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The Lictor Comes in the Morn

The Lictor Comes in the Morn

The Scriptures do not record how Paul died. Still, it is clear that he anticipated his death as he wrote, “the time of my departure has come” (2 Tim 4:6). Christian historian, Eusebius, wrote that Paul was beheaded shortly after Rome suffered from a catastrophic fire in the summer of 64 AD in which Emperor Nero blamed the Christians for starting. If that tradition is true, Paul would have most likely been killed according to the constitutional method for capital punishment for a citizen of Rome, by a lictor’s axe. The axe was unique and had a handle that consisted of bundled, long thin branches to give both flexibility and power to the weapon. Normal sentencing would have a prisoner beaten with the rod and then beheaded by the axe. This poem is written from the perspective of Paul awaiting his  “lictor sentence” the next morning and giving his final words to his companion, Luke.

  • Poem

    With a whistle, the Lord calls armies from afar

    With a whistle, the warden gives judgment through bars

    My spirit aches and my body... well, it’s quite worn

    The news has spread, the lictor comes in the morn


    My dear friend... be steady and be sure

    Be ready and fit to endure

    Be sober and kind, temperate and refined

    Tune your ears to the sound doctrine

    that you have been divinely assigned


    Know the reason, adjust to the season

    Tend to your work in a way that requires your knees-in

    Be a boxer, be a fighter, be a steward, be a Writer

    Conclude this dark dark race by being a lighter


    I have been blinded and I’ve been beaten

    Been shipwrecked with serpents and with Cretans

    But the Lord has yet to not make each day new

    Every morning bringing hope with the gentle dew


    The aroma of smoke is in the air now

    And the prison vacant as the lions have torn

    I’ll see you in glory, my dear doctor

    I have no fear... the Lictor comes in the morn

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