In the middle of the world, in the centre

Of the polluted heart of man, a midden;

A stake stemmed in the rubbish.


From lipless jaws, Adam’s skull

Gasped up through the garbage:

‘I lie in the discarded dross of history,

Ground down again to the red dust,

The obliterated image. Create me.’


From lips cracked with thirst, the voice

That sounded once over the billows of chaos

When the royal banners advanced,

replied through the smother of dark:

‘All is accomplished, all is made new, and look–

All things, once more, are good.’


Then, with a loud cry, exhaled His spirit.



During this Lenten season, I’ve been reading through and meditating on a collection of poems compiled by Malcolm Guite in his book The Word in the Wilderness. This poem, Golgotha,” by John Heath-Stubbs especially arrested my heart by its concrete portrayal of the crucifixion’s significance. As Guite writes concerning this poem,

One key to the mystery of the Gospels is the truth that everything that happened ‘out there and back then’ also happens ‘in here and right now.’ Christ is the second Adam, the second human being in whom we are all gathered up. What he does for us, he also does in us. Just as hidden in us somewhere is the Eden we once inhabited and have lost, so also somewhere in us is Golgotha.

…But this ‘middle of the world,’ this ‘centre of the polluted heart of man,’ is the scene not only of crucifixion but of new creation. […] Christ’s final words ‘It is finished!’ become not an end but a beginning, the making of a new creation. The ‘last breath’ in which he ‘exhaled His spirit’ becomes also the moment of new creation:

‘All is accomplished, all is made new, and look–

All things, once more, are good.’

That is a beautiful truth on this dark day: not only historical fact, but a living, breathing hope for today.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s