Man of Conscience – A Poem

Last night we watched part two of a two-part show on PBS about Martin Luther. It was very well done and informative. It inspired me to write a poem about Martin Luther for Thankful Thursday because I am thankful for the reformation of the church for which Luther was responsible.

I am thankful for the truth he taught that salvation is a gift of God. Salvation is not something I must earn by my own deeds, or worse, by the purchase of indulgences from the church. I am also thankful for Luther’s translation of the Bible into the language of the people, the forerunner of our modern day Bibles that are translated into almost every language in the world so that all may learn of God’s love and mercy.

1/17/12 Update: Decided to link to this poem for dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night as an example of a poem that, as Natasha says, “bears witness to our history.” I also made a small tweak to line 3, which never seemed quite right before.

Man of Conscience

Man of conscience who
Argued his point in the 95 Theses
Risking excommunication and death
Though fear was abolished by courage
Instilled by God, His Holy Spirit power
No man could make him recant

Lifelong pursuit of his God
Unable to find peace for his soul
Til the Word of God opened his heart
Heretic they called him for the hope he shared
Eternal life as a gift from the Lord, not earned
Reform turned revolution leads to truth

“Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. May God help me. Amen.” Martin Luther, Diet of Worms.

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19 Comments

Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life, Poetry

19 responses to “Man of Conscience – A Poem

  1. ~L

    powerful and beautiful!!! Such good reminders!
    ~L

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  2. A beautiful tribute to Martin Luther..
    I liked the way you have presented it with your thoughts…

    Shashi

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    http://shadowdancingwithmind.blogspot.com/2012/01/whispers-haiku-on-how-i-write-poetry.html
    At twitter @VerseEveryDay

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    • Thank you for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment. Sometimes I write poetry without any commentary, and sometimes what I start to write as commentary on a poem becomes the poem. But this one deserved a little explanation. I’m glad you liked it. Peace, Linda

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  3. Yeah he was great, he actually stood for something and didn’t crumble when opposed or back down. Nice verse.

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  4. i find luther very inspiring…did not see the special but have you seen the movie Luther…it is really well done…he stood for something…that is what truly captures me of him…

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    • Brian, I haven’t seen the movie (except the old black and white one many years ago). What inspires me about Luther is that he stood for something not when it was easy to do so, but when it was very, very hard. Peace, Linda

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  5. what a beautifully penned acrostic! nicely done, Linda! Poignant and insightful.

    my latest:
    http://magicinthebackyard.wordpress.com/2012/01/17/we-make-love/

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  6. Truly a man of integrity and courage… the kind of person I could never aspire to be. (I’m a coward.)

    “Risking life and excommunication…” Only an annointing from God could inspire a man to do what he did. I studied about him as a high schooler, and appreciate a wonderful poem in his honor.

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    • Linda, I do believe Luther was annointed by God, that he had a supernatural courage that came from the Holy Spirit. I know it seems like you could never have that kind of courage, but if you really needed it God would provide. Peace, Linda

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  7. “my conscience is captive to the Word of God.” Praying that for me too, Linda. I’m so glad you got to watch that series. I saw that it was on . . .but I didn’t get to see it. Out voted. 🙂 The poem was outstanding. I didn’t think you were going to do an acrostic with it! wow! You are like the queen of acrostics.
    God bless you and your thankful heart for Jesus!

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    • Deb, I was surprised that hubby actually taped this one (on our DVR). Sorry you didn’t get to see it. You are so sweet giving me the title of queen of acrostics. I do like them as a poetic form. Peace, Linda

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  8. I wish I had known about that special. I would have liked to record it. I’ll look for a rebroadcast of it. I’m a fan of Luther, big time. We owe a lot to him.

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  9. Thank you again. I am an admirer of Martin Luther, of what God accomplished through a very flawed man, of his faith and perseverance. There is a truly excellent biography of him, “Here I Stand” by Roland Bainton, if you like to read things like this. I believe Bainton was a Quaker when he wrote it, so it did not come from a viewpoint biased in Luther’s favor; but it was a balanced and faithful account of his life and made me thankful for him all the more. There is still much we can learn from Luther besides justification by faith alone; and now the Catholic church is coming around to respect him as well. I have hope for healing of old injuries.
    Meanwhile, God’s peace be with you.

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    • Thanks for your kind comment, and for the book recommendation. That does sound like one I would like to read and I will see if I can get a copy once I’ve made it though a few others in my reading stack. Peace, Linda

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