The Ancient Modern

The Idolaters  /  Joshua Alan Sturgill

No one will be more surprised than Christians
at the manner of the Second Advent of the Christ.

See them dressed for His return in their most polite 
virtues, their most eloquent theologies, to welcome Him

into their satisfaction.  Ah! The Lord! He comes! — yet
His Glory is strange and unexpected, like the swirling 

of saffron robes, like the pattern of an arabesque,
like the fragrance of sandalwood and cassia — Ah!

He is Savior also of the Buddhist and the Moslem,
Savior of the Taoist sage and Hindu priest.  He speaks

in Sanskrit chant, in tribal dance and in the simple beauty
of Haiku.  How they rush toward Him, the only Christ

Himself, the Gate of Paradise, the Narrow Way!  Now
the saving hatred of the world is rewarded with strength

to love all broken things and no longer be wounded
by brokenness.   But the Christians 

hesitate.  Jesus hasn’t given them, as they expected, 
the best seats at the banquet or the better wages owed

the day-long laborers.  All His Word is true for all, but 
many turn away, unsure.  Are their eyes darkened 

by His generosity?  Did they not know He is the Sun
enlightening all whose nature He assumed, for the Jew 

and also for the Greek?  For the scrupulous and the atheist?
For the aborted, the suicides, the deranged?  The gates 

of Hell did not prevail: see them burned and broken open! 
Death has died; the Curse is cursed; the Fall collapses

on itself. God’s judgement, the command: Arise my love,

my beautiful one, and come with Me. For the storm

is passed, the winter gone. Now is the time for singing.

New Heaven erupts around us. God is here. Our idols 
of Him are burning.  The only escape is into His Fire

All poetry and supplementary material: copyright 2021 by Joshua Alan Sturgill. All rights reserved.

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