Fourteen³ - August 2016

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Sonnet CXXVII - On The Road To Damascus
7th August 2016

I lived to see them bleed as they were stoned,
My zealous hate consumed me like a flame,
And by the priests my hatred was condoned:
I went to silence those who bore His name.

But on the road I saw His awesome might,
I heard His voice and fell upon my face.
He struck me blind so I might come to see
The glory of the one who died for me.
And when His servant came to show me grace,
My sight returned so I could see the light.

So now I’ll walk the road to spread His fame,
For by the great high priest I’ve been atoned.
To all the Earth, I’ll zealously proclaim,
And live to see the God who died enthroned.


Minute Testament - The Letters Of St Paul

Sonnet CXXVIII - On Romans
14th August 2016

By natural flesh I am enslaved to sin,
So holy law by flesh is overthrown.
And by this spirit, death is all I win:
I cannot overcome it on my own.

But death can have no claim, with Christ I died
And rose renewed in blessed baptismal rite;
In transformation of my sinful mind
I gain a spirit of a different kind:
Now death and darkness turns to holy light,
And none condemn those Christ will choose to hide.

So I will boast in hope of Christ alone.
Adopted, not enslaved, I shall begin
To live according to the love I’m shown
And show the law of love now lives within.

Sonnet CXXIX - On First Corinthians
18th August 2016

I’ve heard you argue who is worst or best;
Of who’s most bound by law, and who’s most free;
Compete to be the one most spirit-blessed;
Make worship time to vie and disagree.

My answer’s this: to be as you were made,
And act so none who see will come to fall.
For all these things shall melt and pass away
But now, I’ll tell you of the better way:
Have faith and hope and love, the most all.
A loveless life is music poorly played,

For love is kind, treats others patiently;
It does not proudly put them to the test;
It seeks the truth; it lives unselfishly;
And lays both pride and conflict down to rest.

Sonnet CXXX - On Second Corinthians
20th August 2016

I know that I have caused you grief, my friends,
When I last wrote and when I came to stay.
But if I need a letter which commends
My worth to you, accept yourselves, I pray!

For I do not regret that I seemed cruel
If in my cruelty you regained the light.
And joy was overwhelming when I heard
Of how you live according to His word.
But yet, I find you fallen to fresh plight:
These false apostles take us for their fool.

They claim to bring you truth and make you pay,
And boast their strength in all the strife God sends;
But light shines freely from this jar of clay,
And weakness shows on whom my strength depends.

Sonnet CXXXI - On Galatians
24th August 2016

What kind of spirit are you living for?
Whose gospel have you chosen to embrace?
The word which spoke to Abraham foresaw
Beyond the law to Word which takes our place.

So live as heirs to Abrahamic seed
And do not stand a gospel circumcised.
For freedom Christ has saved you, so be free
And don’t return to yokes of slavery.
Reject the acts which sinful flesh devised,
They’re filled with hate and rage and selfish greed,

And seek to keep a righteous path to race.
Be filled with faith and joy and peace and more:
The Spirit’s fruit which comes from love and grace -
Against such things as these there is no law.

Sonnet CXXXII - On Ephesians
27th August 2016

You’re called from gentile darkness to the throne,
By gospel guaranteed and spirit sealed,
Now built as one, upon Christ’s cornerstone,
A temple with a light that’s unconcealed.

Now let there be no merest hint of sin,
Let every fruitless deed of darkness cease,
Instead be clothed in armour forged of light,
So you might stand against the darkness’ might,
And armed without by goodness, faith and peace
Stand firm against the wars which rage within.

Now in your fellowship make Christ revealed,
For there’s one body and one God alone:
So you must be as one, in all things yield,
And each to each show love as you’ve been shown.

Sonnet CXXXIII - On Philippians
27th August 2016

To live is Christ, though I now live in chains;
For by my chains Christ’s kingdom can progress,
The gains of flesh are loss, the losses gains,
My suffering is all for His success!

I’ve learned to be content in every way,
If I should eat or starve, be whole or bleed;
In everything I make this simple choice:
Rejoice in Christ - again I say, rejoice!
But where there is anxiety and need,
To find His peace I simply need to pray.

I’ll seek to match the grace that I possess
‘Til that desired day my soul obtains
His resurrection and His righteousness:
The prize for which my aching spirit strains.

Sonnet CXXXIV - On Colossians
27th August 2016

He is the fullness of the deity,
The image of the God who is unseen,
And over all He has supremacy,
Through Him all has been made that’s ever been.

He is the fullness of the Father’s love,
Through Him, your sins upon a cross were nailed,
With Him in death your earthly flesh was laid,
And by His resurrection you’re remade,
And in His perfect life, your life is veiled.
So set your hearts on things which dwell above,

And pay no mind to what’s unclean or clean,
To who is Jew or gentile, slave or free,
And let the love of Christ exist between
Each one of you, in perfect unity.

Sonnet CXXXV - On First Thessalonians
30th August 2016

To see you all again has been my prayer
Too long, but I am stalled by Satan’s might.
And I confess I’d started to despair,
To think you might have stumbled from the light.

These things I feared, and so planned to exhort
You to a life of love and free from sin;
But I have heard your faith is still secure,
So I shall simply tell you: more and more!
But when you mourn, keep hope alive within
For He’ll return, with trumpet’s loud report,

(As unexpected as a thief, by night,
So stay on guard, for none knows when or where)
Then quick and dead shall as one church unite,
And all His saints shall meet Him in the air.

Sonnet CXXXVI - On Second Thessalonians
31st August 2016

You heard the word, and since you first believed,
Your growing faith has cheered me constantly.
But now I hear that you have been deceived,
By teaching that purports to come from me,

So know the Lord’s return is not complete:
Rebellion remains, but on that day,
The man of lawlessness will be revealed,
His hidden lies and labours unconcealed,
But Christ’s return will sweep it all away -
His splendour silencing all dark deceit.

So keep the faith, and always seek to be,
Deserving of the gospel you received;
For Christ has chosen you, and sets you free,
In Him your fears may ever be relieved.

Sonnet CXXXVII - On First Timothy
31st August 2016

My son in faith, I charge you to ensure
That all should live in modesty and peace,
That all who lead, should lead a life that’s pure,
And all untruthful teaching now must cease.

So train in righteousness, for its reward
Is valuable in this life and the next.
Let nobody dismiss you for your youth,
But let your Godly life sing out the truth,
By conduct, speech, and faith in all respects
And how your teaching gift can serve the Lord.

May your pursuit of holiness increase,
And see you act with fairness to the poor;
Let every hope in worldly wealth release,
Instead, by generous love, build heaven’s store.

Sonnet CXXXVIII - On Second Timothy
31st August 2016

My son in faith, I know you are sincere,
So fan the gift you gained from God to flame,
I spoke the truth to you, so make it clear,
Do not be broken down by fear or shame.

Expect to tread the path that I have trod,
Expect that you’ll be beaten and abused,
For some will come to teach a twisted word:
Contorted meanings which they have preferred,
But scripture’s Spirit breathed, and may be used
To give you grounding in the ways of God.

Stand firm and do your work, be free from blame.
And quickly come, I pray, to see me here,
I’ve run the race, worn out this earthly frame,
And now, my time of pouring out is near.

Sonnet CXXXIX - On Titus
31st August 2016

My son in faith, complete what you’ve begun,
Appoint the elders there in every town.
Ensure that they are righteous, so that none
May find a way to tear the kingdom down.

Teach all to do what’s holy in God’s sight;
And teach the truth of grace, not empty law;
That grace, not law, shall teach us to say ‘no’,
So that our lives might let salvation show,
So none can question what we’re living for,
And so the lost will find our saviour’s light,

For I was once a sinner of renown,
But mercy saved me, not what I had done,
So I shall live befitting of a crown
Of life forever with the risen Son.

Sonnet CXL - On Philemon
31st August 2016

I could be bold, and tell you what to do
Remind you that you owe your life to me,
Instead, I write with all the love that’s due
To one whose love for all is plain to see.

I plead for my dear son, Onesimus.
I send him back, though he’s my very heart,
He left a slave, I pray now he’s restored
You’ll greet him as a brother in the Lord
And come to see this time he’s been apart,
Has been a blessing for each one of us.

I know you’ll love this opportunity,
To show that all your love for me is true.
In unrelated news, I’ve one more plea:
Prepare a room - I’ll come and stay with you.