An Ecclesiastical Sonnet
John Piper is a Christian poet. He writes poems about Biblical characters to read to his congregation during the Advent each year. The closest I have ever come to even reading someone else’s poem in church is quoting a hymn (“It Is Well with My Soul,” verse 3, to be exact). John Piper is a true poet. I am not. Nevertheless, here is an English sonnet for you to read … and hopefully enjoy. More importantly, though, I pray that this coarse sonnet would get your mind to thinking of just how amazing Christ’s finished work on the cross really is.
“Vain life, vain life!” the preacher calls to me.
“I am the wisest man among all men,
And vain are those who go through life to be
But not to be. Out of control they spin.”
The preacher gave me not hope but a law:
“Fear God; keep His command. Your duty, man,
Is simply that.” My hopelessness I saw;
From God and heaven these words did me ban.
However, then I read of Christ who died—
The Seed of this preacher died, me to save!
Not vain is His life, in which I abide,
For dying on the cross, me He forgave.
The sun rises both on the good and bad,
But fulfillment without Christ can’t be had!
That, of course, is but a poetic rendition of a few spiritual truths, and is but a shadow of the glorious truth expressed in Romans 5:6-11.
“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”