aged wine,

But firm and white, as healed by time.

This truth now touched our fingertips—

“Death could not hold Him in its grip!”

Our hearts were filled with holy hush.

The One whom God was pleased to crush

With Roman lash, and stake, and sword

Was in our arms, the risen Lord.

Thanks Kurt!

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