Acts 15

Acts 15

The Council at Jerusalem

In Antioch of Syria (once Paul
& Barnabas were answerers to all),
arriving there, & from Judea, came
some men who had much pedagogic fame,
& they began to seem inclined to teach
believers how to stay in God’s main reach;
their message was: “Unless you’re circumcised
as Moses’ law quite strictly has advised,
you cannot find salvation.” Paul, however,
along with Barnabas, deemed ‘strangely clever’
that sort of stating & so disagreed,
much vehemence consistently did bleed
from their responses; &, at last, the church
assigned those two a goal as firm as birch
of visiting Jerusalem, along
with some believers local & quite strong
in powers of speech, to talk concertedly
with elders & apostles as though glee
might play rich parts in staying face to face
with how that question seemed to have no place;
en route, those delegates to one big city
showed neither total callousness nor pity
while stopping in Phoenicia -- & allowing
Samaria to show them what endowing
of sweet belief mere towns & countrysides
supply on strong occasions when truth hides.
The latest news included how & when,
& for the jubilations of all men,
the Gentiles also lately kept revealing
much new devotion utterly appealing.
Once they were in Jerusalem again,
both Barnabas & Paul were jolly men,
since all the church so cordially behaved --
including elders & apostles -- saved
from large discomfort they did tend to feel
as they reported on how God’s appeal
had been reflected in their ways of talking;
however, some believers used to walking
within the sect of Pharisees stood up
& offered the insistence, “In each cup
of being both quite Gentile & believing,
real circumcision surely must keep weaving
enough adherence to the law of Moses
& fail to form religion made from poses.”
Apostles & church elders rather soon
had joined in longish meetings whose main tune
was the resolving of that burning issue.
Those sessions having finished, one main tissue
of evidences seemed to fashion Peter
toward forthright speaking; thus, like some deep greeter,
he stood, then greeted sundry worlds this way:
“My brothers, all of you may never stray
from some awareness of the simple truth
of my long seeming blessed with forms of youth
whose vim & vigor may have given God
His tendencies to give me nod on nod
to preach to Gentiles now for quite a while
regarding such Good News as makes all smile,
&, yes, creates belief of ample strength
to seem to lend all moments perfect length.
God always knows what sways each human heart,
& He confirmed all Gentiles have some part
as vessels of the Holy Spirit’s force,
a factor we ourselves He did, of course,
permit, then repermit; He never once,
despite how Nature forms some silly stunts,
made any real distinction, pro nor con,
twixt us & them, but, like some splendid swan,
He cleansed their human hearts through faith alone.
Why, then, are you now hurling sorts of stone,
& challenging dear God tremendously,
by burdening some Gentiles who agree
with sundry major precepts of belief,
as if life’s purpose were naught else but grief?
That sort of burden we ourselves might never
(as never might our forebears, ever, ever)
have seemed or been quite able to endure;
we firmly tend toward staying very sure
that each of us is saved the selfsame way –
by all such grace unmerited mere clay
continues ruled by as Lord Jesus’ powers
immerse worlds in amazingly glad hours.”
Quite quietly did everyone pay heed
as Barnabas & Paul seemed quite agreed
while telling of amazing signs & wonders
God issued, in the style of utter thunders,
to emphasize the Gentiles & their worth.
When they’d ceased speaking, James avoided mirth
as he reported, thusly: “Brothers, listen;
dear Peter now has helped your senses glisten
by telling you about the time God first
had visited the Gentiles &, at worst,
had taken, from them, people, for Himself;
converted Gentiles brought as from a shelf,
precisely fit, what prophecies predicted,
since now on Scripture are these words inflicted:
‘Eventually I fully will return
& bring back David’s house as from an urn
chock-full of ashes suddenly might rise
that very sort of marvel, telling skies
no ruination ever truly matters,
since nothing ever truly is in tatters;
humanity’s remainder then might seek
the Lord’s grand blessings, & the Gentile clique
should be included – nay, all souls on Earth,
as from the start each creature has much worth.’
My firm opinion, then, is that we truly
should strive to act quite far from quite unruly
toward Gentiles who apparently intend
to make of dear, dear God some bosom friend.
Instead of staying harsh, we honestly
might put in writing, as some sweet decree,
instructions telling them they should abstain
from foods idolatry would not disdain,
&, furthermore, they should stay far away
from sexual behaviors that quite stray
& never should eat meat of strangled beasts,
nor ever once drink blood at any feasts.
(On these accounts, the laws of Moses long
have helped all Jewish synagogues stay strong,
permitting Sabbaths over generations
to stay, through preachments, meaningful to nations.)”

The Letter for Gentile Believers

Not long thereafter, in Jerusalem
(in its whole church, that is – a diadem?),
the elders & apostles gravely gathered
& (out of sessions hardly very blathered)
chose delegates to send along with Paul
& Barnabas -- in order, say, to crawl
toward Antioch of Syria again,
this time as an array of such fine men
as could be highly trusted to convey
decisions that stood out like night & day.
The men elected were quite prominent
in that same church quite far from somnolent --
one Judas, called ‘Barsabbas,’ plus a fellow
named Silas, known for concepts rather mellow.
They took with them a letter, & its text
ran (quite precisely) as is copied next:
“This letter, written in Jerusalem,
is from your brothers there – nay, all of them,
though its composers largely were apostles,
& elders for whose love much thriving jostles;
all words herein are aimed at deep believers
among the Gentiles (none of them deceivers)
in Antioch -- a town in Syria –
plus others, in quite quaint Cilicia.
We send loud greetings, & we understand
that some men who reside here have rubbed sand
so badly in you, with obnoxious teaching,
your innards have produced much ceaseless screeching;
however, none of that was sent by us,
&, thus, to try to end all useless fuss,
we firmly, once we’d counseled with ourselves,
decided, like brave cleaners of foul shelves,
to send you, with dear Barnabas & Paul,
official delegates whose pasts recall
heroics that might soon imply such powers
as flesh may sometimes show throughout those hours
when, in devotion to Lord Jesus Christ,
much more than paltriness is sacrificed.
Those stalwarts, Judas & brave Silas, both
embody as performers under oath
an absolute firm wish to let you know
just which behaviors worshipers must show.
Your wobbling tendencies toward sad unease
the Holy Spirit greets with words like these:
‘You must avoid the eating of all food
idolatries have ever ballyhooed,
& must consume no blood, & must be sure
the meat of no choked beasts can seem to cure
your hungers; & you furthermore must be
practitioners of real morality’;
if you act thus, & quell all deviance,
your lives will form stupendous opulence.
Farewell!” Posthaste those messengers then went
to Antioch, where, seeking large consent,
they soon convened a meeting of believers,
a meeting meant for no mere great achievers,
& happily delivered that same letter.
Great joy that day seemed sure to make ‘regretter’
a word the total church might cease to use,
since sharing that rich letter did enthuse,
immensely, many people & created
a sense of grand elation unabated.
Both Judas & bright Silas being able
to prophesy, they went quite far past fable
while speaking at some length to the believers
(& in the mode of anything but grievers),
encouraging their faith & giving it
abiding strength that rendered each world fit;
those two remained awhile, then were sent back
to old Jerusalem, in which no lack
of churchy emphases on peace & light
could bless them slightly; Paul, one man of might,
& Barnabas, his very valued pal,
stayed on in Antioch, & that locale
seemed quite ideal for letting much fine teaching,
along with certain forms of cogent preaching,
exert enough regarding the Lord’s word
to let assorted hearts feel very stirred.

Paul and Barnabas Separate

Once more than several weeks had come & gone,
Paul said to Barnabas: “I feel so gnawn
by curiosity, regarding how
our preachments have proceeded, that right now
we should, I’d say, revisit every city
in which we stayed -- to see the ‘Nitty-Gritty’
(the Truth, in terms of how the new believers
continue in a world controlled by grievers).”
With that suggestion Barnabas agreed,
& quickly mentioned that he felt some need
to take along John Mark; yet, Paul himself
seemed all for shoving that on some dark shelf –
nay, vehemently spoke of how John Mark
deserted them in ways entirely stark
when they were in Pamphylia & ready
to help the people there feel sweetly steady.
So sharp did that strong disagreement grow,
they separated with no lovely glow.
While Barnabas, indeed, did take John Mark
& sail toward Cyrus, Paul would soon embark
with Silas, & would in the process sense
that the believers lent him trust immense
as he continued in the Lord’s fine care,
in modes & manners sapient & rare.
He traveled then through much of Syria
&, yes, Cilicia – euphoria
quite evidently always rather near
to keeping many churches clearly dear.


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