“A Bush Christening”
Paul said…”A man named Ananias came to see me…He stood beside me and said, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ And at that very moment I was able to see him.
“Then he said: ‘The God of our fathers has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. You will be his witness to all people of what you have seen and heard. And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.’ Acts 22:2-16
Far beyond the Barcoo, when the churches were new,
And the gospel was sure radiating,
An official named Saul was a-filling with gall,
For the message was one he was hating.
He was righteous you see, or he thought he could be,
For he lived on the wrongful assumption,
That the Lord would declare he was blameless and fair,
On account of his effort and gumption.
But the offer of Jesus was free as the breezes!
He pardoned the lazy and lying.
And he answered the cry of the selfish and sly,
And he saved ‘em before they were trying.
Now the method he used to accept the accused,
Was a spiritual form of baptizing –
In the blink of an eye, in a manner all dry,
It’d give ‘em a revitalizing.
For the Spirit of God would arrive with a nod,
And would wash ‘em without any water.
With a scrub of the soul he would take the control,
And would cause ‘em to wish as they oughta.
For without an injection, he’d heal their infection –
The dangerous soul streptococcal.
With a hardy rewiring of all their desiring,
He’d change ‘em right down in the cockle.
But our Saul couldn’t figure how all of his vigour
Was useless in such a transaction.
He was mighty offended, in fact, and pretended
He didn’t require the action.
“Tis outrageous”, said he, “to be baptizing me –
I have tried all my life to be good.
I have scarcely a need to be humble and plead
To a man good for nothin’ but wood!”
Now in thinking like this he was certain to miss
All the light in the heavenly room.
Like a young native dog he had climbed in a log,
And was hiding inside in the gloom.
And he lay there as snug as a bug in a rug,
Though a preacher in vain might reprove him,
Til the trinity spoke without hint of a joke:
“We’ve a notion” they said “that’ll move him.”
“In the darkness is he, but he thinks he can see,
For he’s haughty and puffed in his mind.
But he’ll quickly be humble if having to stumble
And bumble about ‘cause he’s blind.”
So the Son of the Father, although he would rather
Be using a trick less severe,
With his garments of light and his larynx of might,
Put his head through the sky to appear.
Well our Saul – he was talking and scheming and walking
Along the Damascus arterial.
He was leading in fact a malicious attack
On the Christians and all their material.
But the deity called and the traveller stalled
In a fright, and he dropped to the gravel.
And he heard in a word what his maker preferred,
And his sight, in the light, did unravel.
With a “Saul” and a “Saul”, and a “Why are you mauling me?” –
Jesus – he struck with a vim,
And announced with a jolt that the smallest assault
on a Christian is also on him!
Now a fellow unsighted so sternly indicted
For many a crime on the shelf.
You would think wouldn’t fail while his eyes were all scaly
to have a good look at himself.
And it all went to plan for our Saul – he began
To perceive that he really was evil.
And to see that his effort, no matter how blessit,
Could never achieve a retrieval.
And when someone was sent to get Saul to repent,
And petition the Lord for a wash.
He responded mas-sive-ly for figura-tive-ly,
He jumped in the creek for a slosh!
“Will you save me”, he said “in my chest and my head?”
I appeal to you, Lord, for a scrubbing.”
“For my heart – it is sick – and my skull – it is thick,
And I cannot be faithful or loving.”
“And I need you to pardon me all the discardin’
I do of your wisdom and law.
I implore you – forget the gargantuan debt,
I would pay otherwise evermore”.
“And I know you can do it, for Jesus went through it –
the death and the rising – it’s done!
So I ask you for him – my predicament’s grim!
Would you save me because of your Son?”
Now the words I have guessed, but we know he was blest
for the Lord who was listening is truthful,
and he promises folk who will trust and invoke Him,
a life everlasting and youthful.
So it happened for Saul as it happens for all,
He was suddenly pardoned and altered,
To enjoy the divinity – all of the trinity –
“Jesus” he said “be exalted!”.
And he wasn’t perfected for still he defected
And wandered and stumbled and slid.
But he constantly pleaded the Lord who had bleeded
To hold him – and Jesus – he did.
And the rest of his life, in the bitterest strife,
(once his usual seeing returned),
he was telling the living that God the forgiving
could grant ‘em what Jesus had earned.
So to someone astray you’d be hearing him say –
“There’s a saviour who wants to revise ya.
So admit that you’re stuck in the filth and the muck,
And appeal to him, quick, to baptize ya!”