Acts 11

Acts 11

Peter Explains His Actions

Soon, in Judea, news had reached all twelve
apostles, plus fine converts who did delve
entirely deeply, that some Gentiles now
were godly creatures heaven could endow;
yet, when brave Peter reached Jerusalem,
some Jewish converts called him foes of them.
They criticized him roundly, with harsh words
like these: “You supped with Gentiles, silly birds,
&, in a home or so of those strange folk,
you acted like decorums are some joke!”
Then Peter strove to set the record straight,
in these stark terms: “In Joppa none too late
I happened to be praying, when a trance
confounded me & made my vision dance;
an apparition much like some vast sheet
descended from the sky & seemed complete
with a desire, or such, to knock me down;
when glancing in said sheet without a frown,
I saw all kinds of creatures – sundry beasts
plus birds & reptiles, little cosmic priests.
I heard a voice intone: ‘Stand up now, Peter,
kill all that life, & be its hungry eater!’
‘Oh no, dear Lord!’ I answered; ‘Never ever
have I been part of any sad endeavor
that disrespects our Jewish laws so much
as to consume things quite outside sane touch.’
However, that same voice from heaven said:
‘Deem nothing earthly either sadly fed
or otherwise off limits to rich tasting,
since God has not one wish to breed such wasting!’
Three times such talk took place before that sheet
& all then in it vanished much like sleet,
yet in a fashion ruled by ways the sky
stayed clearly in the hands of powers on high.
Just then three men who recently had been
sent from Caesarea spun gladly in
& filled the house in which we then were staying
with sounds of celebration much like braying;
the Holy Spirit issued me commands
to be with them & feel in cordial hands
& never once to worry quite, at all,
that such mere Gentiles could occasion gall.
All six fine brothers that now thrive with me
were lately firmly like my coterie,
& we soon entered the bright domicile
of that same man who’d sought us for a while;
he told us how some angel suddenly
was with him at his home & had the glee
to tell him: ‘Send toward Joppa messengers
instructed to be perfect summoners
of Simon Peter, the appointed man
to let you sense the very godly plan
whereby both you & all who dwell with you
might be so saved you’d ceaselessly feel new!’
When I began to speak,” continued Peter,
“the Holy Spirit served as such a greeter
as visits gladly, & He soon had lent
the special rich attentivenesses meant
to let mere worldlings, which we still remain,
transcendently persist against much pain;
I thought then of the Lord’s expressiveness
when He declared, in phrasings postureless,
‘John baptized with good water, yet all you
will by the Holy Spirit’s dew-free view
be baptized wondrously’; &, since dear God
gave Gentiles the same perfect kind of nod
He gave to us when we believed Christ’s teachings,
who then was I to issue silly screechings?”
When the assembled souls had heard all that,
they ceased objecting & seemed fully pat
as praisers of God’s ways; in fact, they said:
“We now discern God’s having sweetly sped
toward giving one & all – all Gentiles, too –
large chances that permit flesh to pursue,
by deep repentance of assorted sinning,
eternal life & everlasting winning.”

The Church in Antioch of Syria

The same believers, meanwhile, who had scattered
when Stephen’s death had seemed to turn worlds tattered,
& monstrous persecution had set in,
began to feel encumbered by scant sin
while taking steps to reach Phoenicia
& Cyprus, Antioch, & Syria;
their main activities included preaching,
especially to Jews, as if beseeching
much absolute strong faith in Jesus’ powers
to help all persons act as fine endowers;
& some believers showed the latitude
as daily travel seemed to form life’s mood,
& Antioch remained the destination
when Cyprus & Cyrene gave duration
a chance to shimmer, of soon forming phrases
inviting Gentiles to take parts in praises
immersed in concepts of how mightily
Lord Jesus managed His grand majesty.
The power of that heavenly presence took
a hold so firm both Jew & Gentile shook,
or seemed to shake & quiver, with belief
unlikely to prove minimal or brief.
Before too long, Jerusalem’s proud church
heard what had happened & then chose to lurch
toward sending on to Antioch a fellow
named ‘Barnabas ’ – quite known for ways quite mellow;
when he arrived & saw much evidence
of God’s rich blessings, no real dissonance
was part of his behavior, & he showed
huge joyfulness, as it to shout he owed
all true believers reasons to continue
to hone religion into one fine sinew;
&, moved by his example, many folk
seemed past perceiving glory as some joke.
Soon Barnabas sincerely journeyed hard
toward Tarsus, with a goal that stayed unmarred
of finding Saul; &, when, indeed, that wish
reached full fruitions, fowl (along with fish)
let both great men reach Antioch again,
where for a year & more than now & then
they taught large crowds -- in fact, with so much rigor
the town of Antioch obtained the vigor
of being the first place in all Creation
believers called themselves ‘the Christian nation.’
At near that very time some prophets wended
to Antioch from land that clearly ended
in old Jerusalem, & one of those
(named ‘Agabus’) decidedly arose
at one of several meetings ruled by fears,
or superstitions, & amidst few jeers
predicted, based on Spirit formulations,
that no slight famine would engulf all nations
then part of Rome’s hegemony & power –
a prophecy that somehow didn’t sour
but was, apparently, fulfilled completely
when Claudius’s reign transpired effetely.
In quite large measure based on such prediction,
the Antioch entire nondereliction
necessitated sending to Judea
(whose kindredness craved massive panacea)
as much relief as seemed both possible
& able to let breath stay bountiful;
those gifts in fact were sent entirely quickly,
& Barnabas & Saul in styles unsickly
were the entrusted men to do the task
that helped Jerusalem seem sure to bask,
in terms of how the elders watched the church,
in opulence enough to breed no lurch.

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