Saturday, March 30, 2013

After the Tenebrae: a song of the Passion

     Friday is the day that ends in silence. It is the day of darkness, of chaos and murder, of mobs and blood.  It is the day when we follow Christ through the long night to the trial of day, into the light.
Bring his deeds before the light of day, search them out, sift him like wheat, test him like the lamb-which-shall-be-slain. Hand him over to the Romans, to Pilate, to the crowds and their angry cries, their muttering rising in tide until it is a black wave, a tsunami rising that will have its way, it will overcome order and grace and mercy. It shall roar over the voice of reason and justice and it shall sweep you down that road to death. To shame and wrath and heart-tearing grief, the mourning of the sky, "great darkness at broad noon."
     We hear the cruel lash of the whip, its near-murderous bite of flesh, see the skin torn away from shoulders and back, and blood everywhere, on the torturous long thorns, pooling above the eybreows, drippingpouring down the face, into the anguished brown eyes. Blood in his back, nothing but blood and the gleam of the caught vertebrae, and the sting of sweat and dirt, and Roman saliva, human mocker amidst its methods of justice. This god seems to die without a fight, he goes only in great pain, great sorrow, aching loneliness, and unseen, secret love.

     And we who kneel at that cross are sprinkled in the blood, we are marked by it, stained of it, stinking of it and though we wash it will not come off. We who kneel at that cross are sprinkled in the water, baptized in the water and the blood, marked, sealed, smeared,  submerged. It is a word on us, that blood, that water, which flowed from the god-man upon his cross, it is a word which we once knew and have forgotten, a word which would waken us from our dreams if it were called, and bring us into the light, into the live life, out of our sleeper's daze. It is the word which we do not even know we have forgotten.
     And we who ate the flesh, and we who drank the blood are changed forever. There is something born in us, something alive in us, a mark upon us, a word within us.

     And the bloody king upon his cross is dead now, last-breath breathed out, last words forced out, last gasp raggedly tearing at the lungs, piercing in the heart, pushing at the raw ribs of the back and pulled out spirit realeased. The world mourns it, wails, it waits, it trembles and shakes and gives up a few of its dead, spits them forth to darkened day.
     And we in silence wait in sorrow and trepidation at the dawning of a new day.
Friday is the day of blood.
It closes in anguished silence.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...