Malcolm Guite, Palm Sunday

palmscross.jpg

Save us, we pray, O Lord!
    Lord, we pray, give us success!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!

    We bless you from the house of the Lord.
The Lord is God,
    and he has made his light to shine upon us.
(Psalm 118:25-27)

“The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the king of Israel!'”
(John 12:12-13).

Malcolm Guite, who is an outstanding poet and literary critic, wrote this sonnet as part of a series of poems on Holy Week. You can read more from Guite on this poem and Palm Sunday, as well as hear him read the poem, here.

Now to the gate of my Jerusalem,

The seething holy city of my heart,

The saviour comes. But will I welcome him?

Oh crowds of easy feelings make a start;

They raise their hands, get caught up in the singing,

And think the battle won. Too soon they’ll find

The challenge, the reversal he is bringing

Changes their tune. I know what lies behind

The surface flourish that so quickly fades;

Self-interest, and fearful guardedness,

The hardness of the heart, its barricades,

And at the core, the dreadful emptiness

Of a perverted temple. Jesus  come

Break my resistance and make me your home.

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