Tuesday, April 07, 2020

COVID at Easter

This is an Easter like no other!
We cower, solitary,
Without fellowship or celebration,
With fear and grief in too many eyes.

Remember the first one?
They cowered too,
Quarantined in the upper room,
Afraid for their lives,
Afraid of being targets,
For the viral hatred of the day;
Feeling hope drip helplessly through their fingers
Like a broken egg,
Making a mess of their hideout,
Without any expectation
This loss could be restored.
Until they heard a rumour,
Too amazing to believe,
That the world had changed forever

Are we so different then?
Is our faith greater than theirs?
Do we live in holy expectation
While we flounder in our fears?
Remembering death is dead,
Do we take hold of hope’s coattails,
Or paralyse our grasp?
Do we let salvation penetrate
The heart’s cold corners?
Do we still sing hymns of wonder
When our voices rasp?

He who hung in darkness
When the midday sun was gone
Is the light of all the world
And of our darkness too.

Monday, April 06, 2020

Cleansing the temple

He comes to overturn
The tables of our dealing,
With ruthless, ruthless grace
Devoid of proper feeling.

He comes to strike undone
Our comfy compromises,
Allowance for the times,
And cunning mind-devices.

He comes to manifest
This kingdom of his Being;
To rip our blinkers off
And show us what we’re seeing.

He comes to challenge all
Our easy ways of living;
Call us to costly love
And drown us with forgiving.

He comes to liberate
From all false sacrifice.
The love, his love, is free,
And his the given life.

Friday, April 03, 2020

Palm Sunday, 2020

The streets are strangely silent.
No crowds now,
One solitary walker passes by,
And no hosannas split the air.

We don’t expect a rider down the road,
Except, in nightmares,
One on a pale horse,
And fear and loneliness wage silent war
Beneath the screeching of the cockatoos,
And the strange magic of the magpies’ call.

It is not the season now for resurrections.
This autumn draws us in with gloomy arms,
And whispers, tantalising,
“Do you have ...

I have the birdsong, I have the grass,
Green from the blessed, sweet, restoring rain.
And I have shelter, clothing,
I have food.

And I have mercy’s benison each day,
And joy because a king once rode for me
Into the streets of far Jerusalem,
And he rode further on,
Right on to death,
To that strait place where no one walks with us,
The bitter isolation of the tomb,
And flung it wider than a city’s gate.

Therefore, it matters not if no crowds shout,
Or if our Lenten season is prolonged,
Or if we walk on silent, empty paths,
Or if we stand apart, wider than breath,
And cannot mingle in our Easter songs.

The cross he rode to holds all time and space,
And every shattered hope, and every tear
And every aching for the skin’s embrace,
And every stuttered prayer, and every sin,
And every broken moment of our lives,
And every shame and terror, every doubt,
He carried them all with him and atoned.

And, though the streets lie silent under cloud,
For him with ears to hear, the stones cry out.