Before the Foundation of the World examines the nature of good and evil in God’s creation. Using poetry and song lyrics, this collection offers a celebration of joy in response to God’s covenant with man. From Christmas poems to simple lullabies, the author paints a vivid picture of the incredible experience of wonder in a world of God’s design. An extended exchange in Appendix I with “The Father of Lies” (“Pater Mendaciorum”) and the promises of Christian faith reflects our reconciliation with God and explores the redemption of mankind in the face of radical evil. Journeying from the psychology of evil to the good news of the spirit, Before the Foundation of the World speaks to the ways of God, embodying gratitude and love as the foundation for mature Christian belief.
“Before the Foundation of the World is poetry of the highest sort. It is a wonderful fusion of artistry and truth. It takes the reader to places where prose cannot go, into the mystery of the spirit where good and evil reside. Susan Weiner has created an enduring Christian testament that speaks to both believer and unbeliever. It is a triumph for her. I feel myself drawn back into her poetry again and again.” —Curtis J. Young, senior pastor, Church of the Atonement, Silver Spring, MD
“Poetry challenges us to see things in a different way. Susan Weiner’s lovely poems lead us to meditate on God’s love and greatness, His Son’s birth and ultimate sacrifice, and of His mysterious workings in our lives and in the world around us. In these verses, biblical events come alive, urging us to see the stars and the stable, hear the thunder of the stormy seas, feel the sand beneath our feet, smell the spices, taste the honey—and marvel at what God has done for us.” —Anne Morse, author (with Charles Colson) of Burden of Truth and (with Congressman Frank R. Wolf ) of Prisoner of Conscience
“Like fine cuisine, Susan Weiner’s Before the Foundation of the World is rich food for the soul not to be devoured hastily, but savored slowly and deliberately. Powerful images engage all the senses, transporting the reader back to biblical times, bringing to life the realities of good and evil and the ultimate victory God has given us in Christ. This is poetry for our time—a beautiful declaration of God's glory and His unfathomable love for His people.” —Joanne Hamilton, former president, Associate Reformed Presbyterian Women’s Ministry
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Cinnamon and Myrrh
Oh, precious spice of my heart, What spark of augury or art
Made salient the spell of your soul on me And traced in golden filigree
The imprint of your name Through every vein and byway flesh can frame?
Let kings to holy wars raise their name And sacred sibyls speak of fame;
Let temples fall to desert sands And trade routes clear of caravans.
Your love, the center stone of my heart, Of blood and breath has joined each part.
Sorcerers make shadows of all things unsure. All the days of my life, you bring me cinnamon and myrrh.
I, an ancient king from a far-off land, Have come across the endless dunes of sand
To bow before shepherds, oxen, and sheep To a child whose eyes are full of sleep.
Oh, Holy Anointed One of the Lord, Mashiah, Christos, blessed and adored,
May the burning star move swift in flight To shower on you its raiment of light--
Let even angels lift their glorious wings Before the tent of the King of Kings.
For you, sweet incense and Nubian gold And a God neither young, nor ever old.
And now palace lords, oh, sing to me no more, For here I stand, steadfast, beside a stable door.
Cleopatra, Daughter of Amun-Ra
Daughter of Amun-Ra, fair as pearls, Cleopatra among her dancing girls,
Behold the crown of Antony put away And Egypt burnished bright as day.
Your gold and bronze reflect the fire Of generals and their martial choir,
Whose fields of blood and empire fall; And to Cleopatra came the serpernt's call.
Oh, Pharoah, scion of the morning star, Beware the deep spaces of the Minotaur,
Because the sea is a sibyl of thunder, A golden throne is weighed for plunder,
And all that was cedar, cinnamon, balm, and myrrh Will fall to savage gods at your capture.
Your love is brighter than a Roman sword Or sun on the shields of the Scythian horde;
Greater than kings, barbarous or kind, Or decrees with bloody sacrifice signed;
Greater than a triumph met with applause Where leopards go by on golden paws;
Greater than elephants or a fury's steeds, Descended from creatures of mighty deeds,
Because even as the gates of Babylon fall And timbers blaze in the emperor's hall,
As luminous as the Colussus of Rhodes, On fields of souls, you reaped what you sowed.
For though men and mountain will surely fail, There is a kingdom for the throne of Israel.