Easter Week: Garden Tomb

IMG_9697 editDown in a garden in a rich man’s tomb,

Lies a man condemned to die;

Wrapped hurriedly in linen cloth

As the Sabbath eve drew nigh.

 

Most friends had long forsaken him,

But a devoted few stayed true,

Risking their reputations,

To bury a despised King of Jews.

 

Their tears fell bitter in the shadowed crypt,

On the newly hewed out stone,

For the beloved friend they’d lost.

For cherished hopes now gone.

 

Darkness falls across the land,

As grief-stricken they leave,

The haunting scent of aloe and myrrh,

Wafts through the olive trees.

 

Up in the city, along the streets,

Quiet rest of Sabbath reigns,

As still as His body, bruised and pierced,

Bound by death’s dark chains.

 

But the fans of palm are whispering,

Along the garden path that winds,

Echoes of hosannas sung,

More than memories on their minds.

 

“Wait and see,” they seem to say,

“The story’s not complete,

This One they begged to save now,

Does not lie here in defeat.”

 

Just as a kernel cannot grow,

‘Til it’s buried in the ground,

The requirement is death,

Before new life will be found.”

 

“But Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a seed; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (John 12:23-24)

Porcupine

img_6749.jpgOh, to be a porcupine up in a tree,

a conspicuous ball of black against the blue,

placidly nibbling tree buds,

oblivious to the -25 wind chill,

whose only response to a curious passerby ankle deep in snow

(after that twinkling in his eye—or was I imagining that?)

is to curl up into a slightly tighter ball,

just to be sure I didn’t forget that he had nothing to be afraid of underneath all that spiky armor.

IMG_6744.JPGBut I suppose that since I can’t be a porcupine

I can be a city on a hill instead, or maybe a lamp on a stand—or maybe both at once, since they have so much in common.

Especially the way a city glows after dark,

conspicuous for miles around in it’s reflections up to the heavens,

placidly humming with all the activity that makes it a city,

stoplights constantly switching colors,

brake lights flashing and turn signals blinking,

people closing the blinds at night so they can sleep in spite of the constant glow of lampposts.

Cities, like porcupines, don’t really know who might be wearily traveling

down long highways way off in the darkness,

gazing at the lights,

moving towards them and their promise of things to eat and places to lay their heads—

but they shine on steady through the night anyway.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)