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  • Writer's picturePaul Coulter

Poem: He Is

[1] I am who I am

Is there another who could own that name

Fit for He whose voice from burning bush came? [i]

Unchanging ‘I AM’, self-sufficient One.

Words from the Father, given to the Son.

[2] It is I; do not be afraid

Is there another who, ghost-like, comes near

First igniting, then extinguishing fear? [ii]

“It is him”, troubled seas and hearts now rest

Though storms should buffet and trials may test.

[3] Before Abraham was, I am

Is there another who was long before

A famous, ancient ancestor of yore? [iii]

He spoke and did just as his Father said, [iv]

And, lifted up, revived and freed the dead. [v]

[4] I am the bread of life

Is there another bread of life that sates

The heart’s deep hunger and all appetites?

His living water, endless, welling up

Will quench all thirst and overflow each cup. [vi]

[5] I am the light of the world

Is there another source of Heaven’s light

In the darkness exposing wrong and right?

No more in this world, from glory he shines still,

Through those who follow in his way and will.[vii]

[6] I am the door of the sheep

Is there another door to refuge safe

And life abundant for the wayward waif?

Who, wilful, wandered from the pastures fair

Chased fleeting pleasures into robber’s snare.[viii]

[7] I am the good shepherd

Is there another Shepherd for the flock,

Who would lay down his life when wolves attack?

Good Shepherd who knows by name all his own,

Gathers and tends them, the greatest love shown. [ix]

[8] I am the resurrection and the life

Is there another who weeps and who grieves

Yet pledges life to the one who believes?

Resurrection killed but risen to bring.

Hope past grave’s triumph and beyond death’s sting.[x]

[9] I am the way and the truth and the life

Is there another who, sincere, could say,

There is no other life or truth or way? [xi]

He promises in God’s house a place our own,

Since, in seeing him, the Father was known.

[10] I am the true vine

Is there another who invites his friends

In him to make home, by his true word cleansed?

With love and joy for fruitful lives supplied,

His Father prunes all branches who abide.[xii]

[11] I am he

Is there another who, in dead of night,

By kiss betrayed, surrendered without fight?

As angel armies waited for command,

He spoke and human soldiers could not stand.[xiii]

[12] I am the First and the Last

Is there another, alive though once dead,

Who now holds death’s key and scatters our dread? [xiv]

From first to the last, my comfort is this,

Jesus said, ‘I AM’, and I know He is.

REFERENCES [i] Exodus 3:14: God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.’” [ii] John 6:20: But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” [iii] John 8:58: Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” [iv] John 8:28: So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. [v] John 8:24: I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins. [vi] John 6:35, 51: Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. […] I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live for ever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” [vii] John 8:12: Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”; John 9:5: As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” [viii] John 10:7-10: Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. [ix] John 10:11-16 – I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. ” [x] John 11:23-27 – Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” [xi] John 14:6-7 – Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” [xii] John 15:1-11 – “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine dresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. [xiii] John 18:5-8 – Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, “I am he”, they drew back and fell to the ground. So he asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go.” [xiv] Revelation 1:17-18 – When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”

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