Close up of an elephant touching its tusk with the tip of its trunk. Words: Songs of the Spirit: gentleness. Faith in Grey Places

Songs of the Spirit: gentleness (a poem)

For the next few weeks, I’m writing a series of poems on the virtues described as the fruit the spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. I started with self-control last week, and this week is gentleness.

I found out some interesting things about the Greek word translated as “gentleness”. The word is πραύτης meaning “meekness”, “gentleness” or “humility” and it’s the same word used in the beatitudes in Matthew 5:5 (“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth”). 

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Profile picture of a young donkey with the text over the top: My neighbour's colt, a poem inspired by Jesus's entry into Jerusalem. Faith in Grey Places

My neighbour’s colt – a poem inspired by Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem

Bible and other references for this poem: Matthew 21:1–10, Mark 11:1–11, Luke 19:28–40, John 12:12–19.
Also: Zechariah 9:9–10, Isaiah 11:3, Exodus 20:15–16, Deuteronomy 6:5, ‘Dear Lord and Father of Mankind’ by John Whittier.

In this poem I wanted explore the idea of following orders in the context of Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, a week before his crucifixion.

When systemic injustice is uncovered, you often hear this point raised: can the rank and file be blamed for complying with unethical instructions from their commanding officers?

Continue reading My neighbour’s colt – a poem inspired by Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem
“See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey” The Prophet Zechariah, Zechariah 9:9

Christmas 2020: Week 5, Day 7: Gentleness

Apparently, Google translates “Kyrie eleison” as “Sir, take it easy.”

Christians are more familiar with “Lord, have mercy.”

But the Google Translate rendering strikes home with me. 

Christians often say that mercy is not giving people bad things that they nevertheless deserve. But this has problematic overtones.

I’ve heard it stated, or strongly implied, that the slightest error warrants a gory death in God’s eyes. This is considered the reason behind Jesus’s awful death: supposedly, he took the punishment we deserve. 

Again, I find this highly problematic. 

Continue reading Christmas 2020: Week 5, Day 7: Gentleness