Last Words

christ-of-st-john-of-the-cross
[Image: The Christ of Saint John of the Cross by Salvador Dali]

Truly I say to you that you will be with me in Paradise
Let the scoffers scoff and mockers mock.
For you have chosen what is right!
Bandits they placed on either side of me
But in you I see a child of light
The vicious cycle you’ve been caught in
It ends this darkened night
I go to prepare a place for you
A place I’ll soon bring here
Like Moses lifted the serpent in the desert
I’ve been lifted up
And you have drawn near

Woman, behold your son! Friend, behold your mother.
A mother indeed she has been to me
Like the Ruach ha-Kodesh who shared me with her
Many days I laid my head upon her breast
Years spent proclaiming God’s reign is at hand
Yet some days I strained to feel the Spirit’s breath
She was a grounding, a rock
Even when she stood with my brothers, outside,
Bewildered by my proclamation
She never doubted my intentions
And she treasured each moment in her heart
Friend, treasure her.

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Before any beginnings I was with you
And this barren place is where you have taken me?
Do you remember the days before days
The timeless dance of Perichoresis binding us?
Together. A Spirit of mutual indwelling
Before Spirit hovered above waters,
Rested on prophets
Guided faithless kings,
Or went neglected by priests
We were one.
Are we still?

I thirst!
Not for this sponge of sour wine
But for justice to roll down like mighty waters
For righteousness like an ever-flowing stream
I thirst to share the cup of Heavenly banquet with all
Made possible by this cup, not to be passed from me
More bitter than anything you could lift to my lips
The cup of unknowing
For one moment suspended time
Separated from my Father
From his Spirit,
From myself

It is finished
They cast lots to divide clothing
While triune life divides
A sacramental moment to cherish
Or a spectacle to revile?
A glimpse of humankind at its worst
Or perfection in Divine life defiled?
A threefold chord is broken
To see Heaven and Earth restored
The sacred and profane collide
Like star-crossed lovers
As I knock on Heaven’s door

Father into you hands I commit my spirit
But where is this darker place I go?
An abyss filled with cages
And gnashing teeth below
For a Holy and Terrible Saturday
No rest, no comfort or reprieve
Back from the grip of death
The third day I hold the Keys
I was dead, and now look,
I am alive for ever and ever!
Death and Hades in one hand
Heaven has always been in the other

The act of Divine identification
With human suffering under sin
Has been co-opted and substituted
With the message God hates men
David and the prophets testify
You desire mercy and repentance for sins
Then justice can flow like mighty rivers
In which the multitudes can cleanse
But wrath satisfied has become
The ever popular image of you
Father please forgive them
For they know not what they do!

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