Heaven’s Poetry Etched On Lives
“For we are the product of His hand, heaven’s poetry etched on lives, created in the Anointed, Jesus, to accomplish the good works God arranged long ago.” (Eph. 2:10, The Voice).
In celebration of Black History month, this program focus on acclaimed women poets whose beautiful and poignant words are etched on peoples’ lives. We will come to see how we are epic poems written by God.
Program Ideas — Poem Share
Several renowned black women poets (some deceased and some still living) include: Rita Dove, Elizabeth Alexander, Alice Walker, Gwendolyn Brooks, Lucille Clifton, Nikki Giovanni, June Jordan, Audre Lorde and Amena Brown. Using the Internet or the library select one or more of their poems to share with the women. Project a picture of the poet on the screen as you read her poem. Conclude with the video of Amena Brown’s spoken word poem, which can be found on YouTube.
Poems And Presidents
Throughout history, only five presidential ceremonies have included a recitation or reading by a poet. Significantly, two of these were not only women, but black women specifically. In 1993, Maya Angelou recited her poem, “On the Pulse of Morning,” at the presidential inauguration of Bill Clinton. (If time permits, read this poem.) At that time, a poet had not been on an inaugural program for 32 years (since Robert Frost’s “The Gift Outright,” was read at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961). Then in 2009, Elizabeth Alexander read “Praise Song for the Day,” at the inauguration of Barak Obama. This is quite a tribute to these two black women. Show video clips, which are available on YouTube. Invite the women to discuss the poems and their reactions to them.
Ossie Davis was an actor distinguished by roles dealing with racial injustice on stage, screen and in real life. Ask one of the women, preferably a black woman, to share his poem “Beauty.” This can be accessed at: http://www.thekitchensalon.com/2013/01/19/natural-365-beauty-a-poem
Ask a black Christian woman to share her testimony on how the Lord has helped her find beauty and self–acceptance in her ethnicity.
Heaven’s Poetry Etched On Lives
Joseph Roux, a French Catholic parish priestand poet, said, “Poetry is truth in its Sunday clothes.” As such, it is a great instructional tool, giving deep, beautiful and meaningful expression to our deepest joys and sorrows. Poetry, at its best, calls forth our deepest being.
We read in Ephesians 2:10 “For we are the product of His hand, heaven’s poetry etched on lives, created in the Anointed, Jesus, to accomplish the good works God arranged long ago” (The Voice). Indeed, this is truth in its “Sunday clothes,” as it speaks directly to our identity and our purpose, two things for which people hunger.
When Paul says that you are heaven’s poetry, he had in mind works of masterful creativity. Think of great epic works such as The Odyssey, The Divine Comedy, or Paradise Lost. What God wants you to understand, through Paul, is that you are one of His epic poems. You are an important work of art crafted by the divine poet–artist, making you a masterpiece. Every piece of art has something of the character, vision and values of the artist embedded within it; and so it is with you. The Bible says that you were made in God’s image and that you reflect His glory. This is your identity.
This verse also speaks to our purpose. Pure and simple, as God’s poem, we were created to accomplish good works. God made us to express His own heart and vision in an active way, to bless and serve the world by doing good and beautiful things, as an extension of His hands and feet. The trajectory of our life is to conform to the very image and likeness of Christ, so that we do the same things He would do, allowing others to come to know Him as they see Him in us. In this way, we are always figuratively “dressed in our Sunday clothes” and with “heaven’s poetry etched on our lives.” We become an epic witness to biblical truth and to God’s goodness and glory.