A crown of thorns

They twisted together a crown 
with which to anoint his brow.  
They thought to make a mockery,
but had the pliant green twigs 
not yielded of their own accord, 
their obeisance and homage 
to their king, then their hands 
would have held only dust 
rubbed into the stained creases 
of the palms where their blood, 
drawn by the thorns, 
mingled with his.

This Sunday’s Gospel reading does not mention the crown of thorns – in fact, Luke is the only evangelist not to include that particular detail of the soldiers’ mockery of Christ – but it is inescapable, because of the other three; firmly woven into the background of our shared image of the crucifixion of Christ the King.

About Rosalind C Hughes

Rosalind C Hughes is a priest and author living near the shores of Lake Erie. After growing up in England and Wales, and living briefly in Singapore, she is now settled in Ohio. She serves an Episcopal church just outside Cleveland. Rosalind is the author of A Family Like Mine: Biblical Stories of Love, Loss, and Longing , and Whom Shall I Fear? Urgent Questions for Christians in an Age of Violence, both from Upper Room Books. She loves the lake, misses the ocean, and is finally coming to terms with snow.
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