God’s Weeping

Hosea

My heart recoils within me; my compassion grows warm and tender.
– Hosea 11:8

What do I hear on the wind?

Is it the sighing of a dove?
Or the sighing of a deity
watching warmly, tenderly
as the Creator’s children stray?

What do I hear in the trees?

Is it resilience in motion?
Or the groans of a deity
swaying in unison
with the Earth’s moaning?

What do I hear on the waves?

Is it the rhythm of ocean?
Or the sobs of a deity
embracing the suffering
of all They have made?

What do I hear in the cosmos?

Is it the cry of expansion?
Or the wrath of a deity
frustrated with evil
beyond all endurance?

What do I hear in the Earth?

Is it the silence of affection?
Or a deity’s anger
cooling, reforming,
bearing us upon forgiveness?

What do I hear?

A poem/prayer based on Hosea 11:1-11, the Revised Common Lectionary alternate first reading for Year C, Proper 13.

The image of Hosea comes from the Menologion of Basileiou, an 11th century illuminated Byzantine manuscript. Artist unknown – http://digi.vatlib.it/view/MSS_Vat.gr.1613/0141?sid=a7590df9b8aca22111c8359533716419&zoomlevel=4, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20645325.

And… That Prayer

Photo of two plaques on a wall. On the left is a text of the Lord's Prayer in Tahitian; on the right is the text in Japanese. A cross hangs on the wall between them.

[Jesus] said to them, “When you pray, say:…
And forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive
everyone indebted to us.”

– Luke 11:2a, 4a

Teach me to pray, Jesus.
Teach me to pray to the One in Heaven.
Teach me to pray to the Hallowed Name.
Teach me to pray for a Peaceable Realm.
Teach me to pray for the Needs of Today.
Teach me to pray that You will Forgive.

Qualified forgiveness, of course.
It would hardly be right
if All and Sundry received forgiveness.
So forgive me only if…

Wait.

What?

If I forgive?

You have got to be joking.

Let’s take a good look at this.

Shouldn’t it be God, or shouldn’t it be You,
responsible for forgiveness here?
Can’t you make the choice?
Can’t you make the call?
Aren’t you far more dependable than I?

When you told bold Cephas
that he held the keys to heaven and hell,
did you tell him they were the keys to his own?
That grace received depends on grace extended?
Did you?

Good God, Jesus, don’t give those keys to me.

Seriously, don’t give those keys to me.

Damn it.

What’s that jingling noise?

A poem/prayer based on Luke 11:1-13, the Revised Common Lectionary alternate first reading for Year C, Proper 12.

The picture shows the Lord’s Prayer in two languages – Tahitian and Japanese – at the Church of the Pater Noster on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. Photo by Ori~ – Own work, Attribution, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19733724

Holy Week 2019: Good Friday

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
By a perversion of justice he was taken away.
– Isaiah 53:7-8a

Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”
– Luke 23:34

Silence, Jesus? Excuses, Jesus?
In truth, I want a louder Savior.
I want a firebrand, I want a chief.
I want a voice that echoes from the hills.

I do not want excuses.
I do not want a suffering servant
satisfied with our perverted justice,
consenting with your silence.

For heaven’s sake, shake the heavens!
For earth’s sake, rattle the earth!
For the oppressed’s sake, break the bonds!
For humanity’s sake, do something!

Don’t – don’t – make excuses.
Not for them. Not for us.
Not even – dare I say it?
Don’t make excuses for me.

I do not need excusing, Jesus.
No, I need forgiving.
Excuses will not change the world:
Repentance and forgiveness might.

Suffering Savior, keep your silence:
but do not keep your peace.
We who witness your great love
weep for your peace.

Photo by Eric Anderson