God Speaks Through Wombs: Poems on God's Unexpected Coming, By Drew Jackson

God Speaks Through Wombs

Poems on God's Unexpected Coming

by Drew Jackson
Foreword by Jon Batiste

God Speaks Through Wombs
  • Length: 160 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.5 in
  • Published: September 14, 2021
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: A0267
  • ISBN: 9781514002674

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Christian Book Award Finalist

But God speaks through wombs,
birthing prophetic utterances. . . .
Enough of this unbelieving religion
that masquerades as faith.
Divine favor is placed on what we
have disgraced.

In God Speaks Through Wombs, Drew Jackson explores the first eight chapters of Luke's Gospel in a new poetic register. These are declarative poems, faithfully proclaiming the gospel story in all its liberative power. Here the gospel is the "fresh words / that speak of / things impossible."

From the Magnificat ("That girl can sing! . . . She has a voice / That can shatter shackles") to the baptism of Christ ("I stepped in / Committing insurrection"), this collection helps us hear the hum of deliverance—against all hope—that's been in the gospel all along.

"This poetic commentary weaves biblical narrative with contemporary issues of justice, lament, and hope. It is for anyone looking to meditate deeply on the Gospels. Jackson's unique approach, along with his heart for God's Word, makes this collection an instant classic, a true gift to the church."

Rachel Joy Welcher, editor at Fathom Magazine and author of Talking Back to Purity Culture: Rediscovering Faithful Christian Sexuality

"If poetry is the art of the indirect, the undefended doorway into deeper consciousness, then Drew Jackson is a wonderful new teacher on the scene! Seldom have I read such direct insight into spiritual moments and spiritual matters . . . . I am already eager to see and hear more!"

Richard Rohr, Center for Action and Contemplation

"With undeniable depth and brilliant creativity, Drew Jackson offers a powerful poetic tour through the Gospel of Luke. Drew joins poignant cultural analysis with biblical faithfulness, and does so in a way that kept me captivated throughout. This book is a gift, offering us a fresh vision of the gospel story with profound flow."

Rich Villodas, lead pastor of New Life Fellowship and author of The Deeply Formed Life

"God Speaks Through Wombs is a fresh take on the first eight chapters of the Gospel of Luke and a poetic invitation into the world of the Scriptures. What we read here is not translation, but rather more. We are transported into the ministry of Jesus and beckoned to walk alongside him with the oppressed he came to save. Jackson's poetry brings to light the fact that Christ's ministry is, in many ways, an affirmation of human dignity in general and of Black dignity specifically. This Savior is very much for you, not against you."

Malcolm B. Foley, director of the Black Church Studies Program at Truett Seminary

"This book of poetry offers a beautifully nuanced perspective on themes of oppression, of liberation, of suffering, of hope for what has been promised. Drew weaves together biblical experiences with the language and perspectives of modern activists. His poetry allows us to experience the voice of God through words on the page. I will be using these poems for creative inspiration, as prayer, as a liturgy for all the things that are difficult to speak about in a dark and difficult world. This collection will offer you great solace, speaking life into your spirit."

Nikole Lim, founder and international director of Freely in Hope and author of Liberation Is Here

"I've known Drew for over a decade, and this book bears witness to his soul: a careful listener, passionate conversation partner, bold truth teller, and tenderhearted empath. Drew has always been an artist, crafty with words and sounds. God Speaks Through Wombs reflects Drew's soulful artistry. Through his poetic genius, Drew effortlessly weaves together the ancient stories of the Gospel of Luke with social movement history, popular culture, contemporary justice issues, theological rigor, and more. Every pastor, theologian, faith-rooted activist, and person of faith who cares about the intersection of faith and justice needs this book. You won't be able to preach, teach, pray, sing, or question the Gospel of Luke the same!"

Brandon Wrencher, organizer, writer, and founding pastor of the Good Neighbor Movement

"In a time like this, we need divine creativity, and the words Drew has written are just that. . . . His words are powerful, and his creative process is filled with mysterious and divine wonder."

Jon Batiste, Stay Human, and bandleader for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, from the foreword

Read an Excerpt


Foreword by Jon Batiste

I. Openings
Theophilus (Lover of God)
God Speaks Through Wombs
The Spirit of Elijah
Theotokos (God-Bearer)
Say His Name
That Girl Can Sing!
He's Not Like His Father
Faith Opens Mouths

II. Revelations
In Those (These) Days
O Little Town
Where Lambs Feed
Census Day
Ceremonies and Rituals
We Gon' Be Alright
Gray Heads
As Children Do

III. Immersions
Alert to the Times
Waters of Insurrection
Down By the Riverside
Good Trouble
The Waters of My Weeping
All In
I Am Son
Of Earth and Sky

IV. Temptations
Desert of Desire
Prove It
Shuckin' and Jivin'
An Opportune Time (Out in these Streets)
The Accent of Home
4x100 (My Leg of the Race)
The Anointing
Back Pew Talk
Euangelion (From Below)
Teaching Time
A Rude Awakening
On the Edge of Things
Authority and Power
The Homes of My Friends
Desert Places

V. Rolling Deep
Blue Collar
Few and Far Between
Vocation: Redefined
What Love Touches
Crowded Out
The Crew
Who Can Forgive
Rise Up, My People
Internal Dialogue at a Tax Booth
Follow Me
Dinner Party
Around Tables

VI. On the Plain
Fields of Wheat
Same Energy
A Grand Unfolding
Hands Full of Heaven
Late Night Commercials
Fermented Lament
Enemy Love
Turning Cheeks
Grade School Ethics
Logs and Splinters
Our Good Tree
Wise Words from Mom

VII. Life Lessons
I Struggle with the Word Deserves
Under the Rubble
Youth Mortality
Mothers Like Us
Magic Words of Spring
From Behind Bars
G.O.A.T. Status
When They Invited Me for Dinner
Three Kinds of Sinners
I Screen Calls

VIII. Parables and Other Things
And Many Others
The Power of Parable
Of Seeds and Soil
My Light
The Raging Sea
Never Make Yourself Small
To Be A Realist
In the Room
Eat Your Fill


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Author photo of Drew Jackson

Drew Jackson is the founding pastor of Hope East Village in New York City. He is the author of the poetry collection God Speaks Through Wombs and writes poetry at the intersection of justice, peace, and contemplation, with a passion to contribute toward a more just and whole world. He and his wife have twin daughters and live in Lower Manhattan.