I recently put music to a poem I wrote about Jesus, from the point of view of The Urantia Book.¬† The poem is called, “There Was a Man Once, Truly That” The piece is my distillation of who Jesus was (is) and his true mission. Hope you enjoy reading and listening to it.

THERE WAS A MAN ONCE

By Errol Strider

There was a man once, truly that.
Who is known for the cross that he bore?
But who laughed in the market
And slept on the floor
Who designed riverboats in Capernaum,
Studied the ways of all men
In order to rule in perfection
With its trials, upsets, and demands
A universe of 10 million planets
Which the man, who upholds it
Designed, fashioned and planned.

There was a man once, truly that.
Who embraced the mortal dilemma
With a boundless trust
And abiding faith.
Who was immersed in a River Jordan
Allowing himself to give in
To life as we know it in fullness
With its sores, its aches and injustice
But which serves a great hidden purpose
Which the man, who entered its bowels
Could foresee what to us is so dim.

There was a man once, truly that
Who transcended all tradition and dogma
Who forgave the sin
And loved the sinner
Who feared not one who attacked him
But attempted to show them the truth.
By example, he set in their presence,
With his words, his acts, and entreaties
He sought to convince those around him
That all men could live as he
Secure, abandoned and free.

There was a man once, truly that
A man who broke from his elders
Made friends with the poor
Played with the kids
Made choices like all other men
To use power for good or for evil
To be simple or prideful and vain
Battled with grief, failure, betrayal,
But still to remain steadfast to the God,
Who this man knew always as Father and friend.

There was a man once, truly that.
Who did not what others expected
Disappointing his pupils
Estranging his mother
Rejecting requests of the masses
When they wanted to make him king
Yet allowed them to place down the palms
As he rode on an ass to the city
Where they rejected once and for all
This true man, who understood them
And forgave their blindness and gall.

There was a man once, truly that.
A man whom we all misinterpret
Who knows all as his brother
To the exclusion of none
Who did not really die on the cross
To wash away our sins
But to reveal a God of mercy
Who forgives, only loves, has compassion
On his ignorant children who err
So this man died only to show them
How far love would go for them.

There was a man once, truly that.
Whose life on this beleaguered planet
Was a model for all to behold.
Who revealed our humanity to us
What each person can actually become
When we join with this man in knowing
The Spirit that indwells our hearts.
And as he rose from the darkness of death
And appeared to those who knew him
He showed us the path to aliveness…
The deep forever mystery
Of the timeless journey of love.