My niece, Allison Pari, is a wonderful writer and poet. In this poem, “City of David,” she traces the past, present, and future of Jerusalem. I hope you are as encouraged reading this as I was when my beautiful niece read it to me.
City of David
O City of Zion, enduring through uneven ages.
Once home to the firm and obedient prophets of old.
Your future and history writ on Old Testament pages
O’er shadowed today by a mosque resplendent with gold.
O City of Salem, whose priest-king to Abram brought blessing,
Receiving a tribute from Levites as yet to be born.
A picture of Christ preceding the covenant offspring,
Recalled by the psalmist as that which Almighty had sworn.
O City of David, of Solomon’s splendor, the jewel.
Once home to the temple where brilliant Shekinah resided
To which came the Law, unchanging infallible rule,
A blood-letting system that passing atonement provided.
O city of sorrow—Chaldeans amassed at your gate
Long-deferred judgment, the price for idolatrous guilt.
The ark of God’s presence exposed to an uncertain fate
The fields of your plenty abandoned to wither and wilt.
O city of respite, rebuilt with the Persians’ permission
The ramparts and temple a tribute to judgment completed.
A partial renewal reflected by partial contrition
Self-righteousness reigned, but idolatry never repeated.
O City of Herods, once home to that fox and his kin,
Who welcomed with wise men with slaughter and intrigue in mind,
Who murdered the Baptist to silence the voice of their sin,
Beholden to Rome, which tired at last of their kind.
O city of darkness, your king hanging limp on a cross
The fine-twisted cherubim rent by the finger of God
Yet also the city where God wrought His glory from loss
A seed of forgiveness His followers scattered abroad
O city of tumult, by hostile Romans surrounded
The simmering hatred at last over-boiled the pot
When the tumble of stones from mountains and valleys resounded
And the temple in ruins deserted to molder and rot
O city of conquest, by the “rescuing” army destroyed
The pope’s call to war that invited marauding invaders;
Self-righteous religion permitted the power enjoyed.
Thus history remembers the infamous, savage crusaders.
O city of refuge, that harbored the scattered returning
As Abraham’s children were fleeing a ruthless perversion
For promise of safety and shelter as Europe was burning
A land of their own after centuries as a dispersion.
O city of jasper, adorned as a radiant bride
The presence of Christ is your temple and glory and sun
When Gentiles and Jews in perfect communion abide
The song of the bridegroom will only have barely begun.