Beckett: Poetry – No. 1681, Being Christian

For those in Christ who are slain
shall not meet eternal demise.
They shall wake amidst God’s reign
in His perfected paradise.
Those martyred by the sword
shall live on with God fore’er,
and receive from Him their due reward,
for in Christ they lived to dare.

Light from Heaven shall fall as white,
God to raise all who have died.
His children will ascend in eternal light,
in Christ forever to abide.
The hosts of angels shall come and go,
reaping the damned to their grave, —
to Hell they shall fall like snow,
for they lived their lives depraved.

My entire life I shall proclaim
Jesus Christ’s miraculous birth,
and also the preëminence of His name
throughout all the earth.
Those who hate Him will pass by, —
their hate for me they shall scream, —
yet all their screaming goes awry,
their supposed autonomy merely a dream.

When dismayed, to Christ I turn,
thanks be to His gracious sacrifice.
He hears my prayers and discerns
to give a glimpse of paradise.
I take His body and His blood,
and before the Table I taste there
His mercy for me the Spirit floods
the Father’s gracious care.

Pray only according to God’s will;
He always promises to hear me out.
Whether in body or soul I am ill,
He sends His Word to remove all doubt.
God’s glory every hymn limns,
whose presence surpasses every dream;
His holy light never dims,
for God alone reigns supreme.

When against my soul sin is pressed,
Christ invites me to come forth,
for He knows me in my nakedness,
and still gives me eternal worth.
Even when sin at its worst stings,
God still calls me His dear son,
for He adopted me in baptismal springs
and has given to me salvation won.

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