A poem for Good Friday

At my church service this morning, we had various different ‘stations’ through which to worship, pray, or reflect. There was a communion table, a short film, a cross to which we could pin pieces of paper, and there was a poem/story table. In advance, I was one of the people asked to write something to go on the wall – basically any perspective on the Passion. I chose to write something from the perspective of a man who’d been in the crowd on Palm Sunday and at the Crucifixion – and I thought I’d share it here too.

I am an ordinary man,
And more I would not want to be.
The streets throughout Jerusalem
Are filled with people just like me.

 

On Sunday I joined with the rest,
And laid my branches on the ground,
And saw him – and was unimpressed;
This man who passed without a sound.

 

No chariot? No royal throne?
No golden cloak or signs of wealth?
He rode a donkey like my own –
The twin of that I ride myself.

 

A short time later, tables turned,
Almost (it felt) in the same breath,
This so-called king (I quickly learned)
Was praised no more, but sent to death.

 

Again, I settled with the crowd;
A spectacle to pass the time.
Again, I shouted, just as loud.
The punishment must fit the crime.

 

But what, I wondered, had he done?
Why didn’t he put up a fight?
He told the priest he was the Son.
It struck me: what if he were right?

 

What kind of god, what kind of king,
Is strung up for a killer’s fate?
But still, in spite of everything,
I sensed him giving love to hate.

 

I watched, in awe, as night grew nigh,
And waited, and grew more perplexed.
“It is finished!” I heard him cry –
And yet he died! What next? What next?

7 thoughts on “A poem for Good Friday

  • March 25, 2016 at 2:09 pm
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    Thank you for sharing your poem. It’s very good and asks excellent questions. It really puts us right there at the events of Passion week.

    I am fascinated to hear of the different experiences offered in the stations during worship. What were people asked to pin to the cross? Did the film have audio (sound) and if so, could it be heard at other stations? How did the poem/story table work – was this for people to read poems and stories that were already written and provided for them, or did the worshipers have the opportunity to write their own?

    • March 26, 2016 at 6:15 pm
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      Thank you very much CHM! And thanks for your other questions – I shall take them one at a time :)
      -people pinned things they either wanted to leave at the cross (i.e. things they wanted to get rid of), or ways they wanted to change, or both
      -the short film was sort of a metaphor for the Passion with a father and his son working on trains (somehow it worked!) which had subtitles and several headphones plugged in, if people wanted to listen to it. It was surrounded by canvas walls, so didn’t disturb the other stations.
      -I think the story section was a mix – 6 pieces were pinned up, but I think there was a table for writing their own responses. I didn’t go to that one, as time was short!

  • March 25, 2016 at 6:57 pm
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    Very thoughtful and profound reflection. Thank you for posting it.

    • March 26, 2016 at 6:15 pm
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      Thanks Trisha :)

  • March 26, 2016 at 10:01 am
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    Thanks for sharing your response and something of the service. Privileged to read this.

    • March 26, 2016 at 6:16 pm
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      Thanks Ana :)

  • March 27, 2016 at 1:16 am
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    This is really a wonderful poem. He was part of the crowd but had his own wonderings about the truth. Would any of us have cried out in protest? It is chilling to think maybe not.

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