Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Churches, Barns and Coffee Tables

And while some were talking about the temple, 
that it was adorned with beautiful stones and votive gifts, 
He said,

Luke 21:5

Beautiful stones,
gifts offered as sacrifice
to a God who longs for our hearts.
Wealth and pious ideals,
starving the children so loved,
this elaborate vessel
of outer expression
attempts to imprison the spirit.
Man's creativity,
intricate carvings
meant to impress the one who created
and forests.

We are men
awed by material things,
vases of gold,
altars chiseled by the finest sculptors
and tapestries woven of imported cloth.
All this
is meant to fade
to a time
when one stone is no longer set
upon another.

Remind us Lord
that the new covenant
is of the spirit,
that the temple
is this body of flesh and blood.
Remind us that the Father desires
our souls,
the essence of our love,
more so than buildings
crafted by our hands.

Would the homeless messiah
rest His head in any of these castles?
Would He find comfort
among their furnishings?
For it is said
that birds have nests
and foxes have dens,
but the king of our salvation
did not have a home.

So praise God
in your living room
with an old coffee table as an altar,
exult Him in the rustic barn out back.
Offer prayers in the abandoned white church
in dire need of fresh paint.
Worship Him where there is no denomination
to dictate the tone of your prayer.
Praise Him in the fields of life
and at the rivers of salvation.
And bear in mind,
cathedrals and temples
pay homage to their builders
more so
than the creator of life.

copyright 2016 - Donald P James Jr 


  1. My favorite of yours so far! Beautiful imagery in every line! Amazing work.

  2. When I was a kid, my parents had a friend who was a priest. He would often visit and say Mass on the coffee table in the living room. Those moments were the inspiration for this poem. Glad you liked it.