Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Up and Down (04/02/09)
TITLE: The Humiliation and Exultation of Our Lord
By Steve Fitschen
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He reigned as God eternally
With Father, Spirit—Three-in-One.
But! Emptied He Himself for me!
And down to earth descended He.
The flesh of man He freely took,
Though flesh of pain He knew it’d be,
And He became the living Brook.
To shepherds was His birth announced.
He lived His life in poverty;
Poor Mary’s sacrifice, no lamb—
A pair of pigeons offered she.
The flight, the exile, and return;
A carp’n’er’s son of no renown.
So soon the fateful time arrived:
By John—and God—no sin was found.
Three years He taught, He healed, He preached.
Then traitor’s kiss—His fate was sealed.
Up on the cross His mission done,
Though scourger’s whip His flesh had peeled
They took Him down, His life snuffed out.
A borrowed tomb His body held.
His spirit gone, down farther still.
In Hell He preached to those sin felled
In Noah’s time when evil reigned.
Three days He stayed . . . then death He quelled!
He rose! He rose! He lived again!
His flesh grew warm, the bindings burst,
The curtain tore, the temple shook.
Alive! Alive! Now death was cursed!
He walked a while upon the earth.
His sacred scarred feet Mary clutched.
And Peter plunged into the sea.
And His wounded side Thomas touched.
At Bethany was carried up,
In heav’n resumed His rightful place
With angel worship as at first
Who bow as one before His face.
The years pass by and He remains
Enthroned in heaven as its King
And tarries ’fore His soon return—
Come down once more, Earth’s conq’ring King.
Where He will reign and we with Him,
All things made new upon the earth.
Immortal souls will worship Him
Whose death procured for us new birth.
Author’s Note: This poem can be sung to hymn tunes with 8,8,8,8 meter (long meter) with only minor adjustments to the music. For example, the tune of “He Leadeth Me” can be adapted. Use the music of the refrain for the first, third, and fifth quatrains and the music of the verses for the second and fourth quatrains. The middle sestet can be handled by using the music for the verse, repeating the first line twice, before moving to the second line. Then use the refrain for the sixth, eighth, and tenth quatrains (seventh, ninth, and eleventh stanzas), and the verse for the seventh and ninth quatrains (eighth and tenth stanzas). You can download the music here: http://www.digitalhymnal.org/dhymn.cfm?hymnNumber=537 and set your media player to repeat to experiment. Many other hymns of 8,8,8,8 meter can also be downloaded for experimentation.
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