Nth Degree Romans Poem

Master calls Apostle Paul to call
all Gentiles to faith-filled life. Thank God
for you all God loves and calls in Rome;
thank God for worldwide news of your faith.
I pray for you constantly, Paul writes;
by God’s grace hope to see you at last.

Till then, accept this good life word: Faith
all the way. All creation voices
God’s wondrous rule, but all in foolish
blindness turn from God, idolize things.
No excuses: all kinds of evil
thrive with envy, strife, deceit and hate;
no one understands; no one trusts, none
have mercy, no one loves, no one cares.
God holds all to account, repays as
each deserves: distress for all self gophers;
peace and praise for faithful good doers.
All humans trespass; all stood condemned
until Jesus, Love’s Godman, secured
pardon and restoration for all.
Scholar Paul tells Jewish Christians: Faith
makes Gentiles and Jews Abram’s children.
Where sin grows God’s grace grows all the more,
directing all that happens for good,
all good for those called for Love’s purpose.
God’s gifts and call are never revoked;
no one can condemn; no power can
ever disconnect us from God’s Love.
From, to, and through God comes all wisdom.

Offer all you are to God, Paul writes:
we are one; each belongs to the whole.
Go all out for peaceful, love-filled life.
God fills you with goodness and knowledge.
May Holy Joy Spirit’s peaceful strength
infuse you all constantly with hope.

Holy Story

Addressing an unknown God-lover,
Dr. Luke resumes his account:
book one was all about Jesus; book two
his Holy Spirit driven apostles.

A hundred and twenty wait,
praying constantly together.
On Festival Day wind sound fills the house,
heaven’s flames hover over every head;
Spirit fires all tongues to voice God-praise
in every gathered pilgrim’s native brogue.
Peter quotes God’s global Spirit-pouring
promise, preaches of Jesus, quotes Psalms,
shows God’s plan and death’s failed counterplot.
Hearts awaken; three thousand are baptized.

Believers all live as family, sharing
belongings and meals, worshiping daily.
Apostles’ miracles fill all with awe;
God’s Spirit draws in new people each day;
Holy Power shakes prayer meeting houses;
all speak boldly, broadcasting Jesus’ news.

If this Way is of God, you won’t stop it
advises most wise, revered law expert.
But jealous leaders admit no fault,
keep persecuting all Jesus namers
and stone faithful deacon, preacher Stephen.

God sends Philip to explain Isaiah
for the Ethiopian courtier, then whisks
him off to preach in all Greek speaking towns.

God’s searing light blinds Saul; Jesus’
why probe halts his murderous rampage.
God transforms hater Saul to preacher Paul.

When Dorcas, who always helps the poor, dies,
Peter sends all the mourners out,
kneels, prays, calls her name, and she wakes from death.

Through visions God dissolves the Jew/ Gentile
divide. Peter baptizes Cornelius,
realizing God welcomes from all nations
all who respect God and do what is right.

News draws new Way followers from all around;
Spirit-brimming Barnabas heartens all;
joy fills all hearing Paul’s mission trip news.

Flogged, jailed, Paul and Silas pray and sing hymns.
An earthquake opens all jail doors, breaks all
prisoners’ shackles. Paul calms jailer’s fears,
tells Jesus’ news, baptizes whole family.

In Corinth, synagogue ruler Crispus
believes in Jesus with all his household.
Each day Bereans check out Scripture’s truths.
In Athens, Paul tells men religious in
every way: God, the life-giver of all
commands all everywhere, “Turn! Face Jesus,
the one I raised from death, the world’s judge.”

In Ephesus all elders, in Tyre all
families kneel with Paul in farewell prayer.
As the angel predicted, Paul and all
from the storm-wrecked ship reach shore safely;
kind islanders warmly welcome them all.
Finally in Rome, Paul welcomes all who will
listen for bold Jesus kingdom teaching.

 

Love Story

Last gospel author called himself
Jesus’ beloved disciple.
Called Jesus poetry personified,
energy embodied–universe generator,
revealer of God’s pure, free-for-all love.

First Baptist John called Jesus God’s sin-bearer lamb;
later some called him Messiah.
Jesus called God My Father and himself
human son, seer of each heart’s bent.

I am he said: I am life’s bread,
the always growing, all fruit-bearing vine;
I am unfenced truth; I am cosmos’ light;
I am the good guide, God’s open gateway;
I am resurrection. I give, he said:
I give ever-flowing life-spring water,
complete thief-proof joy; I give you all peace.

Jesus prayed early, late and long, alone
with Father for hours, and aloud with friends
prayed, May all who believe in me be one.
Beloved John exclaimed, If all
Jesus did could be recorded
scripture would inundate the universe.
Jesus promised God’s counselor:
teacher, advocate, convictor–Spirit
reminder of all The Master had said.

Dr. Luke Checked All the Facts

Beginning

Angel strikes aged priest mute for doubt;
devout old wife is pregnant;
young niece, pregnant by holy
God power, comes to visit;
fetus John leaps for joy; old and young
Elizabeth and Mary
burst forth in full-Spirited praise;
after he scrawls Yes his name is John
Zechariah’s voice returns;
Spirit-filled, he prophesies.

Angel to no-count sheep guards:
Good news! Vast joy for all! Countless more
angels: Drum-roll for the Highest One;
God’s peace, love to lowly ones.
Sheep-watchers see manger infant,
give God shout-outs for all they witness,
tell the news and amaze all.
Mary mulls her heart’s full trove.

Old Holy-Spirited Simeon
holds eight day-old boy and foretells
liberty for all people groups.
Aged prophetess Anna
always prays, fasts and worships,
never leaves the temple gate;
gives God thanks, announces the child
to all who yearn for freedom.

Twelve year-old Jesus astonishes
all teachers in temple one day.
Then no word for eighteen years, till
Spirit-bathed Jesus is led
from baptism to fasting
wilderness and Satan’s bait.

Middle

All eyes on him in home synagogue
but all livid as Jesus cites
providence to Gentile scriptures.
Soon news of Jesus spreads everywhere;
even Torah teachers from all towns
come to hear this homeless one.

In full public view on a Sabbath
Jesus tells man with shriveled hand
Stand up; stretch it out; man rises,
extends completely restored hand.
Another Sabbath at another
synagogue Jesus sees woman
unable to straighten up at all,
warped in soul and body eighteen years.
Woman, you are freed! he declares;
at once she stands up straight, gives God praise.

Full of Holy Spirit joy
Jesus praises God for hiding
demon-trouncing powers from shrewd men
and revealing them to mere children.

Master of maxims, Jesus
proclaims: Ask and receive; search and find;
lift self and be lowered; lower self
and be raised. Teacher of teachers
Jesus urges Love enemies;
give to all who ask of you.
In lost sheep, lost coin, lost son
and persistent widow tales
Jesus tells all our stories.

Because of me Jesus warns
all will hate you, all nations
will jail you, but all who give up
all for Peace Kingdom will gain much more:
heaven’s true life starting now.

End and New Beginning

Pilate finds charges against Jesus
baseless, nothing deserving of death.
One thief dying with Jesus
mutters insults; the other gasps
This man has done nothing wrong.

Women hear first, believe first,
tell everyone angels’ news:
Jesus rose, walked from his tomb!
Perplexed Emmaus walkers
hear Jesus himself explain
how all Scripture speaks of him.
Yet they only recognize Jesus
as their guest breaks bread, becomes their host.

Question Man

Everyone from city and country
flocks out to hear John the Baptizer.
Jesus comes too. John baptizes him.
Who is Jesus? Did you see that dove?
What was that voice? Where is Jesus now?

Months later, amazed crowds gather round
this healer, exorcist, parable
teacher, paradox speaker, man of
extremes, feeder of thousands. With God
all is possible he says. Sell all; 
give all like that poor widow; serve all.
Honor this woman’s anointing me.

Religiocrats incite masses.
As predicted, Jesus’ disciples
all betray, disown or desert him.

Death witness centurion exclaims:
Surely this man was the Son of God!
Caring women keep watch and become
first resurrection news receivers,
but flee the angel and tell no one.

Good News at Last

Countless generations: one people
one family. Finally, the one person,
long-promised by God-driven prophets.
Predicted, yet unpredictable,
foretold, but unforeseen: God with us!

Startling joy for star-gazing sages.
Flowers’ splendor outshines Solomon’s.
Jesus portrays Law’s taproot: whole love.
Some sell all for hidden treasure joy.

Master Healer knows none in Israel
with faith like the Roman centurion’s.
New rabbi out-questions law experts,
exposes dead-weight hearts underneath
polished facades and picayune rules.

Heaven’s all-renewing reign begins:
disciples empowered to heal all
kinds of illness, charged to disciple
and baptize people of all nations.