Thursday, May 20, 2010

Po-entecost* Sunday, pt 1

Pentecost Sunday is coming this weekend. Here's part 1 of my contribution: the story of Acts 2 in meter and rhyme. Neither are perfect all the way through, but it generally works. I'm kinda' proud of getting all the place names from Acts 2:9-11 to fit.

The calendar goes round and round
And highlights special days
Which celebrate events we think
Deserving of high praise.

Christmas celebrates Christ’s birth,
Good Friday: his death for our sin.
And Easter, everybody knows,
Means Jesus rose again!

Thanksgiving, Independence Day...
But there’s one which leaves me lost.
It brings this question to my mind:
Just how much does Pente-cost?

“Pentecost” comes from the Greek
Pentekostes.” You don’t say.
Which has the meaning “fiftieth”
Seven weeks, plus one day

After Passover, which celebrates,
The slaves being freed in the Exodus.
Pentecost--in Hebrew, “Shavuot”--
Is commanded in the book of Leviticus.

23rd chapter, 15th verse says,
“Count off seven sevens.
“The next day bring an offering
“Of thanks to the God of the heavens.”

So “Shavuot” means “sevens” or “weeks”
And Pentecost means “fifty,”
But later on, this harvest feast
Took on a meaning more nifty.

They had Passover for the Exodus
Sukkot: 40 years in the wilderness,
So Pentecost--in between–soon recalled
Mt Sinai, stone tablets and Moses.

In the Gospels, Jesus dies
At Passover; Rose after 3
Days, and then 40 more, he ascends,
Luke tells us in Acts 1, you see.

43 days, more or less, leaves a week
For Pentecost to come.
The believers were gathered together,
To celebrate it as one.

Suddenly a sound filled the room
Like the blowing of a mighty wind!
And then something like tongues of fire
Appeared and sat on each of them.

The Holy Spirit filled them up
And this was the effect:
They spoke in tongues they’d never known
As God’s Spirit did direct.

In Jerusalem, where this took place,
Godly Jews from all around.
Had come to celebrate Shavuot.
But when they heard the sound,

Of all the disciples speaking,
They drew close, and were stunned,
When each heard this group of locals
Speaking their own native tongue!

Parthians, Medes and Elamites;
Folks from Mesopotamia;
From Judea and Cappadocia,
From Pontus and from Asia,

Jews from Phrygia and Pamphylia,
’n’ Egypt; Libyans from near Cyrene,
Romans, Cretans, and Arabs,
All wondered “What’s this mean?”

“We each hear in our own dialect,
“The wondrous works of God.
“But spoken by Galileans?
“This certainly is odd!”

*It's a fanciful combination of "poem" and "Pentecost." No references to The Raven. Sorry.

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