Everlasting Loving-Kindness (Psalm 136)

When God first formed the earth from darkest void:
When first the stars in choir sang for joy:
When primal light by His word was employed:
The loving-kindness of the Lord endures.

When morning sun awakes in breaking day:
When oceans crash in waves of foaming spray:
When Autumn frost on new-mown valleys lay:
The loving-kindness of the Lord endures.

When men of God were bowed in great distress:
When wicked cursed them, killed them, and oppressed:
When many sealed their martyrdom in death:
The loving-kindness of the Lord endures.

When some were served in pieces to the beasts:
When some were burned for what our Jesus preached:
When their dead corpses choked out every street:
The loving-kindness of the Lord endures.

When we are killed for preaching Jesus’ name:
When we escape to preach again the same:
When men convert or curse us to our shame:
The loving-kindness of the Lord endures.

When Egypt felt the very wrath of God:
When Babylon was smote down by His rod:
When Rome was razed unto the very sod:
The loving-kindness of the Lord endures.

When Lucifer was cast down from the stars:
When the Red Sea’s great waters split apart:
When Peter walked out free from prison bars:
The loving-kindness of the Lord endures.

When once we wandered in the wilderness:
When we were fed with bread from heaven blessed:
When God used pain to teach us righteousness:
The loving-kindness of the Lord endures.

When God the Son in death bowed down His head:
When earth and heaven trembled in their dread:
When Jesus rose victorious from the dead:
The loving-kindness of the Lord endures.

When He wrote our names in His Book of Life:
When he betrothed us as the Bride of Christ:
When we experience times of joy or strife:
The loving-kindness of the Lord endures.

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Telemachus — or The Power of One Man

This cry did echo through the air,
From Colosseum rise.
I stood in morbid fascination,
As did the crows and flies.

Before me stretched a scene of blood,
Where dead and dying groan.
The gladiators greased in gore,
But none would die alone.

The winner only held the field,
The vanquished all around.
Most were dead – and cruelly marred,
But one lived on the ground.

Beneath his foe the wounded lay
He gasping bloody breaths,
The winner looking to the crowd,
Who screamed and wailed for “Death!”

Then as the winner raised his sword,
I gaped in sickened awe.
This evil scene of sin must stop!
It breaks fair Heaven’s Law.

But how could this colossal sport,
Come now unto an end?
There must be some one who will stand,
And innocence defend.

Then my conscience pricks me hard,
“Will you not then speak out?”
But can one man stop these great games?
Too futilely small no doubt.

And so I watched in silence as,
This sword made fatal arch.
Too fearful and ashamed was I,
Then one beside me starts.

“Halt these bloody games!” he cries,
“In Jesus name, now stop!”
This monk, then pushing through the crowd,
To the arena drops.

“Halt these bloody games!” he cries,
And raising up his hands,
He thrusts the winner’s sword aside,
So, Telemachus stands.

The crowd was silenced by this man –
One man – there in the pit.
In his face the Lord shone forth,
“In Jesus’ name, repent!”

There was no violence in his hand,
So holy was his act.
The crowd would not abide his word,
And with one heart attack.

With hands of hate they seized the monk,
And dragged him to the street,
Then they stoned Telemachus there,
No mercy in their heat.

This blameless monk they beat and cursed,
With stones they laid him low.
He did not fight, but only prayed,
The killed him on the road.

The suns set and the vultures came,
To feast upon his bones.
I, weeping, did not know that night,
His words reached to the throne.

Next day the emperor banned the games,
No longer did they run.
Forever the arena closed,
So great the power of one.

There is no system then so great,
That never can be banned.
One righteous man may throw it down,
Pray, will you be that man?

Orders: From the Returning King

The king returned, in power rise,
To don again his earthly guise.
The women took the herald’s call,
And ran to town to tell men all.

Some others saw the King appear,
At first they fell and quaked with fear,
But now they to the rebels fly,
to make quick gains and sell a lie.

The rulers and the soldiers leave,
The King – their King they should receive.
The King instead from local towns,
Raised men from those who would bow down.

Untrained and lay, yet faithful still,
That sword-less army on the hill.
They stood to listen and obey,
The marching-orders He would say.

Zion burned, the priests abased.
Barbarians laid Rome to waist.
The others, lowly, lord-filled, men,
Survived to preach His words again.