wordsout by godfrey rust
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White Sun

Ascended

The harder question is not where you’ve gone,
but why you left us here. The work was done, 

disposed of on the cross—why not remain?
It’s for our sake you went, you said, so that

the Comforter could be with everyone—
yet isn't there more comfort for us all

to be with you today in Paradise?
Why leave us here, born into suffering,

dying in ignorance, while sin plays out
its tragic farce in world and church alike?

What have we gained by Inquisition,
plague and Holocaust? Silent you watch

Jerusalem—your love and your despair—
despoiled by Abraham’s family's vicious feud.

What has taken you—for whom time is nothing—
two more millennia still to prepare?

It seems your love will not be satisfied
until you live a life out through us all

in the shambling, disunited parody
we call your body. You're gone, yet still here,

and we live on in you and you in us—
the one within the one within
—within

this gap of grace and misery between
your resurrection and its consequence.

You have your reasons. Love underwrites them all.
Faith must be worth a great deal if it costs 

so much to harvest such a small amount.
"Maranatha: come, Lord Jesus, come."


Written for the Ascension Day service at St John's, West Ealing in 2008.

Godfrey Rust 2007, godfrey@wordsout.co.uk. See here for permissions.