Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday meditation

Too Many Armadillos
by David Yarrow, 1989

There's too many armadillos in the zoo,
Or, to translate into the current jargon,
We need to be vulnerable, not impervious,
Who needs Christians with thick skins
                impenetrable armour
                dead certainty
                inscrutable demeanour?
That isn't the Jesus we see in the Gospels,
He sighs,
and weeps,
and rages.
He is sometimes at a loss for words.
He needs the human company of Mary and Martha.
He cherishes friends, love, and a place to put his hat and sandals.
He 'so loves the world' that he is willing to risk
loss of face
loss of prestige,
for the sake of truth,
and for the sake of others' salvation.

I don't want a guarded Lord,
              an impassive Saviour.
If there is a certainty I long for,
It is simply the certainty that I am loved, accepted, and forgiven,
By One who has plainly suffered.
It's not an armour-plated God I want,
but a Jacob wrestling in Gethsemane with the angels of darkness.
They break his body
but not his spirit.
And I can identify with that.
I can accept a Saviour who has suffered,
and let go of pride, prestige, and self;
Never one who is invulnerable;
Never one who covers up the cracks, denies the earthquakes;
Never one who pretends to know it all.

People, priests and prelates alike
Do themselves no service when they act like the armadillo.
Who can relate to the armadillo
when there's hailstones and coals of fire falling about our ears?
Give me the Man of Sorrows;
the Jesus who said he felt forsaken!
Give me the Christ who was misunderstood.
His power, as stubborn Saul found out,
is "made perfect in weakness."
Not in covering it up,
Nor in pretending it doesn't exist.
For an armada of armadillos
I'll exchange One who "suffered under Pilate,
was crucified,
and rose again."

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