Poems for Holy Week (VII)

It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.  Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”  When he had said this, he breathed his last…

Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God.  Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body.  Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid.

LUKE 23:44-46; 50-53


Into Your Hands

It’s the care of commitment when all is done—
Reverberant cry lobbed as a prayer;
Silence echoes inside the hum.

Light bleeds as a cure from the staggering sun
And by some unseen hand the veil is split with
Care.  Such commitment to a job well done

Hangs like a flag, pounds like a drum.
Were you always first to volunteer to face
The silence that blares inside the hum?

You held the note and held the line—
Did you hold your breath to exhale your life?
This, the care of commitment.  All is done.

When the spectacle sinks, flies or slumps,
We stagger blind, shell-shocked and dumb.
Silence rings inside the hum.

Is war silent?  Combat, still?
Hush of linen wrapped limb by limb to fulfill
The care of commitment.  All is done
To silence the scream inside the hum.

 -Sarah Crowley Chestnut

(Descent From the Cross, Rembrandt)