Two Variations on the Theme of Christ’s Bride

            “The Church is in Christ as Eve was in Adam. … God made Eve of the rib of Adam.  And His Church He formeth out of the very flesh, the very wounded and bleeding side of the Son of man.”                                                    — Richard Hooker

Creating man from dust,
And woman from his side,
God became the priest
At Eve and Adam’s wedding,
Then gave to them the best
Of gifts: the whole of Eden.
But, still unsatisfied,
The bride and groom denied
His sovereign jurisdiction
And made the doomed decision
To call His mandate void
And make themselves as God,
In defiance eating
The only fruit forbidden.
Having lost the perfect garden,
Their subsequent begetting
Would leave descendants sweating,
And cause the wounding of their Maker’s side.

He’d made them in His image;
But in their fatal pride
They caused the deadly damage
For which the countless cost
Was that His love be crossed:
His Son, the Bridegroom, must
For them and us, their heirs, be crucified.
Yet, from His bleeding side,
He formed the Church, His bride,
Whom He still loves, and wed at Pentecost.

Cynthia Erlandson

Cynthia Erlandson has had poetry published in First Things, Modern Age, Anglican Theological Review, Touchstone, The Book of Common Praise (Reformed Episcopal Church Hymnal), and Forward in Christ. Her first book, a collection of poems for the Church year called These Holy Mysteries, is available on Amazon. The incarnation of the spiritual in the physical -- the gift of being able to know our Creator through His creation because we are made in His image -- is an important theme to her. As a Personal Trainer and Senior Fitness Specialist, she helps people with the physical side of life.

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