Steadfast Lessons of the Past – A Poem by Kurt Marquart

(Editor’s Note: The Brothers of John the Steadfast are honored to let this beautiful little poem see the light of the public eye  for the very first time.)


What appears below are the words of a true Brother of John the Steadfast, Dr. Kurt Marquart. He wrote them  to a classmate who was asked to take a call to Australia. Dr. Marquart’s classmate did not go, but within two years of writing these words, Pastor Marquart,  who now  experiences  the “celestial graces,” himself did answer THE CALL OF THE SOUTHERN CROSS.

He who so clearly and faithfully confessed the faith in many articles, books and conference papers  did also confess that faith very poetically and personally.  

Rev. Walter Otten, Steadfast Lessons of the Past




Beyond the ocean’s far horizons

    Where on the canopy of night

Majestically the Christ emblazons

    His holy Sign in starry light—



Thence comes a voice across the waters,

    God’s voice, the Macedonian call.

It summons to the throng of martyrs

    And saints who sacrificed their all.



Where is the man of faith and valour

    Man of strong hands and lion’s heart,

Who knows not fear’s disgracing pallour

    And from God’s will does not depart?



“Fear not!” Th’ angelic salutation

    Bids all anxiety to cease,

For God Himself in consolation

    Omnipotently pledges peace:



“My son! Let not the task dismay thee!

    Trust thou in Me, be of good cheer!

The strength is Mine, it shall not fail thee;

    In life, in death, thy God is near!



Thou art My holy Church’s servant,

    Go, feed My lambs and feed My sheep!

My saints in one communion fervent

    Through Word and Sacraments I keep.



To part is pain, yet joy’s unhindered,

    Still stands My Gospel’s pledge of old:

He who for Me forsakes his kindred

    Shall have them back an hundredfold!”



Thus God, imparting benediction,

      Can calm the stormy human breast,

Sustaining us by faith’s conviction

      Till we attain eternal rest.



We have here no abiding city,

      Nought chains our souls to transient earth;

God’s heaven is ours by His pity,

      Our home, our pearl of priceless worth.



What matter, where our ways be wending,

      ‘neath Southern Cross or Northern Lights?

Our parted pilgrim’s paths are tending

      To but one Zion’s sacred Heights!



Go then with God to distant places,

    Theirs be the gain, though ours the loss—

Hail and farewell! Celestial graces

    Shield you beneath the Southern Cross!



Wednesday after Jubilate, April 22, 1959

About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.


Steadfast Lessons of the Past – A Poem by Kurt Marquart — 5 Comments

  1. “The strength is Mine, it shall not fail thee…”

    Prof. Marquart lived this line.

    Prof. Ziegler said if we wanted to hang icons of the saints in Kramer chapel, we should hang one of him.

  2. A great confession of a saint of God who —for a lifetime— loved and defended the office of which he writes. Put it to the tune St. Clement, LSB #886. Beautiful!

  3. Much thanks for sharing this poem (and thanks to the late Dr. Marquart!). It speaks to me very personally as one who is currently teaching at a Lutheran school in Western Australia after 20 years in LCMS schools in the US. Dr. Marquart’s words match the thoughts that sustain us while away from family and friends. I wish you all could meet up in my backyard some evening to marvel at our view of the Southern Cross.

  4. Thanks for checking in from down under Tim. God bless you on you work there in Australia. We will think of you and pray for you.

    Pastor Rossow

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