ChristPoetry Contest 2017 is the first poetry contest sponsored by the www.chrisricecooper.
Right - The Entombment by Moretto de Besco
Poets submitted from Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Washington D.C., West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Above Left - Agony in the Garden by Andrew Mantegna.
Poet Helen Losse https://helenl.
press.com/about/ judged the contest determining the Top Three Place Winners ($300, $200, and $100); Three Honorable Mentions $25 each); and four poems noted for Excellence. All received a Certificate of Poetry.
by Sarah Sarai
Left Victory Over the Grave by Bernhard Plockhorst
Long heralded, the coming of a Savior,
Now an open secret for humankind,
Revealing the grace and heart of God’s mind
To offer the repentant heaven’s favor.
It is not in us to undo wrong,
The wrong which stains and warps the soul,
Corrupts God’s image and scorns life’s goal,
That drains life’s joy, and steals our song.
How vain the boast of mastering evil,
How empty the hope of cures man-made,
The debt is deeper than any has repaid---
Apart from One who battled the devil,
And won---at infinite cost, for us mortals,
Salvation of which the angels only dream,
Reversing the ages’ dark, disastrous scene,
So opened for man high heaven’s portals.
It was for me---the bitter tree,
For all, He suffered in our place,
Yet through time no tongue can tell or thought
The travail of His soul that sets us free.
Atonement rests on grace alone,
Beyond all logic, a mystery baffling reason,
But reason gives way to a glorious season
For love, all loves surpassing, to atone.
So man must plead for mercy divine,
No claim of worthiness to bring,
All human goodness does hollow ring,
Where God’s love alone restores God’s design.
Received by humble trust, a gift,
For faith itself, to willing hearts, is offered,
By the God whose conquering love is proffered,
That heals our self-righteous and ruinous rift.
To the Father, Son, and Spirit, all praise!
Our shame and unpayable debt redeemed,
Forgiven, made whole, set free, life-streamed,
To strive for God’s will in all our ways.
Still, sinners all we remain, yet more,
For now our sin is against the Holy Cross---
Its light, and unfailing love, and loss,
As though the Christ need die as before.
If heaven marks where we are impure,
Can any stand? But grace is there,
To lift the fallen, whose cry is a prayer---
On divine grace our hope and peace are sure.
I Broke My Bust of Jesus