‘At the Gates of Eden’. A poem by URC poet-minister, Lucy Berry

scott webb 120552 pixelledI've listened to several people recently talking about the contrast between depictions of God in Hebrew Scripture and the New Testament. Of course, it's not clear cut – but I can see why people like the 'God of the New Testament', (as if there were two), better.

So, this poem is partly about that (false?) contrast; but also about the implications of forgiveness. How do we feel about a repentant Myra Hindley? Or a repentant Hitler? A repentant Serpent? A repentant Judas? Do we tolerate the idea of forgiveness?


Jesus stood by us

and knocked 

at the gates of Eden.

His father looked out.

A dove fluttered up 

from behind the wall.

'You can let them back in now',

said Jesus.

His father looked at us 

through the gates

and we felt suddenly naked.

He beckoned,

and we took off our shoes

to approach Him.

He swung back the gates

to admit us.

But hearing a slithering, rustling

amongst the low grasses,

He made to shut them again.

'No,' said Jesus.