When we have shouted ourselves hoarse
and returned home from the parade,
forgive our wavering commitment to love.

When we have finished our hymns
and departed from the comforts of worship,
forgive our fickle faithfulness.

When we have passed the plate of bread
and swept up all the last crumbs,
forgive our refusal to extend sanctuary.

When we have draped flowers on the altar
and bathed in their perfume of death,
forgive our neglect of our neighbors’ suffering.

And when we have waited through the night
and paced all day in disappointed prayer,
forgive our denial of your revelation.

cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals

Lent 40 (Holy Saturday)

Let us be together
in the silence
of memories

. . .

I remember
the pleasure of his company
around a table with friends
bread crust crumbling
in our fingers

. . .

There was the day
I was sinking, overwhelmed
by the storm, but there he was —
as if catching me was
no big deal

. . .

We walked miles with him,
remember? God, how we walked!
The villages and the hills and the temples
and of course all those people all the time —
and Peter’s constant complaining, ha!

. . .

The last time I saw him
he was walking away from us
and he didn’t look back. He knew
what we couldn’t know. How I wish
that he had looked back.

Lent 39 (Good Friday)

You are
true to your word
even to the point of death.
Who really does that

You are
the First and Last
Word, the holy action
and now: the brutal

You are
the Word that heals
a salve from the tongue
a welcome whisper
in my ear

You are
the expression
of God’s word spoken
across chaos at

You are
an implanted word
a seed sown in secret hope
growing through turmoil
waiting to bloom

Lent 37 (Lonely)

One last walk
before the very last one.
A stroll with only
the streetlights for company
a tin can for amusement
and thoughts
best left unsaid.
Take one walk alone
Brother Jesus
before the very last one.
One more time
just to look at the stars
and to listen for the laughter
from inside lit houses.
Don’t let your mind linger
on the loneliness
that comes with creating the space
in which others can love anew
but not you — you
will always be the one
who gave the gift of such space to others
not the one who lived within it.
Hands propped
in your pockets, shoulders
low in resignation for one last look
at all that you have loved.
Though it could not manage to love you
it will glorify you into a lovely idol
that will last for centuries
inspiring art and war.
You will be like Helen,
won’t that be wonderful Jesus?
One last walk, slowly
no need to rush.
Tomorrow will be full.
it will rain —
that would be fitting
for the weariness
that awaits.
One last long walk
in loneliness.
It is almost done.

Lent 36 (The Cock Crows Twice)

The worst of all sins:
the willful concealing of the self
before the very Being and Lover of all selves
…yet I must ask: how can I do otherwise?
For you with your passion for love
have drawn near but then
left me too exposed
vulnerable to knowing, vulnerable to being known
And I resent both the magnanimous gift
and that most intimate gaze.
So I pull the covers
over my head
and choose
the sin.
God is a ghost
and I will not be haunted.