Fragile Stones

When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, [Jesus] said, ‘As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.'” – Luke 21:5-6

The flagstones and terraces, walls and pillars,
the walkways and courtyards, collonades and shrines.
Oh, look where the peak of the roof glows at sunset!
Oh, look how the glory of God has been housed.

The stones seem so durable, set and enduring,
but Jesus in sadness announces their fall.
Eternity’s structures are not built with masonry.
Instead, they are built on the soul.

It has been many days since I stood by the ocean
and watched while this island expanded its shores.
Incarnadine tendrils, dulling to sable,
forming a delta of newly poured stone.

And that delta has vanished. It broke
and it crumbled. The rocks of the ages
could be counted in days. Since then new eruptions
have fashioned the coastline anew and anew and anew.

Stone poured upon stone, broken to sand.
Stone stacked upon stone – by human hands.
They come and they go, they bloom and they fade –
But oh, what glory that these things should be.

Fragile stones, enduring for centuries,
collapsing in days, wrecked by malice,
swept away by the sea. Fragile stones that stand for a moment:
But oh, what glory that these things should be.

A poem/prayer based on Luke 21:5-19, the Revised Common Lectionary Gospel Reading for Year C, Proper 28 (33).

Photo of the 2016 ocean entry in Kamokuna by Eric Anderson.

2 thoughts on “Fragile Stones

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