holy wednesday: the teacher of the law

I keep circling back to those two words:
“Not far.” Not far–not “in” the kingdom,
But close enough that there is, perhaps,
Some hope for me as far as you are concerned,
Teacher.

The first is a command that we have turned
Into a prayer: That we would love our God
By hearing and doing with all our humanity,
And the second is similar, that we would love
Our neighbor. I heard that you teach that
Everyone is our neighbor, even the people
We hate: The Romans, the Samaritans, and so on.

I do wonder, and this is maybe this is one
Step closer to the gates: What happens when
We don’t do that? There are lambs and doves
And bulls and goats bleeding dry every day at
The temple a few blocks away, but what if
That’s not enough?

Teacher, is that it?
What sacrifice could cover over our sin
If those are not enough?

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