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

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