READINGOld Testament: Amos 5:6-15
Morning Psalms: Psalms 32, 143
New Testament: Hebrews 12:1-14
Gospel: Luke 18:9-14
Evening Psalms: Psalms 102, 130
A year has passed, a year brings me, brings us all, closer, closer to dust.
From habit but with new intent, I lean forward, waiting for a smudge.
I seek, I sense, I see before, beyond, above and waiting for me, gates, entrance to—what?
A desert, a roadway, a city, a temple? All of these? What will it cost
To enter these gates, now, tomorrow, some day—or not?
Should I turn from the gates my choice is drift, decay, long slow ceaseless slide descent to doom.
I’ve seen that show before, know the denouement, the curtain drawn shut dark when the last act ends. I’ve sailed that shore before, hands off the spinning wheel and compass confused, unboxed.
I haven’t yet flipped the last calendar page, not yet, though the stack of sheets is thinner.
Again, unlikely though perhaps for the final time, I come.
There is fire, eternal quenchless purging flame at the gates.
There are ever the needy pleading “Mercy” standing at the gates.
There is a prophet preaching Justice, uncomfortable Truth, standing in the gates.
I will pay the toll, bow down, lift and don my yoke, walk with a load and get on with the journey,
Through and beyond these gates, no more than dust
But no less than a child of the Most High.