glory of god

glory of god

Monday, April 18, 2011

For Holy Week: A Reflection on Power

In his Palm Sunday sermon, the Vicar of Wakefield shared a poem by the Rev. Judith Mattison, a retired ELCA pastor in Minnesota, who for a semester in 1993 was Acting Chaplain at Gustavus Adolphus College, when the Vicar was an undergraduate student there. Pastor Mattison was previously pastor at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, where he was baptized, as it happens. Her poem is a perfect reflection on Pilate's question to Jesus: "Are you the King of the Jews?," as well as on our attempts to control our lives.


We try to control life
with well-constructed plans
weather reports
and appeals to God
when all else fails.
Pilate thought he had power, too.
Pilate and we are wrong.
We have the only power
which God allows--
and freedom to respond,
but not to direct God,
the privilege of enjoying life
but not of numbering our days.
Pilate and the others--we--
crucified Jesus
a power play,
doomed to fail
so that we might live.


Walking the Way
Fortress Press 1986
(c) Judith Mattison

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