18 April 2014

Mary Mother of James and Joses: Calvary

Mark 15:21-41

"Come down off the cross!
Save yourself!"
I hear them jeering from afar,
as I watch from a distance
in agony
how you suffer, forsaken by all.

They taunt and they jeer,
they gamble for your clothes;
no one shows pity,
no compassion anywhere.
Nails have pierced
your hands, your feet,
and blood runs down
your thorn-crowned brow.

If I could but cling
to that cruel cross,
and kiss those blood-stained feet,
and show you someone loves you still -
why am I too afraid?

Come down off the cross -
save yourself!
Why don't you?
I know that you can.
Why do you let them do this to you?
Why do you suffer, forsaken by all?

So many hopes,
so many dreams -
what of them now?
Weren't you the Messiah?
Weren't you the King?
Now you are helpless,
crying in pain,
broken, thristy,
What becomes of us
when you are gone?

"My God, my God,
why have you forsaken me?"
Jesus, Jesus,
why are you forsaking us?
Why now, when everything was just beginning?
Why do you let them do this to you?
Why do you suffer, forsaken by all?
Come down off the cross -
save us
because without you
what can we do?

A final cry -
you die
and all is lost.
The sky is dark,
the ground is shaking -
this is the end
of the world.

Or am I wrong
and this is the beginning,
and this is where life
and salvation spring?
Did you not promise
that death would not win?
Can I hope,
can I believe
that this is the start
of something new,

that if I cling
to that cruel cross
and quietly believe,
you show me that you loved the world
so much you would not save yourself
but died,
saving me?


[18. April 2014]

There were three Marys at the crucifixion... Mary Magdalene, Mary Jesus' mother, and this Mary. They were watching from a distance (according to Mark - John situates some people under the cross). I tried to write from their pre-Easter point of view, where they actually had Jesus' hints about resurrection but probably were still confused - though I also didn't want it to be only depressing and hopeless and "let's all give up now, we must have been wrong", but to have an outlook towards Easter...

Also was playing with the whole "saving" thing: people wanted Jesus to save Himself, but He didn't - because by staying on the cross, He saved us. Though before the resurrection, people didn't understand yet - that's why Mary for a while thinks by getting off the cross He'd save them because He wouldn't be dead but could go on being the Messiah the way they expected. But Jesus brought salvation in a different and unexpected way; His death was not the end but the beginning.

Hope you don't mind the irregular repeats - I like working with refrain-like stanzas, or "mirroring" (similar wording / structure but different words / direction of thought), but usually I just have one. Here there were two, the "come down off the cross" one and the "clinging to the cross" one. Seems to have worked, though....

Picture by Gebhard Fugel.

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