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Spoken Word: Easter 2016

Ray 5
Image courtesy of Salem Alliance Church. All rights reserved.

“Because He Lives”

Written by Jessica Murdoch, Rhetorical Redhead; Performed by Ray White

© 2016 Rhetorical Redhead All Rights Reserved

This Easter, I had the opportunity to compose another spoken word poem for Salem Alliance Church. The piece would be performed by an intelligent young man by the name of Ray White, recorded by SAC’s extremely talented tech guy, Chris Hahn, and directed by myself and Jeff Brown, the church’s Worship Pastor.

I continue to be humbled and blessed by beautiful collaborations such as these…they fall into my lap without my asking, and I’ve learned to say “yes” to the things that terrify me. Growth happens when you’re able to work through your fears, making them work for you, and replacing uncertainty with absolute trust. It’s so very hard. But so very liberating. And that is exactly what happened this Easter weekend. I never seem to be able to articulate these experiences very well…and I suppose that is alright. The best things in life need no explanation.

The livestream video is available to view by clicking here. For those who do not wish to watch the full video, the spoken word piece begins at the 24:45 time stamp. If you happen to meet Ray or Chris or Jeff, thank them. And I do hope you’ll take the time to watch the service in its entirety. We are surrounded by passionate and talented individuals who have such a heart for Christ and for others. Let’s celebrate Him, and each other, and remember that we live because He lives.

(Text of poem below.)


“Because He Lives”

Written by Jessica Murdoch; Performed by Ray White

© 2016 Rhetorical Redhead All Rights Reserved


Blesséd are those who did not see

with rivered eyes as metallic streams flowed free

in silence-bitten mouths and still believed

Who did not see the gnarled tree

the tree cut down to cut down Love

and boring holes bore He who’d bleed

on Golgotha where we

did not watch God ascend to be

nailed to angry skies

and die at the pleasure of His people

But Love

ah Love could not come true without the lie of death

its serpent tongues piercing the defenseless heels of Mercy

congealing His gasps,

the enemy’s unworthy, wicked, wasteful threats

The serpent betting against a stacked deck

in that His final breath bore no finality

for death’s dark travesty made void in Jesus’ majesty

poured out from every pore

in streams of crystal sanguine beauty

Oh blesséd are we

who did not see…

believed in the oldest story told, indeed,

because our newfound life depended on a mustard seed

Without the Light we cannot see

but faith is blind and so are we without Him

Darkness only is

because Light…is

You are…because Father, Son, Spirit…are

Grace is

Grace lives

“For God so loved the world, He gave—”

and gave, and gave

became a slave to our humanity, traded

glory for thorns

psalms for scorn

because God is Love and Love was made

not to judge but to save His children from themselves…

What parent wills their child’s demise?

It’s no

wild surprise that Abba, Father, chose to give His life for us, His grand design,

if only to spare us from our flesh and from our minds

Our Eden independence

the grand—the only—sentence we would bear

but there…inscribed above His bleeding head He bore our sin of Knowledge not our own

because beating death meant severing the distance we chose

chasmatically—chaotic…’cly—in the Garden

as hearts were hardened

by our assumptions of good…and evil…good and…evil…

never begging pardon as His people

believing “Me” to be our number one priority

Blesséd are we…

who did not see it coming

who did not see what kind of Love it would take

to break the faultless bones of God

forsake the throne, forsake His life,

for the sake of giving us our own with Him in Paradise…

Now…doesn’t that sound nice?

To live a life devoid of shame, devoid of sin, devoid of lies…


This is life—

but there is no life if there

is no Christ!

Blesséd is He

who did not need hands to move the stone

barring the dead and living to be housed alone

and separate from holy possibility

The Choice made ours, no bars, no laws to hold our souls apart

but daily do we choose

to live or lose and let the walls grow taller ‘round our broken hearts

No boulder, pebble, brick too small to do our part

in layering lies and filling furrows with mortared deceit in place of Truth…

The Builder did not come to reject us…

For sticks and stones

are but rocks and bones the enemy uses to clone our false and slowful debt

as deception flows to steal your soul, so—why embrace death

when the Living Water came without a toll to quench our deserters’ breath?

The gift of free will has always been free

and blesséd are we who are freed by the Cross

triumphant in loss, regaining rebirth without cost…

Give pause…

Give praise…

because He loved

my soul was saved for all eternity…

“Why do you weep?…Whom do you seek?”

Oh blesséd be…

who did not see…

who knows that Jesus came to live to love to die

and bring redemption in His Victory.

Published inPoetry
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