The Soul’s Travail (Good Friday)

After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.
(Isaiah 53:11)
 
High and lifted up
Astonishing the faithless many
Kings with mouths agape yet shut
And hearts with closed fists
 
Lifted high above
The place of skulls and taunting
Elevated by his grief
The arm of God revealed…
 
Despised and rejected
Nothing to his form to draw
Our eyes up to him, yet he is
Now lifting, high, to breathe
 
And all now see
His final breath of life upon
The gaping, gawking many who
Do not know who he is
 
Breathe life:
His soul now stretches, its travail
Dragging nail-torn limbs across
The branches of the earth
 
Reach out and draw
All life unto yourself and give
Your every breath to see this light;
Your soul is satisfied…

The Wounded Servant (Wednesday in Holy Week)

Sustaining the weary with a word,
There were none who would come to him
That he would turn aside.

Morning by morning his ear awoke
To hear the cries of the small and weak,
The beaten and the bruised.

And beaten and bruised, he turned his back
To take their lashes, and turned his cheek
To take their spit and spite.

And he turned his cheek to take the kiss
Of the friend who caught the High Priest’s eye
And sold him for silver coins.

He set his face like flint towards shame
And took a crown that pierced his brow,
His throne a place of skulls.

His obedience plumbed the darkest depths,
His mercy a gift of bleeding love;
Glory springs from his shame.

Children of Light (Tuesday in Holy Week)

           Arise, little ones.
Though in your smallness you cannot see
Beyond the faint horizon:
 
He comes, he comes,
Across the seas,
Bearing light upon his brow.
 
To those despised deeply,
Abhorred by the world,
He comes bearing folly, to weaken the wise;
 
He sweeps the vast coastlands,
His mouth is a sword,
Yet he will not lift his voice.
 
And silently he falls to soil,
A kernel, broken, to spread its seed
And bring in a harvest of plenty.
 
           Arise, little ones:
He takes in the weak, beleaguered and small
And makes them children of light.

The Former Things (Monday in Holy Week)

        See –
 
He who stretched the heavens out with His hands
And spread out the earth and all it contains,
Whose breath fills our lungs with infinitude,
Who beckons us in with His arms –
 
He sees the smouldering wick in the dark
And the reed that has been bruised too many times;
He sees the blind and the dungeon-bound
And the hopeless cases of dawn.
 
       He sees
 
And His arms know how to stretch out
To draw us in and encompass our wounds;
He sees and He falls lower than us
And does not grasp hold of His throne.
 
See Him ride, a king bound for death,
Eyes set on that city of misconstrued peace,
Where the broken are scourged and the bruised are now laden
With new yokes and burdens to carry;
 
       See Him reach
 
With arms bent on grace, a king of deep wounds,
A man well-acquainted with sorrows and grief
Who erases the former things with each step
And ushers hope into the past.