“Third Friday”

It’s the third Friday of the month,
young people’s night at its liveliest.  
Fourteen to forty,
youths of many ages file into the pews.  
 
It’s been a long week,

      a turbulent month,

a trying year.

But tonight is a night of celebration!
 
Someone ought to bring a visitor along.
And the visitor might ask the question:
 
What comes first?
 
Tambourines rattle,
“Praise the Lord, ya’ll.”
            “He’s worthy.”
Clapping hands,

            a human symphony like that of no other theater.

 
And what is next?
 
A teenage host’s timid introduction,
            progressively strengthened by an encouraging crowd.
 
Then, aspiring poets take to the pulpit, 
astonishing the audience with their prodigious talent,
“Look at God!”
            “Go on, and use it for His glory!”
                        
And the mime ministry is a jewel,

      little heard,

and little heard of.

But its power of praise is loud, 
            and marvelous.
 
A song is sang,
A solo,

            “What a voice.”

And The Anointing makes it powerful.
 
But what happens now?
 
Lights,
Drums,
Dance ministry!
 
Ribbons streaming,
Flailing feminine figures.
“What grace,”

            “Such swiftness,”

            From whence doth these young girls’ power come?

            Verily, from on high.

 
And is that all?
            Well, what a celebration,
                        such culture,
                                    so uplifting!
Or… is it not over?
            What further celebration can happen?

 
A feast.
Not of bread or meat,
Or of water or wine,
 
            Of popcorn and soda?
 
A feast of God’s Word, for
            It is written,

           man shall not live of bread alone,

          but of every word that proceedeth

          out of the mouth of God.

 
The menu is eclectic,
so everyone receives a different meal:
 
Conviction,

            Encouragement,

Questions,

            Answers,

Judgment,
            Deliverance,
 
Truth.
 
This is not all there is.
            There must be more.

 
The altar call.
The pastor speaks from the pulpit,

            “Have you received salvation,

            according to Acts 2:38?”
                      Repent, and be baptized,

                      every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ

                      for the remission of sins,

                    and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

 
A crossroads…

                        and…

                       A gateway.

 
Then, a young minister gives the benediction,
            “Keep us as we go,
            and we’ll thank and praise you.
                        In Jesus’ name,
                        Amen.”
And the young people file out.
 
But now what?
            The Word has saturated my mood,
                        what about celebration?

 
Now, fellowship!
            Games,
            Conversation,
            Shenanigans,
                        Free, Wholesome, Fun.
 
“And where the spirit of the Lord is,
            there is liberty.”

 

This poem is about: 
Me
My community
Our world

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