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Food for Thought - Musings

Seven Poems for Holy Week

Below you will find seven poems—one for each for day of Holy Week. These poems and reflections are from the book Seeing Jesus with New Eyes.  Begin your journey today.

 

The poems are b’s gift to you to help you reflect upon the life shattering, love declaring, hope bestowing actions of Holy Week. Each poem is an invitation to linger with Jesus, to explore your heart, to open your life to God in new ways.


Please feel free to share these poems with others.

 

Monday Poem

Receiving (footwashing)

(John 13:5) 

 

slipping away


he returns with towel and basin 

looking more like servant
than leader 

 

he kneels before me— 

I freeze as he removes 

my sandals 

embarrassed, nervous 

uncertain what to do 

 

Jesus’ pace is slow


his actions purposeful, 

gentle,


tenderly washing, 

drying my feet 

 

his touch


his pace


invite me to be present, 

open 

 

my body relaxes


my awkwardness dissolves 

I begin to receive


opening to his touch,


his presence, in new ways 

 

rising to his feet


he touches my shoulder 

his hand lingering there 

 

he leans in


his mouth near my ear 

        

       

I feel his breath


as he whispers


his words unlock my heart 

 

tears stream down my face 

I am lost in the moment


I am lost in his love—


seen, known 

 

—reflections—

 

Imagine yourself in this poem, Jesus coming to you, kneeling before you, washing and drying your feet. What do you feel? What do you desire, what do you need Jesus to say to you? 


 

Tuesday Poem

 

Denial 

(Matthew 26:31) 

 

“I will never fall away! 

I will never deny you!” 

 

embolden by Peter’s hubris 

I avoid honest reflection 

 

like Adam and Eve before me 

opting for covering, hiding 

 

hurriedly blurting


“I will not deny you” 

 

now no need to explore 

my exposed heart. 

 

—reflections—

 

Are there parts of your heart you want to keep hidden from God? What hinders you from believing God loves you in your struggles, in your worst moments? Soak in God’s love and, when you are ready, share those heart places where you are hiding from God with God. 


 

Wednesday Poem

 

More Than a Sword 

(John 18:1-12) 

 

The realization dawning, 

this cannot be happening, 

everything going sideways, 

coming to an end. 

 

Peter, unable to believe


Jesus’ predictions


of death and denials—


His kingdom not of this world?! 

 

Under cover of darkness 

the captors come,


Judas in the lead, 

betrays Jesus with a kiss. 

 

Peter, reaching for his sword, 

seeks to seize the moment, 

a weapon to exert his will, 

further his desired end. 

 

Peter’s sword a symbol


of worldly ways and wisdom, 

affirmation of his devotion 

to a personal agenda. 

 

Swinging at a temple guard, 

hoping for a revolution, 

sowing seeds of rebellion, 

severing a servant’s ear. 

 

“Put away your sword.”


Jesus heals the damage 

done
by Peter’s selfish act.
“

Shall I not drink the cup my father gives?” 

 

—reflections—

 

Do you sometimes see a little of yourself in Peter? In which area(s) of your life do you wield the sword of your own agenda? Are you willing to lay down your sword and trust in the timing and wisdom of Jesus? What does it look like to surrender that to God? 

 

Thursday Poem

 

Jesus, Beloved of God 

(Matthew 26:28) 

 

Spring of healing, wholeness and life, 

nailed to a cross by


MY sins,


MY rebellion, 

 

affixed to the cross by 

YOUR love for me 

pierced, crushed, 

beaten, bruised, 

forsaken by God 

all for love. 

 

Love poured into my heart, 

rooting me,


grounding me


in love, 

challenging me 

to love. 

 

—reflections—

 

What feelings arise as you reflect on the love of God displayed by Jesus’ willingness to relinquish, endure, suffer for your sake? What would you like to say to Him in light of this tangible expression of sacrificial love? How does this same love, poured into you, inform and shape your love for others, your interactions with others?

 

 

Friday Poem

 

Good Friday 

(Matthew 27:45, 28:2) 

 

the earth quakes in disapproval


the sun hides her face


ashamed to witness today’s proceedings 

darkness descends like judgment

the air is cold, the intense cold that 

precedes the dawning of a new day 

 

—reflections—

 

Despair and hope often exist side by side. How does it feel to experience this darkness without a sign of light? What is God showing you about your sin, about forgiveness and the surpassing greatness of God’s love? 


Saturday Poem

 

Holy Saturday 

(John 20:19a

 

huddled together 

what ifs, if onlys 

gnawing at their hearts 

 

fear, anger, hopelessness 

alternating as partners 

dancing to death’s dirge 

 

they wait for what, 

for whom


no one is quite sure 

 

sighs of despair 

shattering the silence, 

 

sadness visible in vacant eyes 

it is finished all is lost. 

 

—reflections—

 

This is the agonizing in-between place—the now, not yet—of faith. Put your- self into this huddled group of mourners. How are you feeling in this place of despair? Can you continue to trust God or are you tempted to make something happen on your own? Share your feelings with God. 

 

Easter Sunday Poem

 

Women at the Tomb 

(Luke 24:1-12) 

 

Dressed in black, they approach the tomb, 

a trail of tears, a pilgrimage of grief. 

Carrying spices to anoint His corpse,


a final act of devotion, love. 

 

One last chance to caress His hands, 

to gaze again on His holy face,


to honor His life with burial spices, 

whispers of love, goodbyes, 

I will carry You, Your words within me. 

 

The stone has been moved. 

Entering, they collapse.


The tomb is empty, Jesus is gone. 

“Where have they taken Him?” 

 

Bereft, weeping, they grieve their loss, 

longing for one more moment,


one last act of devotion and love. 

 

Remember His promise?


Remember His words?


The angel explains what has occurred. 

 

Excited, breathless, giddy, they run 

to tell the disciples, tell the world— 

He is not there, He is alive!


Jesus has risen! Jesus lives!

 

—reflections—

 

How does your love, devotion and desire to serve Jesus shape your actions? Can you think of a time when your desire to love and serve Jesus led you to an unexpected discovery about or encounter with God? 

 


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