273

Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

What is really happening when we receive Communion–when we take the Lord’s Supper in faith?  What was happening when the disciples shared it for the first time?

EUCHARIST

Once again the Lord of Heaven

Stoops with towel around His waist,

Breaks the Bread made without leaven,

Watches Judas leave in haste.

 

Once again the Lord of Glory

Lifts the cup to bless the Wine.

We who reenact the Story

Seek the Savior in the Sign.

 

More than just an illustration,

Though it is but Wine and Bread:

This, the Spirit’s proclamation

Of the Holy One who bled.

It is more than just a symbol

Though it is but Bread and Wine,

For the Spirit flows, as nimble

As the sap within the vine.

 

More than just a silent Letter

Lying dormant on the Page,

This is Truth that breaks its fetters,

Vaults the intervening age.

 

Words like Transubstantiation?

Too precisian to define

How the Lord takes up His station

In the Bread and in the Wine.

Although we, like doubting Thomas,

Need to see the Hands and Side,

He is gracious with the Promise:

“Come, behold them where they hide.”

 

It is more than just a token,

More than just a word about;

With this Bread, we must be broken,

Like this Wine, our lives poured out.

 

In that mysterious oblation

Faith is strengthened and restored.

With refocused adoration,

Saints rejoice to meet the Lord.

So again the Lord of Glory

Lifts the Cup to bless the Wine.

We who reenact the Story

See the Savior in the Sign.

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.  And look for Williams’ very latest books: Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis (Baltimore: Square Halo Books, 2016) and “An Encouraging Thought”: The Christian Worldview in the Writings of L. R. R. Tolkien (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2018)! Order from the publisher or Amazon.

Bethlehem

Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

While Christmas is still fresh in our minds, let us ponder the fact that Bethlehem in Hebrew (Beth Lechem) means “House of Bread.”  And so, some two millennia ago, it came to be.  The poem was first published in New Oxford Review, Jan.-Feb., 1982, p. 31.

Not the actual scene of the manger, but one in Bethlehem much like it.

Bethlehem

Sonnet XXXII

Bethlehem, Beth Lechem, House of Bread:

Your white stones waited silent in the sun

For long years (long as people feel them run).

The prophets wrote no more; the Rabbis read

The old words and unraveled every thread

And found your secret out:  You were the one.

Yet when the time can and the thing was done,

They spent the night at home asleep in bed.

 

Oh, they could put their fingers on the pages

That told the old fox Herod it was you.

But those uncircumcised, stargazing sages

Came first, and shepherds, wet with evening dew

Had long since been there, and had all been fed

In Bethlehem, Beth Lechem, House of Bread.

The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ other books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.  And don’t miss his newest offerings:  Deeper Magic: The Theology Behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis (Baltimore: Square Halo Books, 2016), and An Encouraging Thought: The Christian Worldview in the Writings of J. R. R. Tolkien (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2018).

CLXXVII

Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

There are no true paradoxes in Christianity because the God of the Bible is a God who cannot lie.  Therefore, no real contradiction can be so about Him (or anything He made).  But the richness and the depths of Christian truth are shown by the number of seemingly incompatible realities it manages to pull together into a harmony greater than the sum of its parts.

 

CONJUNCTION

At the fulcrum of the Cross

A host of concepts meet:

The Profit hidden in the Loss,

The Victory in Defeat.

Christ's Entry into Jerusalem by Hippolyte Flandrin c. 1842

The Acceptance, the Rejection;

The Worship and the Jeers;

The Freedom in Election,

The Ecstasy in Tears.

Crucifixion-Glass

The Mercy and the Justice;

The Human, the Divine;

Pilate;  Judas;  Jesus–

The broken Bread, the Wine.

LambVictor

 

The Maker of Orion,

The Victim of the Scam;

The Meekness of the Lion,

The glory of the Lamb.

aslan narnia snow winter

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.  And look for Williams’ very latest book, Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis, from Square Halo Books!

Donald T. Williams, PhD

Book-CSLTheology-Cover

Bethlehem

Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

            This was a fairly early sonnet, but I still think it’s one of my best.  It stems from the fact that Bethlehem in Hebrew (Beth Lechem) means “House of Bread.”  And so, some two millennia ago, it came to be.  The poem was in New Oxford Review, Jan.-Feb., 1982, p. 31.

 BethlehemStar2

Bethlehem

Sonnet XXXII

Bethlehem, Beth Lechem, House of Bread:

Your white stones waited silent in the sun

For long years (long as people feel them run).

The prophets wrote no more; the Rabbis read

The old words and unraveled every thread

And found your secret out:  You were the one.

Yet when the time can and the thing was done,

They spent the night at home asleep in bed.

Oh, they could put their fingers on the pages

That told the old fox Herod it was you.

But those uncircumcised, stargazing sages

Came first, and shepherds, wet with evening dew,

Had long since been there, and had all been fed

In Bethlehem, Beth Lechem, House of Bread.

Cartoon-BethStar

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest book from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.

Donald T. Williams, PhD