A Sestina.

Tonight, dressed formally, we fill the sanctuary.
This night, as we gather in silence,
we remember. We remember our salvation,
a word which sounds deceptively sweet.
We have gathered in spite of busyness, a sacrifice
of our packed schedules, to remember His sorrow.

We have escaped the various sorrow-
filled happenings of the week. The sanctuary
is teeming not with a flesh blood sacrifice,
but with the breathing and silence
of those who have been called to sweet
newness of life through our salvation.

We did not attain this salvation
by the sweat of our brows or the sorrow
of our hearts. The truth is not this sweet.
Redemption was bought by one without sanctuary,
Who cried out alone into the silence,
begging for an alternative to His sacrifice.

The wine falls into the cup to sacrifice
itself to my lips. To some, it signifies salvation,
but to the sinner near me, it means the cruel silence
of God to His Son, and to my father, the soul-rending sorrow
that The Father endured. The sanctuary
is ruled by wafts of wine unsweet.

We are given bread. No one is sweet
enough to say “thanks” for this sacrifice.
My sister’s boredom fills the sanctuary,
her heart not aligned with the sorrow
she ought to feel. She doesn’t ponder salvation
and the One Who paid for it with sorrow.
A heathen somewhere has forgotten to silence
his phone. It is sounds tinklingly sweet.
He will be punished later. The preacher feels sorrow
over his unwillingness to sacrifice
even one hour of texting to commemorate salvation.
He has desecrated our sanctuary.

We wait until silence falls again in the sanctuary,
the believers’ heart brimming in sweet joy in salvation,
but I feel sorrow, unable to receive the sacrifice.

The End

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