love in a time of pandemic: a poem for Good Friday

As the sun beats down on Calgary’s hill, the Cross of Christ casts a shadow across a barren landscape.

Today as we reflect a hidden virus casts its shadow across the whole world. We see this malevolent shadow on our empty streets and in our overcrowded hospital wards. We may be tempted towards fear, as the ancient Egyptians feared the passing of the shadow of the ‘Angel of Death’ at the occasion of the first Passover.

Yet, in the words of Jesus, “Fear not”. The worst of times can also be the best of times, as the worst day in human history – the day God died – was in the fullness of time realised as the best day. Good Friday.

This Good Friday we see all around us signs of goodness. Not least the immense bravery and self-sacrifice on the part of our servants in the NHS and emergency services, as well as the coming together of people from across cultural, ethnic and social divides to serve the common good and to support our common humanity.

In such things we rejoice and give thanks, as we give thanks for God’s goodness revealed in-and-through God’s Son, Jesus Christ, and most supremely in His passion and death.

We go into Holy Saturday and the time of waiting remembering that each and every shadow is cast by the light, awaiting the rising of the Sun of Righteousness in our hearts once again.

Love in a time of Pandemic (a Poem for Good Friday 2020) 

At the sixth hour  
As darkness covers the land  
What hides in the shadows?  

Three times the corvid crowed  
And three times the denial.  

Here in the half-light  
He lies  
Coronaformed.  
A king among thieves  
This cup of suffering   
Knows no deference.  

A needle thrust  
Into flesh.  
Blood  
Water  
And a mother's tears.  

One last breathless gasp  
And it is finished.  

At the ninth hour  
When even the sun is darkened  
Bedside curtains torn 
A part.  

His body  
carried  
Away  
In silence.  


© Keith Hitchman 2020

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