Saturday, 14 May 2016

Theological Limericks



I have, I think, previously expressed my desire to become a famous hymnist.  However, having the innate musical gifts of a tone-deaf but nonetheless enthusiastic howler monkey, it seems like a plan doomed to failure.  I’ve had a stab at writing some lyrics based on an existing tune (after all, Fred Pratt-Green reused tunes, so it’s clearly allowed) but it still seems a little bit like cheating.  I really need someone to write tunes to which I can fit words, or vice-versa.  A Swan to my Flanders, a Sullivan to my Gilbert, a Bonnie to my Clyde- no, wait…

Anyway, since in the short term at least it seems that I am not destined to become the next Isaac Watts, I decided to try something a little less ambitious. I will attempt to exploit a significant and, to my knowledge, currently unfilled niche in the market and have a go at writing theological and biblical limericks.  Hey, we all need hobbies!  So, rather than being a Watts or a Charles Wesley directly, I shall attempt to be to them what Lear was to Shelley or Byron, only without cheating by just reusing the last word of the first line in the last.  I shall leave it to you, dear reader, to determine to what extent I have succeeded:


On the Incarnation
There once was a fellow called Jesus,
Who didn’t come down just to please us,
But to save us from sin,
though we just did Him in,
and through His dying He frees us.

On the Trinity
There’s Father and Son and the Spirit,
And though it seems complex to hear it.
Dad, Ghost and Son,
Are really all one,
Three Persons, One God; does that clear it?

On Faith and Works
We’re saved by our faith not our work,
But don’t think it means you can shirk.
They both are quite vital,
If claiming the title,
Of Christian and part of the kirk!

On the Nature of Christ
Jesus and God are the same,
One Light, one Substance, one Name.
All man and all holy,
All one, and all lowly,
Incarnate to save us He came.

On Grace
God likes to be rather lenient,
His Grace is both free and prevenient,
He wants none to fall,
So it’s offered to all,
A truth that’s both good and convenient.

The Greatest Commandment
Love God with your every part,
Your mind, soul, body and heart,
Then do unto others,
As sisters and brothers,
And if you should stumble, restart.

Communion
Though Jesus was tortured and bled,
And he died, he didn’t stay dead.
His grace is for any,
And though we are many,
We’re one, for we share in one bread.

Love Your Neighbour
Jesus taught for your spiritual health,
“Love your neighbour as much as yourself.
Put each other before,
Help the starving and poor,
And you’ll gain incorruptible wealth.”

John 14:6
Jesus was once heard to say,
“I’m the life, the truth and the way.
From the best to the worst,
All who follow won’t thirst,
I’ll be with them and there I shall stay.”

The Mocking of Christ
The crowd at the temple all jeered,
 “This Jesus is really quite weird.
It really is odd,
How he claims to be God!
His nonsense is worse than we feared.”

The Apostles
There’s Peter and Simon and John,
Two Jameses, and shall I go on?
Bart, Luke and Matthew,
Judas and Andrew,
Philip and Mark and we’re done.


Copyright Thomas Jones 2016

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