Friday, June 17, 2016

The Nicodemus Paradox (Addition to "The Apology Box")

            Nicodemus's Double Sonnet

I saw the merit of that holy man.  I showed
Him bold respect in public and I sat
Beside him as my teacher.   I raised up
My hand in public when I was confused
By his instruction:  “How could an old man
Be born again?”  I asked.  He answered me.
When hypocrites would kill him in the name
Of “God” and “Church,” I interposed myself
And spoke in his defense.  I took the risk
Without a moment’s hesitation, and
When they had murdered him, I helped embalm
And carry the cadaver to a tomb.
With greater powers, I would have helped him more.
But born without them, I could do no more.

Why did I yet remain a “Pharisee”?
There only is one true assembly of
God’s people.  Words cannot change that.  I'd not
Concede my notion of a "Pharisee" to frauds.
Instead, I would protect it by my deeds
That would instead preserve exalted words.
I worshiped with God’s words while others lied
With them.  It was confusing.  Yet, I fought
And even gave my quandary a name:
The “Nicodemus Paradox.”  If we
Use “Church” with scoundrels it’s hypocrisy
Yet if we give them “Church” it’s blasphemy.
With greater powers, I would have wrestled more.
But born without them, I could do no more.

© Harold Anthony Lloyd 2016
The current contents of "The Apology Box" can be found here.

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