Triumph

My sword shall be bathed in heaven
When it is drowned in dragon’s blood.
A glorious ray of light
Stabbing forth into hidden dens,
Blinding dark-dwellers,
Besieging the night.
No iron can hold me back,
No gate delay me.
I am going home:
To cut the thorns
And kiss the princess,
To be a man on a cross,
Dying into eternity.
Some heroes have to die because they must win.
Victory is found in whale-stomachs, in dragon’s teeth:
Let us root out those teeth.
Let us give the serpent’s fangs away,
Gifts for our children
Who lay down with the lamb
Beside the Lion.

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Eater

Friends: let me show you something about the way the world works. We get grossed out at something that eats death. Bacteria putrefying that corpse. Mold feeding on the dead fruit. But in reality, none of us are any different. We all feed off dead things. Every single day of your life, you were either eating something dead, or you were dead. Even if you’re fasting, you’re still eating yourself. We always eat, and whatever we eat is dead. Something else always has to die for us to live. This is why the table is one of the centers of the home. We gather around it for a spiritual realization of a physical need: we are all dying, and we stave that off three times a day together. That kind of thing bonds people.

But let me show you something else about the way the world works. There is one food that isn’t dead. There is one table where death is staved off forever with a single mouthful. There is one cup where the desert of our thirst is swamped with the kind of water that turns into wine. One washing where we are cleansed from the filth of our previous meals of death. Here we eat Christ, and here we eat a food that won’t stay dead. Here we eat a food that turns us into itself. We are what we eat, and when we ate dead things, we were dead. Now we eat a living thing, and none of us will ever die again.

And though we partake of him, Christ was the one meal that Death could not digest. Death gnawed on the gristle a bit, stabbed at him with a fork that pierced him with its four tines, and swallowed. As a teacher of mine said, “If you eat a hero, be sure to chew him up first, and don’t just send him down directly.” Death, that ancient emptiness, was killed from the inside out, filled. Death’s eyes were bigger than its stomach, and Death, in eating the meal that satisfies all and forever, lost his appetite. He can no longer devour us, the solid, the filled, the living.

Eat up.

 

And Happy Easter.

Good Friday

Here is Death’s sting:

On a cross and nails

An immortal man is dying.

And the misery that echoes in his tears

Sets the devils to dancing.

The red sun fails,

And limitless night swallows the sky.

And under the weight of the sinking soul

The earth trembles.

When God is dead,

When blood and baptism

Are speared from a tortured saviour

Then I hide from hearing a mother’s grief,

Wailing from the foot of that bloody hill.

I have Macbeth’s hands,

And the blood of my king

Soaks my guilty deeds.

How can I live

When I killed the only man

Who would give his life for me?