Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Titus: A Poetic Summary {by yours truly}

Well, my women's small group has been at it for 6 weeks now.  We've read the entire letter to Titus.{It's only 3 chapters.} We've listed key words, phrases, and themes.  We've looked at each chapter by itself, and have re-written crucial passages in our own words.  We've even memorized a section of verses that well sums up the book's purpose.  Tonight is our final night together, and the assignment I gave our group was to write a paragraph summary of the entire book.

I had the wonderful opportunity of being at The Gospel Coalition Woman's Conference over the weekend in Orlando, Florida, which I can't wait to tell you about,  and it was on the plane coming back to Massachusetts that I decided to start writing my paragraph.  I pulled out my Bible and journal to start writing, but the idea of trying to summarize it in rhyme kept coming to mind. {rhyme/mind = poet/didn't know it} I finished most of it before we landed, and then was able to complete it yesterday while waiting in the local high school parking lot for Cooper to finish up his first day of basketball camp. {A plane and a mini-van = my creative writing spaces and only available moments for sitting still.} So, without further ado, here is my poetic summary of Paul's letter to Titus:

Graciously granted apostleship, I, Paul
But for life, and by choice, now a slave
To the God Who entrusted me with Gospel Truth
So that Gentiles could be saved.

Dear Titus, you are my beloved friend
Child in faith, bold servant, a brother
I left you behind there in Crete
To set the new churches in order.

So, appoint church leaders in every city
Men above reproach, godly elders, mature
Faithful husbands, selfless fathers, good stewards
Grounded in truth, and a faith that endures

They must teach and defend sound doctrine
It's of utmost importance, you see
On that island where Cretans and Jews
Misconstrue customs and create heresies.

And speaking of sound doctrine, Dear Titus
Here's one very important way
That the church should proclaim the Gospel
But not only by the words that they say.

The men should trust Christ in their leadership
For dignity, steadfastness, faith, and love
They should always exemplify good deeds
And live blamelessly by grace from above.

The women should also be reverent
Not given to gossip or addicted to wine
They should focus first on creating their homes
Being pure, submissive, and kind.

Teach all the Christians in Crete to obey
Its leaders, its rulers, its laws
They should never speak evil of others
But be gentle and choose peace with all.

Encourage in each a humble heart
That recalls its former condition:
Foolish, hateful, disobedient, deceived
Until His mercy accomplished salvation.

With proper roles, leadership, and good works
All Gospel-born and grace-transformed
Not only are Crete's churches and people profited
But the Gospel of Christ is beautifully adorned.

Along with our study of Titus, we've been reading this book, which covers in expanded detail the seven virtues that the older women are encouraged to teach the younger women in the second chapter of Titus. To be honest, it's not an easy book for some to readily embrace on their first exposure to the principles of biblical manhood and womanhood.  It's quite counter-current-feminist-culture.  However, I have been really blessed to hear about its fruit in the lives of a few of the women in our group whom I have been privileged to discuss it with over coffee.  Just yesterday over iced coffees at Starbucks, a woman shared with me how she was beginning to try and bless her husband by prioritizing some of his desires for their home.  It gave her joy to consider his temperament over her own, and serve him in a way that would specifically bless him and make for peaceful, relaxing evenings at home.  Another sweet member of our group shared that she had learned so much about godly family dynamics from the book , not having ever really seen those modeled in her own home.

But as usual, I get the biggest blessing by interacting with wonderfully unique women from my church, being encouraged by God's amazing work in their lives, and by deepening my own understanding of my Lord and His Word through it all. I love my "job."

Speaking of...Stay tuned for how I got to hang out with John Piper, Tim Keller, D.A. Carson and 3800 godly women from all over the world!


Anonymous said...

I read the poem aloud to Jack. Well done! Love from us in very hot S.A.

Melanie said...

Thanks for being my biggest fans, J & K. Love to you both.