Perseverance of the Faith (Hebrews 10:32-36)

Let not faith grow frailer in growing more old,
But fervent – fermenting like finely-aged wine.
Let pressure of prison and pain make us bold.
The fire of trials makes gold more refined.

Remember the saints who have suffered before,
Those slaughtered and sawed through and set on by beasts.
Courageously they kept the call of the Lord,
And God turned to glory each one of their griefs.

Pursue then the promise of God certainly;
Your faith is the substance of what we received.
And Christ will come quickly, crowned with victory,
To bring back His bride who through all still believes.

Seven Lamentations and Their Answers

I call a curse on my conception day,
That birth would burn with blackness over-born.
Destruction unto death is my desire,
Then I’d have never seen the evil of this earth!
Surely had I the chance to change and chose,
I would decide to die upon that day,
But see my birth: my suffering started there.
And so I lament.

“But I have chosen birth that you might live;
Do not despise the sacred gift I give.
I chose that I be born into your earth,
And knew your suffering at all its worst.”

But You are Lord, and not a lowly man,
Could You then sympathize in suffering?
What evil could eternal ever feel?
Or can infinity feel loss and longing?
Is pain of parting in Your omnipresence?
That’s absurd.

“And yet in everything I was a man,
All pain and suffering I understand.
For I experienced all, and worse than you.
And so My pity is completely true.”

What comfort can I find in cosmic life?
When friends will fail — faithless fraternity.
I asked support, and solace for my soul,
They stabbed me in the back.

“And even I had friends betray My trust.
You can’t react by closing off your love.
But I will comfort you – your friends are means,
All comfort ultimately comes from Me.”

But were a measure made of all my woes,
And weighed against the world, the scale would show!
I’m comfortless, and therefore do I cry,
As for Yourself, You have forsaken me,
Or was this desolation done by You?
And so I complain.

“Yet I have suffered pain beyond compare,
And never did I speak in my despair.
Tho’ pain should lead to cries of righteous grief,
Oh, never let your tongue complaining speak!”

Perhaps if I had marred myself in pain,
Then I could bear the burden of my plight,
Perhaps in death my rest will be revealed,
For grief has never gone into the grave.
There’s my hope!

“Your hope is not in your own death or pain,
But in My death – yet Mine was not in vain,
For then I conquered death in victory,
There is your hope of rest eternally.”

Yet man was made of molded, mortal mud.
And he will vanish as the fleeting flower.
His life is hard, and hardly to be born in whole.
As of a slave who cannot sit in shade,
What little can he do? But then life leaves,
Finally he sleeps.

“It’s true that life is very shortly lived,
So do not waste a second that I give!
But use your life to build what will endure:
The Word of God – and you will rest secure.”

But why, Lord, do You ever look on us?
Is it enough that we exist at all?
But now you watch and wait to damn our works,
You will not turn away for time it takes,
To simply swallow my saliva down.
A prisoner in a panopticon,
A lab-rat underneath Your leering eye,
The gaze of God has gutted all my hope,
I wish I could cease to exist.

“But you misread My constant care for you!
Devoted to your welfare I pursue.
You speak such blaspheme that you should die,
Yet I took death that you be justified.”

High Priestly Calling (Hebrews 5:4-10)

A priest must first be called of God,
As Aaron, of the blooming rod,
Not of himself this honor takes,
But only God a priest may make.
And so did Christ not tout his worth,
But God anointed Him from birth;
“I have begotten you, my Son,
You are a priest, as was the one,
Melchizedek. This I reveal.
I swear, and I will not repeal.”
And Christ whose mighty cries and tears,
Effective to the God who hears,
Both will and has raised dead to life,
Because in all things He is right:
In learning His obedience,
Through suffering in penitence,
In taking legal rights to save,
Maturing, then, as He forgave,
In being named for all to see,
A priest for all eternity!