An Ode to Credo, or, The Theological Beat

Hello all! I hope you have had a blessed Holy Week and a very Happy Easter!

Just thought I would share something with my readers. Every year there is something that my particular seminary holds called the Perkins Spring Follies, in which we have a big comedy variety show. Hilarity ensues. This year, I managed to participate. I wrote and performed, with the lovely DeSay Judd, a beat poem. I would urge you to read it aloud to get the full effect. Sorry I don’t have a video, but the text was fun to write. Dig it.

 

The holy paraclete

Saw the state of the beat,

As she walked down the street,

Found a backseat

In the holy mother church, empty and neat

Cold as reinforced concrete

And she cried,

“I saw the greatest minds of my generation

Bored and confused with endless, pointless conversation

Long, useless sermons on transubstantiation,

Heated debates on eternal damnation,

And half-hearted attempts at adult volunteer registration

For the church volleyball tournament, ya dig?

You have lost the theological beat.

They yearn for jubilation,

And care not for the vagaries of justification,

Instead they seek holy liberation

The restoration

Of all creation

To make a worthwhile oblation

And to find a healing station

In the midst of devastation!

They cry out, enough! The church has lost it’s cool.

The people will not be taken as a fool!

They’ve had enough of tasteless gruel,

And seek out a more nourishing fuel,

But the people asked, how are we supposed to make things more cool

If the theromostat’s broken?”

So the holy paraclete got to her feet and beat

A path

To the seminary

Around the month of February,

And ran into a woman quite contrary

And asked a query

Of the woman named Mary

Gallegos.

She said Ah! You must be the new student!

She cried that the timing was most prudent

For there was a meeting of professors in the building adjacent

And there was no time to be complacent

The application was filled, the paraclete’s academic career nascent

And she made the descent

Down the stairs, already noticing the abatement

Of hope for a compelling, theological beat.

She came up first to Professor Miles,

Who, upon sight of the spirit, ran down the aisles,

Arms all a-flailing, And then suddenly smiles

And sits in a pew, as they begin to wile

Away the hours in search of the cause of loss so vile,

The loss of the theological beat.

“I know who to blame!” She cried out starkly,

“The culprit of this loss is none other than the patriarchy!

Either that, or the notorious money grubbing fingers of the oligarchy…

Certainly it couldn’t be anything else, we did away with the monarchy

Years ago.

If only there was a holy womanly matriarchy!

Then we could dispel with the spiritual anarchy

That fills our churches with so much malarkey—

I’m sorry, I just had a thought, Have you seen the marquis

On sign outside the refectory?

We’re getting a dinner of turkey!

Disappointed, the holy paraclete walked on

For she would have preferred fried prawns

Or even a bon bon

And so she was drawn

To a rather debonair Don Juan

Named Hugo Magallan…es

In search of the theological beat.

“Whaaaat? Of Course!” He cried. “The problem is the society!

The context demands that the church needs more variety

To combat this anxiety

Of far too much propriety

And soulless sobriety

Which has earned its notoriety—

We need instead a multicultural piety!

That will end our naivety.”

Satisfied with the man’s energetic response

The paraclete searched for more academic ponce

But instead with this nonce

Found professor Abraham’s nonchalance

Worthy of probing and so she ensconced

Not wanting to miss this chance

To find the theological beat.

“Surely the problem is that we need a more analytic theology

We’ve fallen prey to functionally atheist epistemology

And so we need to claim a more comprehensive apology

To take on the slings and arrows of psychology

To take seriously the claims of biology

To look deep within our own neurology

To adapt with the advances of technology

But not beholden only to cultural anthropology

And be careful of our terminology

As we belt out about 45 doxologies.”

Given 3 different answers, the paraclete was confused

As on the various problems she mused

She found her own energy bruised

And decided that she herself remained unused

In answering the problem of which she was enthused

And came to the conclusion that the Spirit was what the church need to be infused

With.

And So we search on down the religious street

Searching in hopes that our feet

Will stumble upon a poetic conceit

Which our yearning souls will find sweet

A reclamation of the theological beat.

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About grantimusmax

Grant Barnes, aka Grantimus Maximus, aka The Nerdcore Theologian. He is a graduate of Perkins School of Theology with a Masters Degree in Divinity. He is also a commissioned elder in the United Methodist Church, and Senior Pastor at Hemphill First United Methodist Church and Pineland United Methodist Church. He graduated from Texas State University Cum Laude with a Bachelor's degree in English, minor in History. He watches way too many movies, reads too many books, listens to too much music, and plays too many video games to ever join the mundane reality people claim is the "Real World." He rejects your reality, and replaces it with a vision of what could be, a better one, shaped by his love for God.
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