This War Waging

On Sunday, Mike Mancini preached a message about worship out of Ezra 3 and concluded with a powerful reading of his poem “This War Waging.”

Several people have asked for the text of the poem and Mike has generously shared it with us. Enjoy reading it and feel free to share it with others for whom it might be meaningful.

This War Waging
Mike Mancini

There is a war that’s waging.

It wakes up the sleepers,

And leaves the pious dreaming.

It boils under the surface,

Teeming from the depth of every breath.

We know this war.

We know this war like we know the night – unavoidable.

Doing and saying in the sparseness of darkness what would be unimaginable in the light of day.

This war waging…isn’t sound clips from some distant deserts.

It’s actually too close to measure.

Beating out of our chests, bulging behind our eyes. Our actions the spoils of war the prize.

And as I fight I realize that I have yet to choose a side,

That I drop bombs on villages with my wicked ambitions,

That I’ve fought the good fight lifting up my petitions.

My condition – broken, conflicted,

Convicted of crimes for which I am guilty.

But still the hero calls me to fight at His side,

Because the battle isn’t mine.

It’s His story – wrapped up in glory – authority revealed in the victory coming,

Heaven is coming to earth.

But for now a war is waging.

Even in this moment I hear the Hero raising His battle cry,

And I feel as though I can no long avoid His invitation to do the same.

My breath sputters,

Tongue stutters,

Body shutters,

Mind cluttered,

Mind in the gutter,

Guts full of butterflies,

When I realize that everyone who follows this Hero dies.

The Hero cries out to His father and invites me to do the same to proclaim,

“Your Kingdom Come, Your will be done…”

Well what about the work I’ve done?

The plans I’ve made?

This is my time to shine.

I suppose I could say “Your kingdom come” – as long as your kingdom looks a lot like mine.

Could I really give up my most deeply held dreams?

Could I no longer live for my colleagues’ esteem?

Could I really walk willingly far from the success planned for me?

I mean what would this Hero do if I gave him reign over my hallowed halls?

Would He expect to be my royalty, holding the authority to trade my family’s great and prosperous future for the sake of the faceless hungry?

Would He tear down my banners of inherited advantages and let justice roll down even if it left me in bandages?

Would He stroll down my corridors and destroy every monument built to bitterness?

Would He smash every mirror that reflected my grudges, smudges of resentment smeared on smiles and pleasantries would they all be destroyed?

See there is a war that is waging,

And we all must choose on which side we fight.

Our will, our kingdoms, our dreams, our rights

Or will we proclaim with all that we have that we are will to die with our Hero?

And in the new life that He gives live…as if heaven were coming to earth.

Our Hero is bringing heaven to the earth!

Our lives asymmetry,

Our words soliloquy,

Enter our Hero, every verse sings divinity –

He is the epitome of the deep-rooted harmony which intertwines the earth and slides and shines through every part of me.

He is the vine and we are the branches.

We free, released, unburdened are the rebuilders of ruined cities,

Standing embraced, we are the ones who in grace go the ends of the earth.

We with great joy are free to feast with our enemies.

We are the ones who groan with the seas and the mountains, longing for the day that our hero comes again.

When He comes all things will be made new.

Heaven is coming to the earth! Our Hero is coming again!

There is a war that is waging,

But it is a war that our Hero has won!

Life has been given to all that would die with our Hero.

Crowned with beauty, soaked in gladness, wearing praise like a garment, we all together will enjoy all things made new.

So when the Hero calls for you –

When you hear the Hero crying out to His father, when you can no longer avoid His invitation to do the same,

Will you count the cost and will you soberly proclaim –

“Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”




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