“If the tomb is empty, call me family” – one of my favorite lyrics from one of my favorite Levi The Poet poems. He lit up our services at Awaken on Sunday by performing Joy Seekers (plus another new poem exclusively for the 12:30 service!).
Once you’re done having your mind blown with how he memorizes so many lyrics (see below), then spouts them off with such personality and accuracy, enjoy the video. Make sure to swing by levithepoet.net and grab some LTP merch.
I’ve been trying to paint a picture of what it must have been like
to see you standing there…
show up to the grave…
But I get these thoughts when I start wrestling with your humanity.
Was it like the dreams that we have when a loved one is back
– a loved one long since passed.
But there he is,
sitting on a couch or something.
Like the equivalent of you eating a fish.
I mean I know your friends were fisherman and everything.
I wonder if they would have fallen under the disapproving gaze of my grandfather,
sitting back in his chair, staring down his nose, frowning at “sailor’s mouth?”
Like you walk in the door (or through the door, or whatever),
and they go, “what the hell?”
And you say, “oh don’t worry about that.”
And they go, “oh my God!”
And you say, “yes.”
And they go, “holy sh—“
“Shh, I am hungry, please give me my fish.”
I can’t imagine what it must have been like for your mom to see you alive.
(And you want to talk about hypostatic union…)
Or the places that you chose to show up to,
like the road to Emmaus,
where you interrupted Cleopas (and maybe his wife?)
and they’re just incredulous to the idea
that you seem to have no idea
what is going on.
I guess I’m in good company?
You love to prove us wrong.
It’s interesting to me that the angel asks the women who prepared spices for your body
why they were seeking the living among the dead.
Seems to me that they’re not the only ones excavating empty holes to fill their own.
We are all joy seekers,
and you make yourself known in the breaking of bread –
pointing back to your death.
And my heart burns inside of my chest
when you speak.
What does it even mean that you gave up your last breath
and now you’re standing
in a room
Did your potentially foul-mouthed fishermen friends think that they were insane?
Was that okay?
Why do you seek the living among the dead?
The son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men,
and on the third day, rise again.
have you found what you’ve been looking for?
Blood-bought joy faced the torture of what it took to pay the
and if the killing of the author of life
couldn’t extinguish his light
then nothing will.
have you found what you’ve been looking for?
Did you find it in peace?
Did you find it in war?
All men seek happiness without exception.
Whatever means they employ (or avoid),
they all tend to this end: joy.
if Pascal was right, and the will never takes even the smallest step forward
without that motive in sight –
did his principle apply to you?
And what would have been the difference between the two
if Satan had offered me the world for a head nod?
Just a little bend at the waist (ever so slightly)
to forfeit suffering and inherit a kingdom?
Would I have seen those kingdoms as mud pies?
Would I have chosen the slums?
I confess that true happiness now remains to man a mark and empty trace
that I seek after from things absent for help I do not presently obtain
(in vain), but…
I confess that God came after me,
and when I wake to find that I have fallen asleep for the last time I believe that
Christ’s sacrifice for me satisfied the fury that should have been breathed out
on a creature far too easily pleased with ambition and sex and drink,
stacked up against the unblushing promises of a holiday at sea.
if you hear his voice today,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.
Let them break.
No, let them be made whole.
No, let it all be one in the same.
In joy, our Seeker endured the cross,
despising the shame,
and he showed us the marks where he absorbed the pain
maimed in the same hands that leave nothing outside of their reign.
Let it be explicit: that the image of the invisible God
accomplished exactly what he envisioned –
a rescue mission, a resurrection mission,
a redeeming Ademic insurrection mission.
a hand outstretched in one direction mission,
a sacrificial, irresistible affection mission.
the cross is cosmic.
The earth groans while it waits…
You and I will see it.
A new Eden.
Not yet. Our bodies still remain
subject to weakness, aging and death, but
we eagerly anticipate,
Already. Born anew to a living hope through
the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
still your power grabs,
still your searching.
The king is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
We’ve been sought after.
Completely undeserving and yet in eternity past, the
Author of life’s story wrote Life’s death-to-life into his climactic chapter
and invited a wife into his storyline to stand by his side. And I’ll never grasp the
vastness of the fact that the lamb of God was slaughtered on my behalf,
but his resurrection is all I have.
His resurrection is all we have.
His resurrection is all we need.
Jesus, if you’re not alive,
call us pitied,
call it off,
call it empty.
But if the tomb is empty,
call us family,
call us finished,
say that our seeking can cease.
you have found him.
You have been found by him.
You are free.