IT BEGINS - a poem for Easter 2017

(This can be listened to here)


It began well enough
small at first
but after some healings
and moments of deep caring
soon the crowds began to grow.
As did the numbers
calling themselves disciples.
Those were heady days.
He embodied God’s love
for all who crossed his path
even Samaritans.
He lived the kingdom of God
here on earth
in the here and now.
People touched by compassion,
God’s generosity there for all.
God’s promises lived out.
God’s covenant to Israel fulfilled.
We touched
earth renewed
and hoped.
Sure, some left
when  the teaching got too difficult -
I mean - who wants to eat bodies
and drink blood –
and some left as the tension grew –
no one likes hanging around
on a cross.
But mostly we stayed.
It all looked so promising
as Jesus rode the donkey
down into the Kidron.
We cheered and shouted
“Hosanna to the Son of David.”
the villagers cloaked and
palm branched our way.
Jesus the king riding on
on to victory and restoration.
Maybe now the great exile would end?
Maybe now the glory of God
lost to Babylon
would be restored
Maybe now the Shekinah of God
will  return to the temple.
We hope that Rome with all
their legions and weapons
and sheer military might
will return from whence where they came.
We pray that on their heals
their puppets with
all our wealth
and grandeur
will follow?
Maybe now is the end
for the high priests
and all their greed,
corrupting the temple.
For surely  now is the year of Jubilee!

It began as Jesus rode
up from the Kidron,
up into the chill of Jerusalem.
No cheering here.
Just cold indifference.
Our small group
passed through the gate
under Rome’s careful eye.
Surrounded with bemusement
we trekked up into
deadly fear and loathing
as the temple
loomed on our path.
That shadow never left.
The threat grew darker.
The sun dimmed
until on Friday
he was stripped of his humanity.
The powers nailed him to that cross.
The gods of war and wealth,
the idols of power and fame,
the spirits that destroyed communities,
devastating lives
impoverishing the landless
using God as their justification
crucified the one who named
their shame and selfishness.
They wrapped him tight  in their hate
crushing him
and all our hopes.
As the darkness drowned us
they danced their eternal victory
those false gods.
We watched and prayed in silence
while Jesus breathed his last.
God defeated.
God’s faithfulness shredded.
We sat with Mary by the tomb
waiting to bury God’s promise.
Nothing to do but anoint and wrap. 
held in the eternal night of despair.

It begins in deep darkness
this new dawn
a sliver of light
that greeted the cold breathe
of our grief.
We huddled and waited
just a few women
gathering in the gloom
to offer this
one final act
before life resumes
in the grey hopelessness.
It begins
with angels and earthquakes,
soldiers afeared and quaking,
stones rolling back
to reveal
a tomb
not occupied
and  linen cloths
that once held the dead.
tidily folded to one side.
What
begins
with
this
emptiness?
Everything begins.
Hope is reborn
Compassion renewed
Justice announced
Love reigns.
With this empty tomb
the revolution begins.
God is not defeated
The chains of death
have been broken
The Covenant with Israel holds.
The promise with humanity stands.
The powers that nailed him to that cross
are rendered impotent..
The gods of war and wealth,
the idols of power and fame,
the spirits that destroy communities,
devastating lives
impoverishing the landless
using God as their justification
They have been defeated
their dance has finished
their power is gone.
The revolution begins
resurrection begins
begins in God.
And it begins with Mary’s
simple words
the first sermon
“I have seen the Lord”
The revolution continues each time
we utter those words
each time we participate
in this resurrection of divine life
We have seen the Lord
It begins.



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