Good, better, best.
That should guarantee a place
In the kingdom of God.
Work at yourself
Even harder than before;
Surely that's the way in.
But he arrives on a donkey.

Not number one in the world,
Hardly able to catch a ball.
Low-scoring memory test, IQ gone,
Skills once known, now lost forever.
Steady decline into simplicity
Rather than someone in the know.
Dependent, not self-sufficient.

Whosoever will,
But with a bias to the bottom;
Last in the class, nothing in the bank,
Bent over and out on the sidelines;
Deprived, and stripped of freedom.
Outcasts, not insiders:
These get priority.

No chance for me then, it seems,
Unless I come like one of them,
With the simplicity of a child,
Mingling with the crowd,
Asking no more questions,
Just remembering how he lived,
And finding the man himself.

Because that's where he is -
Among them with unaffected love:
Spiritual in the midst of the secular.
And then finding myself there -
Becoming like them - and him
In gradual transformation
That qualifies for entry.

Surrender of the right to life,
In Good Friday giving,
Condemned and executed
Among thieves and robbers,
Saying: today you'll be with me in paradise.
But three days later he's back
To welcome us into the kingdom.

Easter 2015

Luke 18 is one passage where Jesus turns conventional thinking upside down.
He praises a persistent widow and a tax collector; he welcomes children and gives a straight answer to a rich young politician who asks what he must do to inherit eternal life. Then he tells the disciples about his death and resurrection. They do not understand.