29 April 2011

good friday

Yes, I am aware that Good Friday was last week, and it's not like I'm trying to live again Jesus' crucifixion.

But this poem—I like this poem. It was printed in the bulletin {or to be fancy, Order of Service} for the Good Friday service last week, and I have been re-reading it throughout this week.

As I mentioned on Palm Sunday, I enjoy—probably not the correct word here—Holy Week because it helps guide me through emotions. You wouldn't think I would need help with emotions about the death and resurrection; it seems like there should be plenty in there to cling to.

But it can all become so rote, so known, so accepted. After all, I celebrate his death and resurrection every week, and as someone raised in the church, I can easily, I must admit, gloss over the shocking details that form the heart of faith.

Sometimes, I stand in front of the cross and think the very same thing as Christina Rossetti in this poem: "Am I a stone... / that I can stand, O Christ, beneath Thy cross... / And yet not weep?"

Good Friday
Christina Rossetti

Am I a stone, and not a sheep,
That I can stand, O Christ, beneath Thy cross,
To number drop by drop Thy blood's slow loss,
And yet not weep?

Not so those women loved
Who with exceeding grief lamented Thee;
Not so fallen Peter weeping bitterly;
Not so the thief was moved;

Not so the Sun and Moon
Which hid their faces in a starless sky,
A horror of great darkness at broad noon--
I, only I.

Yet give not o'er,
But seek Thy sheep, true Shepherd of the flock;
Greater than Moses, turn and look once more
And smite a rock.

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