This strange Holy Week has begun in tears: tears of frustration, tears of lament, and for so many who have been cruelly bereaves, tears of grief. It’s hard to see through tears, but sometimes its the only way to see. Tears may be the turning point, the springs of renewal, and to know you have been wept for is to know that you are loved. ‘Jesus Wept’ is the shortest, sharpest, and most moving sentence in Scripture.
I have a God who weeps for me, weeps with me, understands to the depths and from the inside the rerum lachrymae, the tears of things.
This sonnet, and the others I will be posting for Holy Week are all drawn from my collection Sounding the Seasons, published by Canterbury Press here in England. The book is now back in stock on both Amazon UK and USA The book is now also out on Kindle. Please feel free to make use of these sonnets in church services and to copy and share them. If you can mention the book from which they are taken that would be great.
Thanks to Lancia Smith for the image. as always you can hear the poem by clicking on the title or on the ‘play’ button if it appears.
Jesus comes near and he beholds the city
And looks on us with tears in his eyes,
And wells of mercy, streams of love and pity
Flow from the fountain whence all things arise.
He loved us into life and longs to gather
And meet with his beloved face to face
How often has he called, a careful mother,
And wept for our refusals of his grace,
Wept for a world that, weary with its weeping,
Benumbed and stumbling, turns the other way,
Fatigued compassion is already sleeping
Whilst her worst nightmares stalk the light of day.
But we might waken yet, and face those fears,
If we could see ourselves through Jesus’ tears.
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5 responses to “Holy Week, Monday: Jesus Weeps Over Jerusalem”
I always saw Jesus in my mother. As a child growing up, the unconditional love she expressed was proof enough for me that her faith was authentic. So when she would cry, I felt those tears to the bone. She is gone now, but she fed me well in the faith…to bend the knee and pray for forgiveness. To see thro’ the eye…and know He loves me.
This poem has awakened her memory for me in a surprising way. Its been tugging and pulling at my head and heart to penance all morning long! Forgive me Lord. For I have sinned. Again and again. How many times did I turn from you, betray you, reject you, ad infinitum…Let me know you now like never before. Wash me with your tears, that I might see again and anew…so that when we meet again, be it tomorrow or in a new face, I am not meeting someone that I spent my entire life treating like a rejected stranger and outcast.
I’m so glad my poem made those connections for you
Reblogged this on Pastor Michael Moore's Blog and commented:
A beautiful reflection to begin Holy Week. Thank you, Malcolm ❤️
I’m reading this sonnet at St Mary’s Saffron Walden – to be recorded and streamed to our congregation – an aposite and perhaps uncomfortable extension of ‘if we could see ourselves as others see us’? Thank you.
Hope it goes well