Stay Here and Keep Watch-A Poetic Meditation for Good Friday

Andrew Mantegne's Agony in the Garden

Andrew Mantegne’s Agony in the Garden

Stay here for just a moment and keep watch in the garden.
Where love is betrayed and where friends are spared
Where a beloved one brings soldiers and temple police
Where love endures and does not shirk away from the consequences of loving the loveless
Where swords are sheathed and wounds are healed
Where the healer is treated as the rebel, the lover as a bandit
Where the evening of violence has its say, yet even strong men seem reluctant to place the one claiming
“I am he” in chains
Stay here and watch as love comes down the mountain so that others may go free

Michelangelo Merisis da Carvaggio, The Denial of Saint Peter

Michelangelo Merisis da Carvaggio, The Denial of Saint Peter

Stay here for just a moment and keep watch in the courtyard
Where love is betrayed and friends are spared
Where a beloved one stands around a charcoal fire
Attempting to hold fast to the love that has been taken away by the loveless
Where a sheathed sword goes with a wounded soul
Where the one named rock becomes broken, the faithful one becomes faithless
Where the evening of violence has its say and even the rock seems unable to remain strong
“I am not” he claims
Stay here and watch as strength fails and confidence flees in the cold night

Jesus en casa de Anas by Jose de Madrazo Agudo

Jesus en casa de Anas by Jose de Madrazo Agudo

Stay here for just a moment and keep watch in the household of Caiphas
Where love is betrayed and the a people is spared
“For it is better for one person to die for the people”
As the cannibalistic logic of human sacrifice gives up on love for the sake of security
Where love is bound and struck across the face
Where hatred is sharpened on the grindstone of fear
The evening of violence with his own question, “Are you the son of God?”
“You say that I am”
Stay here and watch as testimony is transformed into terror

Mihaly Munkasy, Christ Before Pilate

Mihaly Munkasy, Christ Before Pilate

Stay here for just a moment and keep watch in the courtyard of Pilate
Where love is betrayed and an empire watches
When the leaders of the chosen nation bow down before the eagle of Rome
Where uncleanness is avoided at the cost of corruption
Where charges become spears and accusations become daggers
Where love is turned criminal and might makes right
Where the morning of violence makes its accusations
Silence is the only answer
Stay here and watch as the crowd becomes a mob

Matthias Storm, Christ Crowned with Thorns

Matthias Storm, Christ Crowned with Thorns

Stay here for just a moment and keep watch in the headquarters of the occupying army
Where love is betrayed as the legion mocks
Where purple is used to mock and crowns are made of thorns
Where mercy looks like beating and justice a cat of nine tails
Where titles of honor become mockeries of disdain
Where spears and swords are the real power
Where a violence owns the day and power shapes reality asking
“What is truth?”
Stay here and watch as the love is abused by power

Hieronymus Bosch, Christ Carrying the Cross

Hieronymus Bosch, Christ Carrying the Cross

Stay here just for a moment and keep watch in the midst of the mob
Where love is betrayed and hatred is fueled by fear
Where a people turn from the dream of hope to the certainty of death
Where the fires of anger are stoked by the desperation for someone to blame
Where mercy and justice corrode in the illusive certainty of self-deception
Where words are more deadly than swords, a mob more dangerous than an army
The morning of violence passes its sentence
“Crucify, Crucify”
Stay here and watch as truth is the casualty of fear

Antonio Ciseri, Ecce Homo (Behold the Man)

Antonio Ciseri, Ecce Homo (Behold the Man)

Stay here just a moment and keep watch at Gabbatha, the stone pavement
Where justice is consumed by the gaping jaws of blind rage
Where the people betray their own identity to become the servants of violence
Where love endures and does not shirk away from the consequences of loving the loveless
Where rage demands the life of the innocent and freedom for the bandit
Where the wages of love are death and cost of healing is execution
The morning of violence cries out its judgment
“Crucify, crucify.”
Stay here and watch as the horror presses on unstoppable

White Crucifixion, Marc Chagall

White Crucifixion, Marc Chagall

Stay here just a moment and keep watch at Golgatha, the place of the skull
Where love is killed and the world stops
Where darkness rules in the midst of the day
Where nails and spears deny love the air it needs to breath
Where the King of the Jews becomes the slave of the cross
Where justice and mercy are traded for death
The afternoon of violence has had its say and love utters its final words
“It is finished”
Stay here and watch as it is finished but not complete

Garden Tomb considered by some to be the site of the burial and resurrection

Garden Tomb considered by some to be the site of the burial and resurrection

Stay here just for a moment and keep watch in the garden
Where love is laid in a tomb and the beloved ones weep
Where hope seems lost and violence seems to be truth
Where the crucified one is placed in a tomb
Where the world enters into the silence of Sabbath without its Lord
Where everything stops and death has its word
The silence of Sabbath and the closed lips of the tomb utter
“It is finished”
Stay here and watch until the certainty of death and darkness, violence and power, rage and fear have their say

The Resurrection of Christ by Piero della Francesca

The Resurrection of Christ by Piero della Francesca

Stay here just a moment longer and keep watch on this night and one night more
Where we wait for the day when truth is reborn
Where love triumphs over hatred
Where peace wins over violence
Where life is liberated from death
When the silence of Sabbath gives way to the beginning of new creation
And the voices of the grieving proclaim
“He is risen”
Stay here and watch knowing that resurrection is coming

purple rose 01 by picsofflowers.blogspot.com

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This entry was posted in Poetry, Sermons and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Stay Here and Keep Watch-A Poetic Meditation for Good Friday

  1. chargerneil says:

    This was my meditation from yesterday, I didn’t set out to write a form poem, but the 9 line pattern emerged by the time I was half way through the meditation.

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