April 12: “Miracles of Jesus” (9/12) by Day Williams


Martha went out but Mary stayed, preparing
For His arrival, and when Martha greeted
Jesus, she said to him, “It would have turned
Out better; he would not be in his grave

If you had been here, but because you care,
Even now I know God will give you, Jesus,
Whatever you ask.” Jesus was concerned
And told her, “Lazarus will rise once more.”

“Yes,” Martha said, “he’ll rise, as we’re aware,
On the last day when everybody sees
You when they rise from graves–yet I still mourn.”
Jesus told her what she knew from talks before:

Mary, Lazarus, and Martha

Matthew Chapter Fifteen


1 Some Pharisees and teachers of the law

Came from Jerusalem and questioned Jesus,

2 “Why do your followers destroy our old


Traditions? They don’t wash their hands before

They eat!” 3 “Tell me,” asked Jesus, “why do you

Break God’s command for your tradition’s sake?


4 Because God said, ‘Revere your father and

Your mother’ and ‘Whoever curses his

Father or mother must be put to death.’


5 But you say if a man says to his father

Or mother, ‘Help you otherwise might have

Received from me is now a gift to God,’


6 He is not to ‘revere his father’ with

It. Thus you nullify the word of God

For your tradition’s sake. 7 You hypocrites!


Well did Isaiah prophesy of you:

8 “‘These people honor me with their lips, but

Their hearts are far from me. 9 They worship me


In vain; their teachings are but man-made laws.’”

10 Then Jesus called the crowd to him and said,

“Listen and understand. 11 What goes into


A man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean,’ but

What comes out of his mouth, that’s what makes him

‘Unclean.’” 12 Then the disciples came to him


And asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees

Were outraged when they heard this?” 13 He replied,

“Each plant my heavenly Father has not planted


Will be uprooted. 14 Leave them; they’re blind guides.

If a blind man leads a blind man, they’ll both

Fall in a pit.” 15 “Explain the parable


To us,” said Peter. 16 “Are you still so dull?”

Jesus asked. 17 “Don’t you see whatever goes

Into the mouth goes in the stomach, then


Out of the body? 18 But the things that come

Out of the mouth come from the heart, and these

Can make a man ‘unclean,’ 19 for from the heart


Come evil thoughts, lust, murder, slander, theft,

Adultery, false testimony, 20 which are

What make a man ‘unclean’; but eating with


Unwashed hands does not make him ‘unclean.’” 21 Jesus

Then left that place, retiring into Tyre

And Sidon’s district. 22 A woman from that


Vicinity, a Canaanite, approached

Him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have

Mercy on me! My daughter’s suffering


Horribly, for a demon has possessed

Her.” 23 Jesus made no answer, and so his

Disciples came to him and urged, “Send her


Away, for she keeps crying after us.”

24 Jesus replied, “I was sent only to

The lost sheep of the house of Israel.”


25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord,

Help me!” she said. 26 He answered, “It’s not right

To take the children’s bread and toss it to


Their dogs.” 27 “Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even dogs

Beneath the master’s table are allowed

To eat the crumbs that fall;” 28 Then Jesus said,


“Woman, you have great faith, and your request

Is granted.” And her daughter was restored

That moment. 29 Jesus left that place and went


Along the Sea of Galilee, then he

Went up a mountainside and sat down. 30 Great

Crowds came to him and brought the lame, the blind,


The crippled, those who could not speak and many

Others, and put them at his feet; and he

Healed them. 31 The people were amazed when they


Saw dumb men speak, the crippled well, the lame

Walking about and blind men seeing. They

Marveled and praised the God of Israel.


32 Then Jesus called his followers to him

And said, “I have compassion for these people;

They have already been with me three days and


Have nothing left to eat. I do not want

To let them go home hungry, or they may

Collapse along the way.” 33 His followers


Replied, “Where could we get sufficient bread

In this deserted place to feed a crowd

Like this?” 34 “How many loaves do you have?” Jesus


Asked. “Seven, and a few small fish,” they said.

35 He told the crowd to sit down on the ground.

36 Then he picked up the seven loaves and fish,


And when he’d given thanks, he broke them and

Gave them to the disciples, who in turn

Gave pieces to the people. 37 Everyone ate


‘Til full– 38 four thousand men, besides the women

And children. Afterward the followers

Collected seven basketfuls of pieces


Left over. 39 After Jesus had dismissed

The crowd, he went aboard the vessel and

Crossed to the area of Magadan.





Matthew Chapter Fourteen


Now when the tetrarch Herod heard reports

Of Jesus, 2 he told his attendants, “This

Is John the Baptist, who has risen from


The dead! That’s why he’s able to perform

Such miracles,” 3 for Herod had arrested

John, bound him and imprisoned him due to


Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife,

4 For John had told him: “It’s illegal for

You to have her.” 5 So Herod wished to kill


John, but the people frightened him, for all

The people thought he was a prophet. 6 Now

On Herod’s birthday danced the daughter of


Herodias, who dazzled Herod so

Much that 7 he swore to give her what she asked.

8 Her mother prompting her, she said, “Give me


The head of John the Baptist on a tray.”

9 This bothered Herod, but due to his oaths

And dinner guests, he ordered her request be


Granted, 10 so guards beheaded John in jail.

11 His head was brought in on a tray and given

The girl, who took it to her mother. 12 John’s


Disciples came, removed his body and

Buried it, then went and told Jesus. 13 When

Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew


By boat alone to a remote locale.

Hearing of this, the crowds went after him

On foot from many villages. 14 When Jesus


Came from the wilderness, he saw a crowd

And pitied them and healed their sick; 15 then as

Evening approached, the followers approached


Him, saying, “This is a deserted place,

And it’s already getting late. Send off

The crowds, so they can travel to the towns


And buy themselves some food.” 16 He answered, “They

Don’t need to leave. You give them food to eat.”

17 “We only have five loaves of bread and two


Fish,” they replied. 18 “Bring them to me,” he said,

19 And had the people sit down on the grass.

Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he


Looked up to heaven, gave thanks, broke the loaves,

And then gave them to the disciples to

Place in front of the people, 20 who all ate


‘Til they were full. Disciples gathered up

Twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that

Remained. 21 The number eating was about


Five thousand men, besides the women and

The children. 22 Jesus immediately made

The followers get in the boat and go


Ahead of him onto the other side,

23 While he dismissed the crowd; then afterwards

He went up on a mountainside alone


To pray. When evening came, he was alone

There, 24 but the boat already was quite far

From land, buffeted by the waves because


The wind was blustering against it. 25 When

It was about four a.m., Jesus went

Walking to them out on the lake, 26 which scared


The followers when they saw him. “A ghost,”

They said, and screamed in fear. 27 But Jesus said

To them at once, “Take heart, for it is I.


Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord,” Peter said, “if it

Is you, tell me to come to you out on

The water.” 29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got


Down from the boat and walked upon the water

Toward Jesus. 30 But when Peter saw the wind,

He was afraid, began to sink, and screamed,



“Lord, save me!” 31 At once Jesus reached his hand

Out, caught him, and said, “You of little faith,

“Why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed inside


The boat, the wind died down, 33 then those within

The boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you’re

The Son of God.” 34 When they had crossed the lake,


They landed at Gennesaret. 35 The news

Of their arrival swiftly spread throughout

The towns, and people brought their sick to him


And begged him to allow the sick to feel

His robe’s fringe, and those touching him were healed.




Matthew Chapter Ten


1 He called his twelve disciples to him and

Gave them authority to drive out evil

Spirits and heal all kinds of sickness and


Disease. 2 These are the twelve apostles’ names:

First, Simon (who’s called Peter) and his brother

Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and John,


His brother; 3 Philip and Bartholomew;

Thomas; the tax collector, Matthew; James

Alphaeus’ son, and Thaddaeus; 4 and Simon


The Zealot and Judas Iscariot,

The traitor. 5 These twelve Jesus sent out with

The following instructions: “Do not go


Among the Gentiles or Samaritans.

6 Go rather to the lost sheep in the house

Of Israel. 7 Go and announce to them


That Heaven’s Kingdom is near. 8 Heal the sick,

Raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons.

Freely you have received, so freely give.


9 Do not take any gold or silver or

Copper along with you, 10 and take no bag

For the excursion, and no extra clothes


Or sandals or a staff; the worker’s worth

His keep. 11 Whatever town or village that

You enter, search for some respected man


There; stay with him until you leave. 12 As you

Enter the home, give it your blessing. 13 If

The home deserves it, let your peace come rest


On it; if it is not, then let your peace

Return to you. 14 If none will welcome you

Or listen to your words, shake off the dust


From your feet as you leave that home or town.

15 Believe me, Sodom and Gomorrah will

Fare better on the day of judgment than


That town. 16 I send you out like sheep among

Wolves, so be shrewd as snakes, as innocent

As doves, 17 but be on guard against men; they


Will hand you over to the courts and flog

You in their synagogues. 18 On my account

You will be brought in front of governors


And kings as witnesses to them and to

The Gentiles, 19 but when they arrest you, don’t

Worry about how you should speak or what


To say, 20 for you’ll be told then what to say,

For it will not be you who speaks– instead,

The Spirit of your Father will be speaking


Through you: 21 A brother will betray a brother

To death; a father will betray his child,

And children will rebel against their parents


And have them killed. 22 All men will hate you due

To me, but he who stands firm to the end

Will be saved. 23 When you’re persecuted in


One place, flee to another. I tell you

The truth, you will not finish going through

The towns of Israel before the Son


Of Man arrives. 24 A student’s not above

His teacher and a servant’s not above

His master. 25 It suffices for the student


That he be like his teacher, that the servant

Be like his master. If the household head

Is called ‘The Evil Prince,’ what sort of names


Will they give to his servants? 26 But don’t be

Afraid of them. There’s nothing now concealed

That will not be exposed, or hidden that


Will not be known. 27 The things I tell you in

The darkness, you should speak in daylight; what

Is whispered in your ear, proclaim from roofs.


28 Don’t be afraid of those who kill the body

But cannot kill the soul. Instead, be scared

Of him who can destroy both soul and body


In fires of hell. 29 Two sparrows sell for one

Penny, don’t they? Yet not a single one

Of them can fall to earth without your Father


Knowing. 30 The very hairs upon your head

Are numbered, 31 so don’t be afraid; you’re worth

More than a flock of sparrows. 32 Every man


Who publicly acknowledges me, I’ll

Acknowledge in front of my Father in

Heaven, 33 but every man who shall disown


Me publicly, I will disown to my

Father in heaven. 34 Don’t suppose that I

Have come to bring peace to the earth. I did


Not come to bring peace, but a sword, 35 for I

Have come to turn ‘a man against his father,

A girl against her mother, and a daughter-


In-law against her mother-in-law’− 36 right

In his own home a man will have his worst

Enemies. 37 Anyone who loves his father


Or mother more than me does not deserve

To be mine; anyone who loves his son

Or daughter more than me does not deserve


To be mine; 38 and the one who does not take

His cross and follow me does not deserve

Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it; he


Who gives it up for me will find it. 40 Those

Who welcome you are welcoming me. When

They welcome me, they welcome God who sent


Me. 41 Anyone who greets a prophet just

Because he is a prophet will receive

The same reward a prophet gains; he who


Receives a righteous man because he is

A righteous man will gain a righteous man’s

Reward, 42 and if you, as my follower,


Give even a cold cup of water to

A little child, believe me, serves the Lord,

And he will surely not lose his reward.”



Matthew Chapter Three


1 In those days John the Baptist came and preached

In the Judaean Desert, 2 and his theme

Was, “Turn away from sin and turn to God


For Heaven’s Kingdom has arrived.” 3 This is

The one of whom Isaiah prophesied:

“A voice calls in the wilderness, ‘Prepare


The highway for the Lord, and straighten paths

For him.’” 4 John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair;

He wore a leather belt around his waist;


His food was locusts and wild honey. 5 People

Went to him from Jerusalem and all

Judea and the Jordan district. 6 When


They had confessed their sins, he baptized them

Within the Jordan River, 7 but when he

Saw many Pharisees and Sadducees


Coming for baptism, he said to them:

“You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee

The coming wrath? 8 Prove you have turned from sin


By doing worthy deeds, 9 and do not think

That you can get by, thinking, ‘Abraham’s

Our father.’ I tell you that God can make


Children for Abraham out of these stones.

10 The ax is poised at the root of the trees,

And every tree that fails to bear good fruit


Will be cut down and thrown into the fire

11 I baptize you with water for repentance,

But after me will come one who’s far greater


Than I, so great I am not worthy to

Carry his sandals, who will baptize you

With the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 He will


Separate chaff from grain, and burn the chaff

With never-ending fire, and store away

The grain.” 13 Then Jesus came from Galilee


Down to the Jordan to be baptized there

By John, 14 but John attempted to deter him, saying,

“I need for you to baptize me, yet do


You come to me?” 15 But Jesus answered, “Let

It be so now; it’s right for us to do

This to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John


Consented. 16 After he was baptized, Jesus

Went up out of the water. Suddenly

The heavens opened, and he saw the Spirit


baptism Jesus

“Baptism of Jesus”

By Joachim Patinir


Of God descend and light upon him like

A dove. 17 “This is my Son I love so dearly,”

A voice from heaven said, “with Him I’m pleased.”

Matthew Chapter One


1 A record of the genealogy

Of Jesus Christ the son of David, son

Of Abraham: 2 Now Abraham was Isaac’s


Father, and Isaac Jacob’s father, Jacob

Was Judah and his brothers’ father, 3 Judah,

Perez and Zerah’s father, and their mother


Was Tamar; now Perez was Hezron’s father,

And Hezron was Ram’s father; 4 and then Ram

Was father of Amminadab, and then


Amminadab was Nahshon’s father; Nahshon

Was Salmon’s father; 5 Salmon was the father

Of Boaz (Rahab was his mother); Boaz


Was Obed’s father (Ruth was Obed’s mother);

Obed was Jesse’s father; 6 Jesse was

King David’s father; David was the father


Of Solomon, whose mother had once been

Uriah’s wife; 7 Solomon was father

To Rehoboam, and Rehoboam


Was father to Abijah, and Abijah

Was Asa’s father, 8 and Jehoshaphat’s

Father was Asa, and Jehoshaphat


The father of Jehoram, and Jehoram

Uzziah’s father, 9 and Uzziah Jotham’s

Father; and Jotham Ahaz’ father; Ahaz


Was Hezekiah’s father; 10 Hezekiah

The father of Manasseh, and Manasseh

Was Amon’s father; Amon was Josiah’s


Father; 11 Josiah was the father of

Jeconiah and all his brothers when

They were removed to Babylon as captives.


12 After their expulsion into Babylon

Came Jeconiah as the father of

Shealtiel, and Shealtiel was the father


Of Zerubbabel, 13 Zerubbabel was

The father of Abiud, and Abiud

The father of Eliakim, and then


Eliakim was Azor’s father; 14 Azor

Was Zadok’s father; Zadok was the father

Of Achim, Achim was Eliud’s father,


15 Eliud Eleazar’s father, and

Eleazar was Matthan’s father; Matthan

Was Jacob’s father; 16 Jacob was the father


Of Joseph, Mary’s husband, of whom was

Born Jesus, who is the Messiah. 17 So

From Abraham to David there were in


All fourteen generations, and from David

Up to the exile into Babylon

Were fourteen generations, and then from


The exile to the Christ were fourteen. 18 This

Is how the birth of Jesus Christ occurred:

His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,


And yet before they came together, she

Was found with child due to the Holy Spirit.

19 Because her husband Joseph was a man


Of righteousness and did not want to shame

Her publicly, he made his mind up to

Divorce her quietly, 20 but after he


Had chosen this, an angel of the Lord

Came in a dream to him and told him, “Joseph,

The son of David, do not be afraid

Joseph angel dream


To take home Mary as your wife, for what’s

Conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

21 She’ll bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus,


Because he’ll save his people from their sins.

22 This will fulfill God’s message through the prophets:

23 ‘The virgin shall conceive a child and she


Will bear a son they’ll call Immanuel’–

Which means, ‘God is with us.’” 24 When Joseph woke

Up, he did as the angel of the Lord


Had ordered, taking Mary home to be

His wife, 25 but had no sex with her ‘til she

Had borne a Son, and Joseph called him Jesus.


(rendered in blank verse by Day Williams)

March 2: “Sonnet 98 (Barabbas)” by Day Williams

Sonnet 98 (Barabbas)


I can’t believe they set me free. That man,

So peaceful, self-assured, prepared to die–

Even Pontius Pilate, who’s no fan

Of Jews, said he had done no wrong. I’ll fly


Down this road fast as this gray donkey can

Trot, far from crosses silhouetted high

On Calvary, the symbols of the plans

By Rome to rule by fear. I want to cry


When my own countrymen, my fellow Jews,

Meekly obey the goons and clowns from Rome

Who wield the swords and shields. I have a chance

Again to stir rebellion, as I choose.


How foolish was that Jesus to come home,

Claiming he was a prophet. Such romance!

~Day Williams


Revelation Chapter Thirteen


1 The dragon stood upon the seashore, and

I saw a beast that rose out of the sea

Which had ten horns and seven heads and on


Its horns, ten crowns, and on each head were written

Blasphemous titles. 2 Now the beast I saw

Looked like a leopard but had bears’ feet and


A lion’s mouth. The dragon gave the beast

His throne, his power, and authority;

3 And one of the beast’s heads appeared to have


A deadly wound−and yet the deadly wound

Was healed! The whole world was astonished and

Followed the beast. 4 Because the dragon gave


Him such great power, men paid homage to

The dragon, and they idolized the beast

Too, asking, “Who is like the beast? Who can


Make war against him?” 5 And for three and one-

Half years 6 the beast opened up his mouth

To speak great blasphemies against the Lord,


And all that time he blasphemed God’s Name, His

Temple and heaven’s dwellers. 7 He received

Ability to fight the saints and beat



Them, with his empire over every tribe,

People, language and nation. 8 Those who live

On earth will worship it−all those whose names


Have not been written in the book of life

Of the Lamb killed before the world was formed.

9 He who can hear, should listen well. 10 If one


Leads to captivity, he will himself

Go to captivity; if one kills with

The sword, then with the sword he will be killed.


This calls for patience, faith, and faithfulness

Of saints. 11 I saw another beast that rose up from

The land; he had two lamb-like horns, but he


Roared like a dragon, 12 and he wielded all

The mastery and power of the Beast

Whose death-wound had been healed, whom he required


The earth and its inhabitants to worship.

13 He did fantastic signs and wonders, such

As making fire flame down from heaven to


The earth before the people. 14 Due to these

Great signs which he was given power to

Perform for the first beast, he was deceiving


People throughout the earth, commanding them

To carve a statue honoring the beast

Who had been wounded by the sword, yet lived.


15 He was allowed to give the statue breath

And even make it speak. It ordered death

To those who would not worship it. 16 He forced


All people−great and little, rich and poor,

Slave and free−to receive a mark on his

Right hand or forehead, 17 so that none could buy


Or sell unless he had the mark, which is

The beast’s name or the number of his name.

                  18 This calls for wisdom, and if anyone


Has insight, he can solve the cipher’s tricks:

It’s man’s number, six hundred sixty-six.






Revelation Chapter Twelve in blank verse


1 A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven:

I saw a pregnant woman covered with

The sun, the moon beneath her feet and on


Her head a twelve-star crown. 2 She cried in pain,

For she was ready to give birth, 3 and then

Up in the sky another sign appeared:


A huge red seven-headed dragon with

Ten horns and seven crowns upon his heads.

4 His tail swept from the sky a third of stars


And flung them to the earth. The dragon stood

Before the woman who was close to bearing

A child, so he might eat the child as soon


“Fall of the Rebel Angels” by Breughel


As it was born. 5 She bore a boy who was

To govern nations with an iron rod,

And he was taken up to God and placed


Upon his throne. 6 The woman ran off to

The desert to a place God had prepared

For her, where she was comforted for one


Thousand two hundred sixty days, 7 but war

Broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels

Battled the dragon, and the dragon and


His angels fought back, 8 but they lacked the strength

And were expelled from heaven. 9 The big dragon

Was heaved away−that snake, the devil, Satan,


Who tricks the world,was hurled to earth, his angels

With him, 10 and next I heard a voice from heaven

Cry, “It’s come! The salvation, power and


Kingdom of our God, and of Christ’s authority.

He who accused our brothers, who accused

Them day and night before our God, has been


Hurled down, 11 for they have overcome him by

The Lamb’s blood and by their own testimony,

Because they did not love their lives so much


They shrank from death. 12 Rejoice, you heavens, and

All you who live in them! But pity earth

And sea, because the devil has gone down


To you. He’s filled with fury, for he knows

His time is short.” 13 And when the Dragon saw

He had been cast to earth, he started to


Pursue the woman who had borne the child,

14 But she received two eagle’s wings so she

Could fly out to the place prepared for her


In wilderness, where for a time she was

Protected from the snake, and for two times,

And half a time. 15 Then from his mouth the snake


Spewed out a water flood to sweep her off

And drown her, 16 but the earth assisted her

By swallowing the flood. 17 The dragon, mad


At her, warred with her children who remained−

The ones obedient to God’s commandments,

Confessing Jesus as their testament.




Revelation Chapter Eleven in blank verse


1 An angel gave a measuring stick to me

And said, “Go, measure ‘round God’s temple and

The altar; count how many worship there.


Outside the temple— 2 ’round the courtyard there,

Leave that out: it’s been given to the Gentiles.

They’ll trample on the holy city forty-


Two months, 3 and I’ll give my two witnesses

Power to prophesy twelve hundred sixty

Days, clothed in sackcloth; 4 these two witnesses


Are the two olive trees and the two lampstands

That stand before the Lord who rules the earth.

5 If someone tries to harm them, fire bursts from


Their mouths and it devours their enemies.

6 They have the power to shut skies so that

No rain falls in the period of three


And one half years they prophesy, and they

Have power to turn waters into blood

And strike the earth with every kind of plague


As often as they want. 7 They will complete

Their three and one-half years of testimony,

And then the Beast who comes from the deep pit


Will war against them. It will overpower

And kill them, 8 and for three and one-half days

Their bodies will lie in the street exposed


In that great city figuratively called

“Sodom” and “Egypt.” It’s the very place

Their Lord was nailed onto a cross. 9 No one


Will be allowed to bury them, and men

From every tribe and tongue and nation will

Come stare at them. 10 The earth’s inhabitants


Will revel over them and celebrate

By sending one another gifts, for these

Two prophets had afflicted them so much;


11 But after three and one-half days a breath

Of life from God will enter them and they

Will stand, and terror will descend on all.


12 A voice will shout from heaven, “Come up here!”

And in a cloud they’ll rise to heaven as

Their enemies observe. 13 In that same hour


A giant earthquake will destroy one-tenth

Of the whole city; seven thousand will

Be killed and the survivors, frightened, will


Bless heaven’s God. 14 The second trouble has

Gone by, but the third trouble quickly comes:

15 The seventh angel blew his trumpet, and


From heaven noisy voices shouted this:

“The kingdom of this world belongs now to

Our Lord and to His Christ, and he shall reign


Forevermore.” 16 The elders, twenty-four

In all, who sat on thrones in front of God,

Fell down in worship 17 and they said, “Lord God


Almighty, we give thanks to you, who is

And who was, for you’ve taken your great power

And have begun to reign. 18 The lands were mad;


Your wrath has come; the time has come to judge

The dead and to reward your prophet-servants,

Your saints and those who fear your name, both small




And great−and to destroy those who destroy

The earth.” 19 God’s temple opened up in heaven,

And in it was displayed the ark of his


Covenant; lightning flashed and thunder railed,

The earth shook and there was a storm of hail.