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Poems From Advent

I’ve been working on a children’s Advent devotional that works through many of the scriptural passages related to the birth and ministry of Jesus. For two readings I attempted to construct poems based on the pertinent Bible passages. The result was not ideal for kids, but I’m too fond of both of these poems to just delete them. So here they are:

The Suffering Servant (Based on Isaiah 53)


The gift-child will grow like a storm-stunted cedar tree:
broken and twisted; gnarled and bare.
Descended from David’s branch?—perhaps—but unworthily:
people who see him just stop and stare


and then turn away. They can’t stand the searing sight
of the sorrow they see in his eyes—his eyes—
his eyes turned on us as we too mock the weary plight
of a someday-messiah who suffers and dies.


“He belongs to the Family of the Serpent!” we’ll jeer.
“He deserves every whip, every punch, every prod,
every curse, every thrust of the cruel Roman soldier’s spear!
This pitiful fool’s being punished by God!”


But the Serpent deceives us: he deceives every proud, proud heart.
It is with our sin the gift-child is forced to contend.
David’s branch will absorb all the poison our offences impart;
God’s full wrath against us upon him will descend.


Through all this, no protest at the unthinkable, paralyzing cost,
no bitter complaint will he hurl at the sky.
He knows God’s beautiful plan to bring his precious lost
children home is worth every priceless tear that he’ll cry.


He’ll spoil the Serpent—defang the dragon and serve up his carcass
for a homecoming feast! The gift-child will rise—
on that day he’ll be glorious!
Jesse’s strong cedar tree seizing the skies!


 Magnificat (Based on Luke 1:46–55)


 My heart’s filled with joy in my Savior!
He rescues his people from strife.
I am blessed beyond all generations!
Beyond Eve, the first mother and wife:
Eve birthed all of the living,
but I birth for the living True Life!


God reverses the plight of his people!
His praises we’ll forever bring!
He delighted poor Ruth with rich Boaz:
He inspired her sad heart to sing!
Ruth mothered the line of King David,
but I mother his grandson and King!


God always keeps all of his promises!
His oath to us stands unflawed.
He promised and gave Sarah a child;
and by his goodness good Sarah was awed.
Sarah bore the child of God’s promise,
but I bear her Promising God!

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