A Sonnet For Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday
 
 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.
 
 “From Sounding the Seasons, by Malcolm Guite, CanterburyPress 2012″
 
 

Is politics still about people?

As politicians and the media argue about who should take part in a TV debate, I find myself wondering what matters I’d like to put across if any of them roll up at my front door looking for a vote…
 
 I want to vote for a politician that with tell the truth, be humble enough to admit mistakes and who loves people more than power.
 I want to vote for a party and believes in a system that looks beyond four year terms and sees its responsibility extending to future generations.
 I want to see the young, the old and the vulnerable given priority when it comes to a duty of care.
 
 How can I trust in a government and a plethora of tax payer funded institutions, that have routinely been found to withhold and manipulate the truth, whilst turning a blind eye to outrageous behaviour that heaps coals on the fires of the suffering of vulnerable people.
 
 I want to vote for a politician that holds to virtues of truth, of grace, of mercy, of justice, of integrity, of kindness, of self control, of self sacrifice and dare I say, of love.
 
 Is it too much to ask? Are there any such people left with a hunger for what is right, rather than what they will get out of it?
 
 I’m not interested in your empty promises, your policies that shift around like the sand on the shore. I’m not interested in your spin, your posturing, your temporary allegiances nor the cut of your suit or your persuasive words on a TV debate. I want to know what I see of your soul when I look in your eyes, what motivates you to play with the freedoms of people, to make choices that can cause immense good or immense pain & loss.
 
 When you ask me what I would like to see, let it begin with a sense of deep sorrow from the seat of power itself, for the selfishness, greed, selective blindness and manipulation of the truth at the expense of those most vulnerable in our community. Then let it continue with a renewed commitment to do what is right and just, to love people more than the pursuit of wealth, to look to the needs of others, to govern from a heart of service not privilege and power.
 
 Have you ever thought of leading by example? Just a thought, before you post your propaganda through my door.
 
 Sean Stillman