Last night, I attended a local vigil and call to action following last week’s terrible slaughter at a high school in Florida. These lines formed part of my remarks.
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus asks the crowd, “Who among you, if your child asks for a fish, would give him a snake instead, or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?”
We act sometimes as though,
when Jesus told the thief on the cross,
Today, you will be with me in paradise,
that it made up for the casings outside
the Paradise Club, and the holes in the walls;
the excruciating pain of metal through flesh
as the hammer falls.
As though, when Jesus said,
Let the little children come to me – but no.
Let’s not go
As though, when he saw the funeral bier,
Jesus was not gripped in his guts by the waste of life,
not assaulted by the mother’s shrill grief,
as though he were able to pass by
on the other side,
as though death had no sting.
We act sometimes as though
Jesus will rewind each death we do not want
or didn’t mean, as though
he himself were not laid out on that board
unable to move three days now since
we shot him coming out of church.
Repent! the echoes ricochet off the bible.
I will require a reckoning for your lifeblood,
says the Lord.
Repent! the echoes ricochet off the gospel,
for you cannot serve both God and guns,
and who among you, when a child begs for bread,
would hand her a bullet instead?
The Revd Rosalind C Hughes is the Rector of the Church of the Epiphany in Euclid, Ohio