Monday, January 08, 2007
Icon of the Baptism of Christ
(c) Paul E Strid
Footsteps in the Jordan
So many sandals mask the sky
From soil and grass, while passing by—
The union of above, below,
Disjointed where we humans go.
Which blades were bent whereon he trod
Whom heaven named the Son of God?
Who can descry a mark or stain
That shows the whole world’s weight of pain?
Did angels footsteps leave a trail
From riverbank to cross and nail?
Where is the mark of holiness
Amid the crowd, the noise, the mess?
If he was consubstantial then
With mortal women, mortal men,
Would cosmic ripple shiver stars
And rock and sand show sacred scars?
Is it unfaith that dares suspect
Creative Word in flesh bedecked
Was truly human, weighed no more
Than any other on the shore?
Is truest sign that God is here
The lack of signs, the doubt and fear,
Uncertainty and sometimes dread,
And destination with the dead?
Which sons of Adam or which daughters
Of mother Eve can enter waters
Yet not be claimed as heaven’s child,
Or bear that Spirit, fierce and wild?
From dust and clay the Image, warmed
By God’s own breath and formed
To manifest Immanuel
From farthest reach to deepest hell
Cannot be lost, against all odds,
For it is named, and it is God’s.
We each and all behold the dove
Descend in fire and grace and love
To claim us and declare that we
Too bear that Word, and also see
In ordinary things of earth
God’s own true self come forth in birth.
O Holy One of mercies sure,
Whose truth and justice shall endure,
From whom the galaxies are sprung,
In whom all life is ever young,
Help us to see your presence here
In time of misery or cheer;
Your hour as now, and we your folk,
Today the breaking of each yoke.
Reveal your children, one and all,
And rend illusion’s deathly pall
Cast over eyes and minds that we,
May serve you—whole and strong and free,
Anointed as your Christ, and one
With him who is our Source, our Sun
Of Righteousness, our Light,
Our Peace and Joy, our soul’s Delight.
With Jesus in the flood we go,
With him arise, and with him know
Your will and pleasure, sin’s release,
The world’s redemption, heaven’s peace.
Renew each galaxy and quark,
Let light eternal dance with dark,
Let all creation flourish, sing
Your praises, let the cosmos ring
With everlasting Hallelu!
You dwell in us, and we in you,
The Source of all, the Word of love,
The blessing-bearing gracious Dove,
The glorious Trinity of grace,
God of each moment and each place,
Present wherever we may turn,
Whose love in all shall ever burn. Amen.
(c) 2003 Paul E Strid