Monday 7 September 2015

Who do you really say I am - a poem (probably for all age or a youth group)

“But what about you?”
“Who do you say I am?”
Well, that’s a very good question,
The kind I expect from you
It’s the sort of question that makes me feel uncomfortable
And puts me ill at ease
Because I think I know the answer
In fact I think I think I know several answers
There are answers from the Good Book
And there are answers from my prayers
There are words and phrases handed down from medieval sages
And friends on the phone
There are images on the gallery wall
And stained glass to help me with the answers
There are thousands and millions of songs
Hymns and chants that tell me different names
And different answers to the question,
“Who do you say I am?”
I could give any of those answers
Any phrase or any “I am” saying
I could give a thousand answers
And probably find a thousand more
But there are two troubling elements to your question
The first is that you didn’t ask me who the Bible says you are
And you didn’t ask me who the painter says you are
And you didn’t ask me for the opinion of the poet
The playwright
Or the priest
You didn’t ask me for the answer of my mother-in-law
Or the evangelist on the telly
You didn’t ask me what any of those people or artefacts had to say
You asked me
You asked me what I had to say
“Who do you say I am?”
And that’s a bit more personal, because that’s about my opinion
And my belief
And the way that I think about you
And feel about you
And dream about you
Well that’s a bit more awkward
But as noted before, there’s a second troubling element to the question
And it’s even more troubling than the first
Because from the question you ask
And as the person that you are
I get the feeling that you want to hear something more
I get the feeling that the way I see you
And the way I describe you
Should somehow make an impact
Not just on my view of you
That’s obvious
But that it should make an impact on how I see the world
And how I see its other inhabitants
That maybe how I see you
Should impact how I interact with the world
And how I respond to the world
I have a gut feeling that your question
“Who do you say I am?”
Will, if I allow it, take me on a journey
A journey to somewhere deep
And challenging
The kind of place where suddenly it’s hard to deny
That my reaction to the news needs to change
That I need to step beyond where I feel at home and take a bigger risk
That I need to hold up my hands open palmed, ready to receive
I’m frightened by your question because it challenges me
It challenges every part of me
It challenges everything I do and see
It challenges everything I believe
“Who do you say I am?”
You ask, not quite innocently but wanting me to think
And I have thought
And I have fought within myself to say aloud the things that I believe
And I have fought within myself to lay down the ways that lead to death
The ways that lead to nowhere good
The ways that lead to me being lost
Instead I’m unsettled, unfettered and regretting
Regretful and remorseful
For the failures in my past
And for my future failings just around the corner
“Who do you say I am?”
And “who do I say you are?”
You’re Jesus
And at the moment
With all the implications
And the challenges that this will lead me to face
You’re Jesus
And that’s just about all I can say

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