Here are two poems which have been previously posted which deal with themes of Good Friday.

The first is a poem titled, The Dragon, and it is based upon Revelation 12:15 which reads, “The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood.” The flood is a river of lies and deception about the gospel in which the serpent seeks to sweep away the church (the woman). However, it is not only the serpent, but we too are caught up in that flood of lies when we engage in the management of our reputation by lying or manipulating others with our words. The apostle Peter succumbed to that flood on this day so many years ago. His denial is the subject of the poem (Luke 22:54-62).

You may listen to me read the poem via the player below.

From the Dragon’s mouth words pour out
Like a river in which truth seems to shout:
The shameful curse and accusation,
The legalistic judge’s condemnation,
The victims raging imprecations,
To drown and make you his prize.

In desperate deceit we lie. We make
Excuses for self-preservation’s sake.
We deflect with condescending over-simplification
To manipulate another’s expectations,
Managing with half-truths our own reputation,
Denying there could be any association
Between our actions and the Father of Lies.

And in these moments when we double-speak—
Fearing the loss of the fame we seek
And terrified of the cost of the implication—
We deny the very insinuation
Of any merit of the accusation,
We call down curses and condemnations
That we have any association
With this Teacher condemned to die.

It is then and there, at dawn’s first light
When the rooster’s cry breaks the silence of night
We remember our confident exaggeration:
Defiant against any prognostication
That we could be tempted to any prevarication
Or withhold sincerely offered oblation,
Denying our love — our chosen vocation
Merely to protect our own reputation?
And we see through Another’s knowing eyes.

And from this horrified, humiliated heap
A flood of tears pours out in words we weep
Of the hasty vows we swore in the commotion,
Of the sting of exposure and anger at the notion,
That one could be guilty of such insincere devotion…
Drowning in shame and regret and resentful emotion
No more words, no excuses, no alibis.

© Randy Edwards 2016

The second poem is a sonnet which links Mary’s encounter with Jesus at the Wedding in Cana in Galilee from John 2:1-5 with her presence at the crucifixion in John 19:25-26. They are book ends of a sort of John’s good news about Jesus’ ministry and mission. The question which Jesus asks of Mary at the wedding, “Woman, what does this have to do with me?” is answered by his words from the cross, “Woman, behold your son.”

You may listen to me read the sonnet via the player below.

Finding us outside as we waited on
Our master who brought us to the wedding,
His mother, not asking, telling her son
The shameful news the steward was dreading.
“The wine has runout,” in question she eyed
Looking for what he might say and do.
“Woman, what’s that to me, my time’s not arrived.”
To the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
It’s been three years since he turned water to wine;
We stand at the foot of his crushing shame
Twisted round a stake like vintner’s vine
Her son who saved stewards from blame.
And so, “Why?” pours from her eyes in sobs overcome
The wine saved for last, “Woman, behold your son.”

© Randy Edwards 2016 and 2017.
These poems are for Christ’s church. If it is helpful, please feel free to copy or reprint in church bulletins, read aloud, or repost. I only ask that an attribution be cited to myself (Randall Edwards) and this blog (backwardmutters.com). Thanks.
artwork: Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828–1882), St. John Comforting the Virgin at the Foot of the Cross (After the Ninth Hour), 1862; pencil and watercolour with bodycolour and gum arabic on paper laid on linen

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