Mark’s vigil

Smuggled in darkness from his garden of prayer

the trial begins in earnest

with the departure of his chosen friends

disappearing into the shadows.

The witness against him cannot agree

their stories hold no water,

but the plot must be persecuted –

this awful drama must unfold.

Jesus’ silence infuriates them –

but his claim of kinship with God brings a fiercer anger.

Their wrath will not be satisfied

with anything less than his death.

Peter’s courage – briefly returned

will not last the hour.

A trinity of denial – a chorus of cowardice –

he is shamed, at last, to silence.

Pilate could not share the malice

of those who brought this teacher to trial

but prophecy is alluring, and the crowd has found, in Jesus

a tempting target for their temper.


The soldiers take their sport;

mocking, making their own dismal jobs

seem more meaningful – yet their names

are lost to history.

A passing stranger briefly bends his back

to Jesus burden, but in the end

the cross is meant for one alone –

the warrant posted high.

The curious crowds join the chorus

of those who call for blood;

their noise drowns out the cries for mercy

directed heavenward.

And so it ends – in dark desolation

with only an enemy there to admire

the courage – the suffering – the grace with which

this Teacher finally died.

His friends have found their courage now

in the unnatural darkness

they come to mourn, and dream – perhaps to hope

that life might yet prevail.

Jeff Lackie – April 9/09

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