Thursday, March 29, 2018

Under the Olives

for Maundy Thursday

The full moon hangs a searchlight in the sky
The shadows of the olives squirm and twist
And one man kneels in desperate agony
And tastes the horror lying under this.

Death breathes on him: negation and decay
Roil through his blood in all their rottenness.
And how shall he, whose every breath was life,
Resign himself to utter emptiness?

This is no posture, this is love laid raw
Fully to know, fully to comprehend,
And yet to choose the darkness terrible
Into the maw of evil to descend.

This is the pain. This is the heart that breaks
To take upon him all we are, have been,
And still to love us. Here the heart of God
In all its beauty is most clearly seen.

“If it be possible …” but it is not.
The night descends more deep, a lone bird’s cry
Counterpoints to his pain. Less than a day
Remains before the Life himself must die.

“Nevertheless!” The dreadful choice confirmed,
He holds the promise fast, for which he came,
To take our place, to drink what we could not;
This was his choosing. Holy is his name!

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