Philippians 2:5-11

Empty of all privilege and power,
empty of all vanity and puffed up pride
he arrives not as a great warrior
astride a mighty war horse.

Nobodies herald him,
the collaborators yawn and snicker
the authorities wave their hands dismissively
— for now.

not like the chamber of a gun,
not like a fainthearted suitor pleading his case
not like the scroll of years in a crosscut of a tree,
   rippling concentrically,
                if finitely.
Not like the would-be tyrant’s vise-like grin.

Empty like a ledger wiped clean,
power ceded so that love is seeded and sown;
empty like cedar branches holding the morning light
already eons old.

Lord, make us empty
the way petals unfurl like a fist unclenched
the way a heart, unburdened, embraces hope
so that we may stand in solidarity
   with the least of the least
   out of love with the stranger
shedding all that holds us back
   from embracing the dream of God for all
borne aloft on a rood of love.

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