“Walk with me” The words to your friends in Eden’s cool evening tumble through history. Enoch, walk with me Noah, walk with me whilst I explain carpentry and rain Walk with me, Israel, through parted seas and barren desert. I'll walk you to the promised land though you wriggle to escape my hand. Even as they feasted on milk and honey, they strayed. So far that none could hear your voice. So you yourself came Looked us in the eye and bid, ‘walk with me’ And we followed and walked from Galilee to Jerusalem and back many times, walking and talking. You were our friend, walking with us. Your crown was hid, and when your plan was revealed and disguise cast away You merely asked us ‘pray with me’ yet we slept, and on waking, we fled. Death could not hold you. Alive and risen you took again to the road with ordinary people. ‘May I walk with you?’ And you walked and talked explaining the plan, only leaving when light had dawned upon our dull brains that this was you and you were alive. Despair dethroned by Hope. Here we stand Urged by ancestors to walk with you A cloud of witnesses watching our steps until we will come to the city where no one shall say to another ‘know the Lord’ for all shall know You. All shall walk with You in a place beyond time itself. But for now, as gravity pins me to earth I hear the call of love the call to friendship You almost sound lonely, and certainly yearning: “Walk with me”.
Hopeless and weary, yet still
Our love for him drew us to the place where he lay
Braving the knowledge that the guards would still be there
Despite the finality of death, we had to see
even his grave
one more time.
The earth shook as we approached.
We shook, too.
Though we had thought that those last dark days had wrung out every last emotion,
We found we were wrong
but still our love drew us.
A light too bright to look into
Words issued by an angel
Words too bright to believe entirely
but unbidden, a strange forgotten joy was birthed. It was hope.
We ran. We ran to call the others, but stopped in our tracks.
He was there. Radiant.
“Greetings” he said.
Are those words from beyond the grave…….? “Greetings”
even now it makes me laugh.
And we who had thought to never feel again
were filled with joy.
Laughter spilled out, love overflowed, struck down with awe we lay flat
and clutched at his feet with love whilst we could barely breathe.
“Fear not” so gentle his words that banished fear forever.
and now we could let him go
For we knew he would never leave us again.
oops – forgot to post yesterday, so two offerings today. Here we are, Good Friday, remembering the darkest of days. We know the events through the bible and with hindsight. I cannot imagine how the mother of Jesus, or his friends felt at the crucifixion, not knowing what would follow.
I watched a much loved sister die over a relatively short period of time a few years ago. Sitting at her bedside, watching her lovely face grow thinner, seeing her slipping away in front of my eyes, was agonising. Yet I kept thinking about Mary, watching Jesus die before her eyes, an unimaginably more painful death with no pain relief, no nurses, and so alone.
He would have been naked, exposed, his skin gouged, his face beaten…publicly derided and humiliated. I cannot imagine watching that happen to a much loved son, to someone you loved more than yourself.
Mary watched and wept
as the torture proceeded
not knowing that each and every
savage, painful moment
drew You closer to home
to the place where
tears are tenderly wiped away
and glory is inhaled with every breath.
Every step on the highway to death
forged a path to a life that will never perish.
And when deepest blackness
darkened the sky
and utter bleakness
stole Your soul
that was the last grasp of evil’s fingers upon You.
Never again can the tentacles of death
trap those in whom Your Spirit inhabits.
For we are free
and more alive than we will ever know
even while we die.
I will fear no evil. For the Good Shepherd is by my side.
Father forgive them, they know not what they do
The only certainty more sure
than our past, present and future
to the killers.
How easily the word Forgiveness trips off my tongue. Yet as I consider the depth of the betrayal of Jesus and the agony of the cross, the grace of His quiet forgiveness strikes me anew. How quick I am to take offence if I feel slightly ignored or badly treated by people I don’t know, let alone by friends. Yet He foreknew what would happen, and did not forbid Judas to come to the last supper or turn away from the fake kiss.
With Easter almost upon us, I plan to put something up daily regarding the week on the Passion of Christ. Please ignore the timeline – like the bible, I will jump around the timeline a bit.
Today reflecting on people Jesus loved. Mary, the disciples, and us.
Were we so shocked and traumatised
that we did not believe
that you meant what you said
when you told us
this temple will be raised just 3 days after it has been destroyed?
Were we so blind
that we did not see you
by our side
until you broke the bread and gave it to us?
Were our minds so dull
that all the prophecies meant nothing
until you patiently unpacked them?
Were our hearts so cold that we did not know you walked with us
until so much later?
Am I so tossed by life that your promises and life itself seem empty?
Am I so blind that I do not see you in every sky, tree or insect I pass?
Am I so deaf that I do not hear your voice in the wind and the word?
Is my heart so cold that I do not feel you by my side?
Every. Single. Day.
I believe. Forgive my unbelief.
The joyous wedding Marital bliss Longed for as a child, it became yours. Life looking good Except the womb lay empty And until your husband snatched away. Seven years of almost perfect Enough memories to tear at your heart As now you slept alone. And who would want a barren woman as a wife? So what to do? And how to live? A decision. A step made in the direction of the temple. A life dedicated to quiet service To cleaning and candle lighting To prayer and worship A friend of God And not abandoning hope. Seventy seven long years Living in God’s presence Sleeping in His temple Knowing Him Speaking his words. Childless you remained Until a suddenly when The Child was here and Placed in your arms. As you had entrusted your life, your self to Him So He came to You and placed himself in Your arms. A glorious eternal moment When God lay in your arms and looked you in the eyes. The arms that had been empty Now full. Love was yours. Forever.