Note to My Readers: from mid-June to mid-August (6/18 - 8/20), I will be taking a summer break from posting new articles for my Thursday and Friday slots. This will only affect my Thursday series on the global growth of Christianity, and my Friday series, the "Theological Bestiary" of birds, both of which will resume in late August. During the summer, I'll be dusting off some of my best essays from the first few years of this blog (a decade ago), as well as my verse play "Thus Ends the World," and re-posting them in the Thursday and Friday slots. All other weekdays will continue to feature new material throughout the summer.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Evangeliad (1:15-18)

Section 1:15-18 (corresponding to Luke 1:14-17)

Rejoice! Be glad at the birth of this boy,
For then shall the many have radiant joy!
John will be great in the eyes of the Lord,
Devoted to Him in deed and in word.

The sign of his calling here shall be told:
The Nazirite’s way, as in days of old.
Not wine nor strong drink will pass by his lips;
This rule shall he keep as long as he lives.

The Spirit of God upon him shall fall,
While yet he is growing, silent and small:
In Elizabeth’s womb, there shall he be
Made ready to bear holy prophecy.

Far have the children of Israel strayed;
This is the mission that on him is laid:
To turn them back from their wanderings vain,
That they may walk in the Lord’s holy name.

And he shall be like Elijah of old:
In spirit and power, forthright and bold;
He’s going before, and making the way
For he who will come to love and to save.

Yes, John will unite your fathers with sons,
And draw back to wisdom the wayward ones,
That he may prepare and show to the Lord
A people made ready, cleansed and restored.”

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