Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Fellowship (among believers) (10/11/07)
TITLE: The Company of the Saints
By Kenneth Bridge
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Their holy march through time
Illuminated by sacred fire,
Red as the blood of courage,
Onward pressing against tribulation,
Sure in their salvation,
No sword sharp pierce
Nor beast too fierce,
Their emblem the cross
Counting all else loss,
Life not too dear,
Death not to fear,
Until a fiery cross blazes in the heavens
“By this sign I conquer!” swears the Emperor
And mighty Rome kneels before the Galilean Savior
We meet today in bricked and mortared halls
Where stained glass prisms scatter bright hued light
And train stations and shopping malls
High Schools and sports arenas
In temperature and humidity controlled auditoriums
Comfortable and complacent strangers to privation
Where are the modern heroes of our ancient faith
Who strain with valor to win the race?
Corporate CEO church planters with demographic charts?
White haired Sunday School teachers with flannel boards?
Suburban soccer moms cooking casseroles?
Home schoolers and habitat builders and competitors in dramatic arts?
The saints of old seem solid gold, it’s age that gives them luster
While current saints of our common fold don’t seem to cut the muster
Elijah was a man with a nature like ours…
Did the saints of old draw only heroic breath?
And stride steadfastly toward certain death?
The purity of their holy struggle is an illusion
Many wavered as faith was roiled in confusion
The lives of the saints are seen clearly only at the end
They are lived among the swirling clouds of present uncertainty
The holy life is lived beneath, its perfection hidden under the sand
That final flowering fragrance which perfumes eternity
This is our age, our time to live, and these our company, our rightful place
And in this sweet fellowship we run our race
The company of the saints is not yet complete
Sin and death not yet entered into final sleep
Eternal fellowship with the body of saints our reward
Over many centuries, many nations, one common Lord
Enjoy now fellowship with the company you keep
God loves His imperfect ones with love so deep
Should not His love find its echo among His sheep?
In this time and in this place
Find with each other uncommon grace
Keep each other and keep the faith
By the same sweet Spirit in all His saints
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