Reality of Calvary

The setting, the scene,
has been filtered to frivolity--
borderline mockery:
void of the suffering,
stripped of the nakedness and the obscene;
the Blood has been watered down,
or so it would seem--
mixed in the mortal mud of tradition;
yet still they think it will
make you clean.

It isn't a dry history lesson;
it isn't a fable or a legend,
yet the outline--the chronology of the Cross
has been repeated
again and again
with monotonous, unconvincing voices;
retold without passion or conviction
in denominational tongues
by old, tired men
who've lost the vision of their mission.

For a moment let's rewind and replay
the raw footage:
back to the dismal day
when once-hopeful,
now-fearful followers
stand and stare
and listen to wheezy last breaths as they
escape from a mangled mess
that remains
of the body of their Hero and Friend.

Though we know now it isn't how the story ends,
to them it meant shattered dreams;
it was the end of all they knew--lived for--
when they saw, first hand, that
death is ugly and comes without mercy:
how's that for a fairy tale?
You see, we've so downplayed
the Sacrifice that was made,
til it just sounds like something nice;
it hardly has an effect at all.

But, the Blood speaks for itself:
it still saves, it heals, it cleans,
it redeems--yes,
it was actual blood--
and it was the purest that ever was;
it spilled because Love knew
there was no other way
to gather billions of children to
its bosom, giving them life
before, and after, death.

How recently have you been stirred,
enlightened, inspired,
by your Higher Power, knowing
His Blood--every last drop--
replaced the need for your own?
Yes: a man's blood flowed--ran--
into the earth, down to the jailhouse
of Hell--gone,
but the power of it lived on, broke bonds,
grew roots, and still stands strong.

The reality of Calvary is this:
the Blood, because of Love
causes change; but
it won't transform what is unwilling--
it won't, it can't, be applied on top of filth:
Love--real love--isn't blind
nor naive;
It isn't neutral about anything, at all
but it does wear its heart on its sleeve,
held out for the world to grab,
if only they'd surrender both hands.

No, we shouldn't dwell on the horror,
but forbid it that we forget the cost--
and who it was paid for--
on a splintered, cruel Cross;
it's okay to sing and rejoice,
so long as the purpose of the pain
is not forgotten;
so long as the Being that was slain
is accepted, worshiped, and loved,
as the greatest Hero that ever was.


Monsoon rolling into Monument Valley, AZ/UT

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