Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

From slavery in the Egypt of our sin,
slavery to what we have to do,
you free us.

You do do not send plagues but suffer them,
the death of your firstborn,
the loss of your every Beloved.

There is no sacrificial lamb
that is not you, no one made to suffer
who is not Christ crucified.

No blood is shed that is not yours,
sacrilege and tragedy,

There is no pain or violation
that is not yours, defiling
and yet forgiven.

No sin is paid for, but is absorbed,
suffered, and every sacrifice
compounds it.

We always think it right
to slaughter the innocent,
to require you to require absolution,

murderers disguised as supplicants,
lost to the power of our violence,
robbed of ourselves.

Centurions, we stand bloodied
over the steaming carcass and stammer,
“Oh, my God.”

Your uncomplaining blood frees us
from the tyranny of having to pass
our anguish on to others.

The angel of death, the demon
who would have us to end us,
passes over.

Through the Red Sea of your tears
we go with your blessing,
where only the forgiven pass.

Holy One, Lord of Tenderness,
slaughtered and ever beseeching,
spare us from our deathfulness.

Forgiving One,
unreturning our violence,
set us free.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve


Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes

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