Selfless Love Defined (A Gjertrude Schnackenberg pastiche)
No Greater Love
Consider all the sadness he had borne,
Condemned, defiled, the subject of the scorn
Of those he loved. A piercing, bloody thorn
To crown their king. Then evil took the time
To wash its hands and thus commit the crime
Of cowardice. But with a love sublime
Their loving king proceeded to the throne,
And willingly he suffered to atone
For those who plucked his beard. He stood alone
Beneath the weight of evil in the tree.
His people blind to his divinity,
In pride and arrogance refused to see
And recognize him as their loving brother.
Congratulating cheers for one another,
Ignoring tears shed by his holy mother.
Oh, how she must have suffered at the sight
Of him who on a peaceful winter's night
So long ago was bathed in starry-light.
But now the path he's on she cannot tread.
If they could only punish her instead.
Alas in pain, remembers what he said,
"I must be about my father's will.
This cruel and bloody prophecy fulfill:
My ignominious death upon a hill."
The holy women wept in fear and dread
"Weep not for me, but for your child." He said,
His countenance a pale and bloody red.
His persecutors finally understand
That this might not turn out the way they'd planned.
Afraid he'd die too soon! He'd need a hand
To help him, but which one should they choose?
An African, alone among the Jews
Would feel the whip. No way could he refuse
The Eagle's claw: One Simon of Cyrene.
I wonder how I'd act if I had been
Among the mob that witnessed such a scene.
Would I refuse the cross as Simon had?
Or take it up, embrace it and be glad
To do my part. The world might think me mad.
To willingly submit would be insane,
But could I watch, and still my heart refrain
From helping and partaking in his pain?
He's weak from all the blood that he has lost.
The debt is nearly paid, but such a cost.
He's grabbed by soldiers; To the ground he's tossed
And violently they strip his clothes away.
He's far too weak. There must be no delay
In crucifying him while it's still day.
They nailed him to the cross and raised it high,
A crude inscription to identify
The king they were about to crucify.
"Forgive them, for they know not what they do,"
And fervently he prayed as if he knew
His executioners were subject to
The timeless, evil leader of the proud,
Who diabolically controls the crowd,
And violently demands a funeral shroud.
A vengeful wind whips up the desert sands.
A voice cries out and echoes through all lands,
Commends himself into his father's hands.
His spirit from his body he released,
A sacrifice from the first victim/priest,
His body would become a sacred feast.
The first day of the week at break of day
They headed for the tomb without delay.
The stone that sealed the tomb was rolled away.