Thursday, 24 April 2014

Open our minds

Luke 24:45-49
Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

Lord open our minds...
Open our minds to understanding
Open our minds to compassion
Open our minds to love and acceptance
Open our minds...
To see with your eyes of love
To care with your loving kindness
To know you at work in all of life
Lord open our minds
To understand Scripture
as it speaks into everyday life
To know your will
as we travel through each day
your will for us
and for those whom you send
to be our companions along the way
Show us how to serve
How to be served
And how to discern your Spirit
in all things.
Lord, open our minds...

Sunday, 20 April 2014

He is not here...he has been raised

Matthew 28:5-6
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said.

It trickles in slowly
Just like the soft light of dawn
It's not the sudden trumpet fanfare
that we have made it
but a slow, gentle unfurling.
As Easter creeps forward
its touch slowly awakening
all in its path
the effect is gradual
long lasting.
Even when the dawn of Easter
provoking excitement
it is the calm that is left in its wake
that remains
the warmth and the joy
that continue to infuse
and change lives.
And it is the soft memory
of eternal promises
that persists
even when night has come again.
Easter - not an all at once
life changing moment
But a slowly dawning
gift for eternity
a treasure
with layers
upon layers 
of wrapping
to be gently unveiled
and savoured
in the fullness of time.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

The waiting...

Matthew 27:57-61
The Burial of Jesus
 When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.

So often the hardest part
We who are doers
are not so good at waiting
And even now,
though we know the outcome
and know that it is good
we still want it to be over.
We want the tomb
to be burst open
so that we can celebrate
and then get on
with the rest of living.
We are impatient to tidy away
the vestiges of the wilderness
the Palm branches
the temple clutter
the oil of pure nard
the foot washing paraphernalia 
and the black draped cross.
We want to release the Alleluias
from their exile,
reclaim the space taken up
by the Labyrinth or the prayer garden
and restore our sanctuaries
to their usual order.
But, thankfully,
Easter will not allow that.
For Easter changes everything.
Two thousand years ago and now.
Easter seeps in with the slow light of dawn
and changes everything it touches
until we give up trying
to restore order.
The much anticipated Easter dawn 
promises yet more havoc.
But, for now, we wait...

Friday, 18 April 2014

Black - the colour of death

Black (Friday)

Black speaks of death and dereliction,
of abandonment
and betrayal.

Black covered the earth as Christ died,
having endured
the agony of the cross.

Black steals every colour: the green and the red, the purple and the white, all sucked up

absorbed into black.

So, in Jesus’ death
are captured
all the colours of the Passion:
the green of field and palms,
the red of resilience and hope,
the purple of priesthood,
the white of table fellowship
all melding into
the black of death and dereliction.

With such a mix
perhaps it is inevitable
that some of the colours should leech that some should seep through.

But, for now,
black is the colour of death 

The Son of God

Mark 15:37-39
Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. Now when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!” 

"Truly this man was God's Son"
Proclaimed by a centurion 
the agent of the oppressive occupying regime
who oversaw his crucifixion.
Believed by the women
who gathered around the cross
unable to leave Jesus
even though witnessing his agony
was searing their soul.
The Son of God
who had spoken of his impending suffering and death
breathed his last
and died.
And the truth was revealed:
Truly this was the Son of God.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

You also should serve...

John 13:12-15
After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.

Doing for others 
as our Lord did for us.
Fulfilling our calling
to serve one another.
Lord, you know how hard that is 
You know how exhausting
and draining
and soul sucking it is
to give and give
and give again.
You also know
that we are far from perfect
as you were.
So what's the deal?
When does enough
become too much?
When can we give in
to our weariness
and come and sit by you?
We are not you
Nor do you expect us to be
But it is so hard to discern
where to draw the line
and when we can say:
"Enough already"
And in this Holiest of weeks
when we see you overwhelmed
and when we ourselves are overcome
by the depth of your love
and your sacrifice
we pray for strength
and wisdom
and incredible love
to fill us
uphold us
and nurture us
so that we 
can feed your sheep.
For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.

Maundy Thursday

Matthew 26:26-30
The Institution of the Lord’s Supper
 While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Maundy Thursday
White - 
The cloth
thrown over the table
settles and comes to rest 

covering and beautifying. 
Covering up the scratches
of wear and tear
and family use,
transforming the kitchen table                                                                                                                                                 
making it a welcoming space 
not just for family but for visitors too.
A place to greet old friends and make new.
A place to catch up with life and each other.
A place to encourage, persuade and cajole.
A place to listen and console.
A place to celebrate and commiserate.
A place to share food
that nurtures and sustains.

The bread of life, 
broken and shared around a table.
Gathered up
as each gives and takes what they need
and returns to give
and to take some more.

White, the colour of fellowship, a colour of the Passion. 

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