Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sunday Sabbath Poetry: Chris Martin

The last song on Coldplay's most recent album, my initial shock at "Death and All His Friends"'s powerful message has worn off, but my respect has not. The proclamation of not wanting to follow after "death and all his friends" is a playfully subversive prophetic stand against all the anti-God forces that threaten shalom, abundant life, in God's good creation. And what an unexpected source for such profound words.

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Death and All His Friends

By Chris Martin (of Coldplay)

All winter, we got carried
Away over on the rooftops
Let's get married

All summer we just hurried
So come over, just be patient, and don’t worry
And don't worry...

Try

. . .

No I don't want to battle from beginning to end
I don't want to cycle or recycle revenge
I don't want to follow death and all of his friends

No I don't want to battle from beginning to end
I don't want to cycle or recycle revenge
I don't want to follow death and all of his friends

. . .

And in the end, we lie awake and we dream of making our escape
And in the end, we lie awake and we dream of making our escape

- - - - - - -

Friendship in Gilead

John Ames and Robert Boughton are friends.
Old men and wise, from tireless
youth they have played games and baptized
infants and argued theology
like jealous husbands fighting for
the hand of the beloved. If
these town elders are not men of
God the thing does not exist. In
old and creaking houses echoing
their own rugged bones' decline, they
spring from their pulpits' altars or
solitary studies to sit
in reconciliation, known
otherwise as checkers. These friends
share a history and a future --
even a son. John Ames Boughton,
the gift of the Lord, thorn in the
flesh, Abraham to Hagar, a
son beyond prodigality,
known and loved and blessed by God in
the heart of Boughton, by the hand
of Ames. In the flesh and spirit
of this man these two men meet, as
prayerful servants unto death, like
solemn soldiers marching in rank
unbroken, wilting in the sun.
Will the sovereign commander lead
the way across the Jordan? Will
he prove merciful? Is his word
ever a yes, never a no?
In a dusty town alight with
glory, the Lord is wonderful.

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