Manifesto (Luke 4:18-19)

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : June 26, 2008

Manifesto (Luke 4:18-19)

Drawing in the hot breath of God,
My shaking lungs sting
Struggling to contain the power of the Almighty.
So I exhale the God-breath,
Upon those awaiting salvation.
Prophesying powerful portents of liberation.
Awakening the imaginations of the dispossessed and downtrodden.

This is my manifesto:

“This is your day, pauper.
Your empty stomachs will be filled with justice
Your lonely pockets will burst with peace.
The Heavenly Banker stocks your account
With cash from the money changers.
No more hanging your head low.
No more thrift store spirituality.
You are the princes of the Kingdom.

Freedom is yours, prisoner.
Your cell bars will turn to noodles.
You’ll exchange the dank dark for golden sunsets.
The New Warden has signed your parole papers
And put the old wardens behind bars.
No more scratching the days into brick walls.
No more false religion shutting out the stars.
Now you sleep under the rising red moon.

Open your eyes, blind-man.
The darkness will be choked by light.
Confusion broken by the sound of a trumpet.
The Holy Physician shows you a new world
While the watchmen are lost in the fog.
No more scratching your eyes in despair.
No more stumbling in perpetual night.
You will bear witness to the edges of the world.

Step out of the shadows, oppressed.
The Principalities will lose their thrones.
The Powers will fall to earth.
The Spirit of God has ended the occupation
While the imperial fleet burns to ash and drifts away.
No more plotting feeble rebellion.
No more struggling against steel and flesh.
For you are free citizens of a peculiar nation.

The old fire have been suffocated
While holy coals smolder,
Purifying the hearts of the people.
I announce the jubilee
Upon those shivering in fear.
Shouting a sermon of shalom
As dawn of the first day breaks upon those he loves.

Mark Van Steenwyk is the editor of He is a Mennonite pastor (Missio Dei in Minneapolis), writer, speaker, and grassroots educator. He lives in South Minneapolis with his wife (Amy), son (Jonas) and some of their friends.

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