An old poem based on James 2:1-4

When I was a little girl mother taught me a poem that she had stood and quoted at the front during her school chapel program. She told how she made hand movements to emphasize certain parts of the poem. It is well over 100 years old since not only did mother quote the poem but her mother quoted it in her chapel service when she was a little girl. I think it is beautiful and share it for your enjoyment. No doubt it is based on the scripture James 2:1-4. After reading the poem, please read the scripture reference. I will preface the poem with this: Imagine an old man has gone to the church service on Sunday morning. His wife couldn’t go because she was homebound in bed. He goes into her bedroom and says…

Well, wife, I’ve been to church today,
And to a stylish one;
Being you couldn’t go from home,
I will tell you what was done.

The people were so finely dressed,
they could hardly bow to pray,
And me with these stiff clothes of mine,
All worn and torn, and almost worn out.

They took me to a seat,
Way back by the door;
All bookless and uncushioned,
A reserved seat for the poor.

But pretty soon in came a stranger,
with golden rings and clothes so fine.
They took him to a seat,
Far in advance of mine.

I didn’t think it was exactly right,
To seat him up so near,
When he was young, and I was old,
And very hard to hear.

Our heads are growing gray, dear wife,
Our hearts are beating slow,
But when the Master calls for us,
Then we’ll have to go.

And when we reach those pearly gates,
All-undefiled by sin,
We’ll see wealth waiting at that gate,
While poverty goes in.