March 18-19, 2019


Beneath the Altar


“Fifty killed in mosque attack!”

world-wide headlines scream

call our attention to the horror

of man killing man for no reason

other than hate, in and of itself


the Second Seal has been torn

violence rampages the earth

death roams free, is mourned

but in the tumult of the Fifth

we fall before a careless world



When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come!” Another came out, a red horse. To him who sat on it was given power to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another. There was given to him a great sword.


Revelation 6:3-4


When He opened the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been killed for the Word of God, and for the testimony of the Lamb which they had. They cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, Master, the holy and true, until you judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” A long white robe was given to each of them. They were told that they should rest yet for a while, until their fellow servants and their brothers, who would also be killed even as they were, should complete their course.


Revelation 6:9-11


We rightly mourn the bloodshed, the souls robbed too soon of life,

yet our brothers and our sisters fall unnoted, in greater number,

who now wait beneath Gods altar for our blood to join their own


Beneath the Altar
A poem by Peter Rhebergen

Copyright 2021

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