At that time Herod the ruler heard reports about Jesus; and he said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist; he has been raised from the dead, and for this reason these powers are at work in him.” For Herod had arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because John had been telling him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” Though Herod wanted to put him to death, he feared the crowd, because they regarded him as a prophet. But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company, and she pleased Herod so much that he promised on oath to grant her whatever she might ask. Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter.” The king was grieved, yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he commanded it to be given; he sent and had John beheaded in the prison. The head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, who brought it to her mother. His disciples came and took the body and buried it; then they went and told Jesus. Matthew 14:1-12
Your youth and dancing skill
enticed an old man to murder
your mother's anger and shame
acted out for all of history.
Parents can burden their children
anger, shame and secrets defining them
rather than all the good gifts of life
possibility, joy and forgiveness.
Our mistakes and petty fears
should not imprison our young
they should have wings of their own
and see the release of an honest heart.
The prejudices handed to us as culture
should no longer ring out as truth
our foolish garments and habits cannot
enslave the children of today and tomorrow.
They live for us and we for them
so let us remove all burdens and barriers
drape them with gentleness and kindness
let them go with the blessing of God.