There sat two glasses filled to the brim,

On a rich man’s table, rim to rim;

One was ruddy and red as blood,

And one as clear as the crystal flood.


Said the glass of wine to the paler brother:

“Let us tell the tales of the past to each other;

I can tell of banquet and revel and mirth,

And the proudest and grandest souls on earth

Fell under my touch as though struck by blight,

Where I was king, for I ruled in might;

From the heads of kings I have torn the crown,

From the heights of fame I have hurled down:

I have blasted many an honored name;

I have taken virtue and given shame;

I have tempted the youth with a sip, a taste,

That has made his future a barren waste.

Greater, far greater than king am I,

Or than any army beneath the sky.

I have made the arm of the driver fail,

And sent the train from the iron rail;

I have made good ships go down at sea,

And the shrieks of the lost were sweet to me,

For they said, ‘Behold how great you be!

Fame, strength, wealth, genius before you fall,

For your might and power are over all.’

Ho! ho! pale brother,” laughed the wine,

“Can you boast of deeds as great as mine?”

 Said the water glass; “I cannot boast

Of a king dethroned or a murdered host;

But I can tell of a heart once sad,

By my crystal drops made light and glad;

Of thirsts I’ve quenched, of brows I’ve laved,

Of hands l have cooled, and souls I have saved;

I have leaped through the valley, dashed down the mountain,

Flowed in the river and played in the fountain,

Slept in the sunshine and dropped from the sky,

And everywhere gladdened the landscape and eye.

I have eased the hot forehead of fever and pain;

I have made the parched meadows grow fertile with grain;

I can tell of the powerful wheel of the mill,

That ground out the flour and turned at my will.

I can tell of manhood debased by you,

That I have lifted and crowned anew.

I cheer, I help, I strengthen and aid;

I gladden the heart of man and maid;

I set the chained wine-captive free;

And all are better for knowing me.”


These are the tales they told each other,

The glass of wine and the paler brother,

As they sat together filled to the brim,

On the rich man’s table, rim to rim.

The Christian is placed in many different circumstances while on this earth. Some are characterized by hardships and trials, and others are full of joy and peace. How should the Christian respond? Throughout the Bible there are numerous times where God’s people sang in response to their various circumstances. Singing in response to God’s ordering […]

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The book of Proverbs was written by King Solomon to his young adult son. Solomon’s purpose in writing Proverbs was “that the generation to come might know them [God’s wonderful works]…that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” (Ps. 78:6–7). Throughout the book, Solomon […]

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The group of churches that John writes to in this trio of epistles had recently experienced a split because of doctrinal controversy. We do not know the exact content of the error that these false teachers were spreading, but it is apparent from John’s writing that their teaching somehow denied the truth of the incarnation—that […]

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Jael: An Example of Christian Warfare

This article was originally presented as a speech at a Protestant Reformed mini convention held at Quaker Haven Camp in August 2021. Jael lived during the era of the judges. Deborah the prophetess was the judge who served Israel at the time of Jael. During this time, the Canaanites under the rule of king Jabin […]

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Indiana Mini Convention Review 2021

One of this year’s “mini conventions” was hosted by Grace and Grandville Protestant Reformed Churches at Quaker Haven Camp. Located just over two hours away in northern Indiana, the camp was a perfect fit for the 120 kids and 15 chaperones who attended. A total of twelve different churches were represented: Byron Center, Faith, First […]

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Editorial, November 2021: Catechism Season

At the point that this edition of Beacon Lights arrives in the homes of our subscribers, most young people in the Protestant Reformed Churches will have been sitting under the catechism instruction of their pastor or elders for more than a month. If our readers are honest, that observation probably comes with a (quiet) sigh […]

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Tennessee Young People’s Retreat 2021

The 2021 Tennessee young people’s retreat was held August 9 to 13 by Providence, Hudsonville, Unity, and First (Holland) Protestant Reformed Churches. The retreat took place at Eagle Rock Retreat Center in the city of Tallassee. It was about an eleven-hour drive, give or take a bit due to stops for food and restrooms. Though […]

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