ADVENT, 19

ADVENT

 

19.

   ~John 14-17

 

Well, John Gospeller, we’ve come

at last to the core. We know

that we can see. We know

that we’re unbound.

And was it worth the trouble?

 

Because, because—-

The comforter comes—

to whom? 

What is asked in your name 

is given—

to whom?

Mansions in the Father’s house?

Well, hurrah.

And how many

are shut out?

But then, this is about

the inside, isn’t it?

About the closing door.

Not about the poor old world.

Not about the wedding feast.

Salvation from the world, yes?

Stand back and watch it fall.

 

Good cheer?

I don’t think so.

Let us, as your Jesus said 

(and then didn’t,

for three more chapters),

arise and go forth.

Salty salt.

Unshuttered light.

 

 

Maybe I’ll visit the passion and resurrection after Christmas. Maybe. . . 

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ADVENT, 18

ADVENT

 

18.

   ~John 13:18-38

 

Strange that fated 

to cause glory,

Judas is reviled. 

 

When he went out,

it was night.

At tenebrae, 

 

in spring, 

the last light goes out.

Strange

 

that in this darkest time

we remember birth.

Or maybe not so strange.

 

ADVENT, 16

ADVENT

 

16.

   ~John 11

 

Why did he weep?

 

There is a calculation here:

Wait till the corpse stinks.

It is never too late

for the elect to be raised

if they are properly wrapped,

if they’ve waited in solitude and dark

long enough to know their fear,

if they have been properly mourned.

 

But why did you let him weep?

 

And that curious prophecy

from the high priest’s mouth—

he was blind, I suppose,

but speaking from second sight

and not of himself

but of God’s chosen children.

This I understand.

 

But why, John Gosepeller,

did you make your Jesus weep?

ADVENT, 15

ADVENT

 

15.

    ~John 10

 

One flock, O yes. 

(I’m trying.)

You must bring them in.

Yes.

They will hear your call.

They will know your voice.

And how will they know?

 

Lambs learn their mothers’ voices

while still curled in the womb.

Once I saw a ewe

close to giving birth,

talking softly to her lamb.

(I’m trying.)

My father’s sheep came

only to him.

Once upon a time,

I found this a comfort. 

 

But now, John Gospeller, 

now I see:

this gate swings 

on predestination’s hinges.

One more door

closed to the many,

open only to the elect.

(I tried.)

ADVENT, 14

ADVENT

 

14.

     ~John 9

 

 

O, I see! I see!

You were cast out,

weren’t you?

Washed your eyes

in the Siloam Pool

proclaimed:

whereas I was blind,

now I see.

 

Your people,

even parents,

turned their backs

on you,

denied you,

you with your new-

opened eyes.

 

Of course you must

have contempt for 

for what you left,

what you lost.

on this strange 

and lonely way

 

Two thousand years 

away from you,

maybe I can see 

your sneer 

as the fear 

that once it was.

ADVENT, 12

ADVENT

 

 

12.

   ~John 7

Why, pray, would I follow your Jesus?

He honors the obfuscate;

his work is intellectual malignment.

Otherworldly, he keeps his secrets,

disparages what is human,

insists upon duality.

He will not look me in the eye.

Why, O John Gospeller,

would you have us believe

that this is Word made Flesh?