Repentance

By Christopher Woods (Rated G)

Night has fallen, over all,
Fire destroys the Cross.
Lord, behold your enemies!
Will no one be your friend?
And yet, despite my harried cry,
Among the enemies, am I.
I’ve hurt you more than even they
Who burned your house and killed your living clay.
Who am I to hold myself as though
Above the sinful men below?
You called me up, and I ignored you.
You beckoned me, I turned away.
Oh, folly, folly, now I see
The terrors, the horrors that wait for me!
Take me back! Take me back! I repent of my deeds!
Who swung the whip across your back?
Who twisted the thorny crown?
Who flung on your back the purple cloak,
But gave you only scorn?
Who thrust the Cross upon your shoulders?
Who whipped you when you fell?
Who pierced your hands, your feet, your side?
Who took your life away?
Lord…
I did.

When the centurion looked upon your lifeless body,
As the earth shook in agony beneath him,
His unbelief was overturned, and he saw
You.
Clearly, without hesitation, he realized,
And shouted: “This was the Son of God!”
He abandoned his sinful life,
To follow you.
Lord, what purity! What faith!
Grant that I may never fail to be astonished
Every time I witness your sacrificial love!
And grant that I may share in some way this love,
This love which you have given me.

And now the world knows not your love.
You said you came as a sword, to separate. 
Separate truth from falsehood, 
Separate light from dark,
So we might see the path we must take,
The path that you forged for us
In your victory march from Hell to Heaven.
Victory! Lord, how sweet the sound!
How sweet the angelic voices
As they glorify your name!
I rejoice to hear the faintest echo
In this world, far below.
If I could join in this victory,
Lord, nothing else could be more to me!
And yet, my past is haunting,
My sins are numberless. 
How could you accept me now,
When for so long I fought against you?
What could possibly cleanse my sword 
Of the dirt and grime and shame that coats it?
Forgiveness, Lord.
For all that I’ve done, for all I’ve failed to do,
For all I’ve said and thought against you,
Forgive me. 
Break this sword, forged by the Enemy, 
And give me the weapon of your love, your grace, your hope, your life.
I pledge myself to you.
Never fail, Lord, to remind me,
Never fail to spur me on,
For I know my weaknesses.
I will fail, but you do not. 
I will stumble, but I trust you.
Give me light, to see light!
Give me a voice so I may sing!
Give me strength to wield your sword,
And fight your enemies, my greatest King!

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