The sounds from the cross are too hard to hear. They still echo down the years to this moment when COVID-19 has locked us in our homes . . . if we have a home. Poetry not only echoes the sounds we do not wish to hear; it helps us to hear a Deeper Voice, the divine whisper beneath the clamor. What follows are the Stations of the Cross, courtesy of poet Malcolm Guite.
!I. Jesus is condemned to death
The very air that Pilate breathes, the voice With which he speaks in judgment, all his powers Of perception and discrimination, choice, Decision, all his years, his days and hours, His consciousness of self, his every sense, Are given by this prisoner, freely given. The man who stands there making no defence, Is God. His hands are tied, His heart is open. And he bears Pilate’s heart in his and feels That crushing weight of wasted life. He lifts It up in silent love. He lifts and heals. He gives himself again with all his gifts Into our hands. As Pilate turns away A door swings open. This is judgment day.
II. Jesus is given his cross
He gives himself again with all his gifts And now we give him something in return. He gave the earth that bears, the air that lifts, Water to cleanse and cool, fire to burn, And from these elements he forged the iron, From strands of life he wove the growing wood, He made the stones that pave the roads of Zion He saw it all and saw that it is good. We took his iron to edge an axe's blade, We took the axe and laid it to the tree, We made a cross of all that he has made, And laid it on the one who made us free. Now he receives again and lifts on high The gifts he gave and we have turned awry.
Click HERE for the rest of Malcolm Guite’s Stations of the Cross, or HERE for Malcolm’s book Sounding the Seasons.
- Gordon C. Stewart, Chaska, MN, April 10, 2020 — Good Friday.