Twas a Tale of Two Falls

A theological poem using the rhyme scheme known as anapaestic tetrameter found in Twas the Night Before Christmas.

Illustration for John Milton’s “Paradise Lost“ by Gustave Doré

Twas before the beginning when God formed a plan
to create heavens and earth and even a man.
Before earth’s big debut, there was a prior start.
The angels were created and given a part.
Praising the Ancient One in His glorious light. 
The winged creatures serve Him all day, there’s never night.

But wait. How can we know the order of these things?
Can angels rejoice before they’re made by the King?
For eternity has no before or after.
It’s one endless now without former or latter.
Now, if time is the space that’s between two events, 
then to order them ask: when did the clock commence?
Before earth and sky are spoken into being,
what else can give things chronological meaning?

Let’s go back to the start before our inception 
when angels were pure and were without deception.

I wonder, did they have a Genesis story?
Would it start with glory and end up quite gory?
Their tale’s end would overlap with where ours’ begins. 
Their epilogue, our preface, they’re both about sins.

Paradise Lost

The villain in these stories is one and the same.
He needs no introduction, he’s garnered much fame.
I don’t know if he plays a fiddle or a harp.
But be careful, I hear he’s crafty and quite sharp.

He is drawn all in red with horns and a long tail.
Goat like, he has hooves and a pitchfork to impale.
But he will more likely show up as a white knight
or disguised, to deceive, as an angel of light.
The more you learn about his deceit and his work
the more I think you’ll agree that he’s quite a jerk.

Out of myriads of angels attending the throne,
He was a cherub that stood out, brightly he shone.
Lucifer or Satan, he has many a name.
What’s puzzling us is the nature of his game.

Full of beauty and wisdom he served the Most High.
What was it that changed him and made him prone to lie?
Faster than light, the angel commits high treason.
Wanting to ascend like the Most High the reason.

We’ve gotten ahead of ourselves so let’s step back.
The adversary has not yet gotten off track.

At the second beginning God makes a big splash.
The angels rejoice at creation’s birthday bash.
The foundations are laid, the oceans are parted.
Let there be light is just how it all got started.

Lucifer led the world’s first angelic choir. 
They cheered as each star ignited and caught fire.
If the big bang is how everything came online,
then the party it lasted a very long time.

The angels seem to live in a faraway home.
Yet between there and the earth they seem free to roam.
Did they wander the garden and go back and forth?
Could they taste fruit, chase puppies and feel the sun’s warmth?

God says to Himself in our image we’ll make man.
What that might mean is something hard to understand.
The oceans, the fish, even animals on land,
all I’ve made, says the Creator, I’ll leave in man’s hand.

From the day he was created blameless and true,
how long was it before Satan’s heart went askew?

Adam and Eve by Lucas Cranach

What was it about man that caused Satan to curse?
Was it Eve that tempted him and made him perverse?
Maybe Adam’s helper was too much to resist?
For demons have been known to come down for a tryst.

Maybe sharing creation is what made him mad.
He did not want to relinquish all that he had.
Perhaps the tempter was lured by power and praise.
Giving into temptations he numbered his days.

Getting his desire and more than he wished he had.
Satan became like God, knowing good from the bad.

Now, what happens next will astonish and amaze.
That devil convinced others to follow his ways.
He started a war and fomented rebellion.
That angel of light is one hell of a hellion.

The devil went down to Eden, he was looking for a soul to steal.
Would it be Adam that he’d offer up a deal?
Now the devil is cunning, he paid Eve a call.
Surveying the fruit he asked: don’t you want it all?

Eve laughed and said, what we can’t eat is very small.
Besides, we would die and cause all mankind’s downfall.
The devil pushed: eat what you want, like gods you’ll be.
Go. Take that fruit and your eyes will open, you’ll see.
So, the first couple ate fruit from their garden beds,
while the promise of new knowledge danced in their heads.

Disobeying, they learned more than they thought they would.
They also are like God, knowing evil from good.

They wanted to see but in fact they became blind.
Their choice put all mankind in a terrible bind.
Forced out of the garden, the couple was expelled.
Their rule over creation was no longer held.
Their rule to the devil has been handed over.
That completes, for now, Satan’s hostile takeover.

Why is there suffering if God has no darkness?
The problem of pain confronts us in its starkness.
The intention of goodness in God should be clear.
Twas pride in created beings that brought us here.
Given the choice between choosing God or the self
We will place God in the dock and up on a shelf.

Where does that leave us after two tumbles from grace?
Is all God creates destined to spit in his face?

God knew this and it was more than just a surmise.
His fallen creatures did not catch Him by surprise.
There was in place a plan before it all began.
Through a Son’s valiant stand He’ll rescue fallen man.
Both falls have shattered all the goodness intended.
The damage done was what Jesus came and ended.

Through the ages God does extend quite the offer.
By grace come to Me is just what he did proffer.
Some are chosen by their faith as builders so wise.
But those who build on the sand will meet their demise.
In the end all of creation will be restored.
The Son will come to vanquish Satan with the sword.

Why create all this if two falls were expected?
Was all of this evil divinely directed?
For in making the world how much did He ordain?
Does He decree all, forming one long causal chain?
Then what can be said of both Lucifer and Eve?
Could he choose not to lie and she stop being deceive’d?

If this was known prior could he not make us good?
Avoiding all the pain and letters to Wormwood?
I don’t know how it works but I will choose free will,
trusting God can accomplish all he intends still.

We may not all agree, but on this it is key;
The devil is free, seeking to harm you and me.

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