Turning Away from Empire

by Berry Friesen

Berry f

Seven years ago, as part of my personal observance of Lent, I wrote a bit of verse, which I share below.

It is in keeping with the season, a time when we Jesus-followers are called to examine ourselves and turn from whatever stands in the way of faithfulness to his way.

And yes, it describes a way to start turning away from empire.


Giving Up Empire for Lent

Play music in the morning

quiet NPR for a change.

Enough of their turning the awful

into reasonable-sounding things.


That New York Times on the newsstand?

Let it lie ‘til it’s yellow with age!

They provoked the Iraq invasion

now it’s Iran we’re supposed to hate.


The suits on the evening news

reporting what “an anonymous source” said?

It’s just another inside player

dealing both sides of the game.


Let it all go ‘til Easter

part of the purge and cleansing we need

if we’re to tell truth from fiction.

If we’re ever to believe.


Berry Friesen lives in Lancaster, PA and is part of the East Chestnut Street Mennonite congregation in that city.  A version of this essay was previously published at his blog,  www.bible-and-empire.net






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