Pilgrim Poems

If not now, when?


Rose NilesToday’s Revelation
A poem about demoting God, based on Revelation 14:13

by Rose Niles

They rest from
their labors
and their works
do follow
     do follow
in this thought
we are busting
     out of our seams
with business
that we have
     stolen from God
perhaps we
     have demoted God
to functionary
just a topper on the cake
but the cake is of course
to fund
to source ingredients
to . . .
(you get the idea)
     we have abandoned
the true work
in all our busyness
abandoned our divine obligations
     to create empty space
God calls us to sabbath
for our own sake,
     we abhor the vacuum
pop pills to sleep
crowd our days and nights with
perfectly good spiritual stuff and
neglect endlessly the simple
of rest
rest in God
in good God
instead insisting
on incoming barrages of marathon death
programming us
filling every nook and cranny with
games and roars,
fitting the bits
and the bets
together in our own struggling patterns
stepping to the beats
and we are beat
and beat each other
the saints
all the saints
from their labors,
and their works
do follow
me here
as I follow the distant trail
the sabbath plan
welcome rest in God.
to the place of rest
of no
of yes
of divine
as we begin
God’s new day

Baptized, reared, and ordained a ruling elder in the Bronx at the age of fourteen, Rose Niles has served the church as a teaching elder, pastor, and supporter of theological education. Rose is bi-racial, a daughter of immigrant parents, a mother of one phenomenal woman, and a lifelong pilgrim. Amazed, she finds herself in Houston, Texas, serving Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary on this leg of the pilgrim journey. You can read more of her poems here.