Category Archives: church

Rachel Weeping

Matthew 2:16-18

Not the most pleasant of the Christmas passages!  Certainly not one we include in our cute nativity tableaux…

Yet very much a reality of life, as much today as then.  Angry threatened men (and women) still take out their fear and their need to feel superior on the weak, the fragile and the vulnerable.  People are still weeping.  For their children, their community, their parents – people they don’t even know.  Because suffering and destruction are their lot.

We hear a mothers cry.  The raw emotion of Rachel.  This is gritty reality.  There is no neat happy ending to this event.  It is just left as it is.   Sometimes we need to sit with the pain, the questions, the feelings of hopelessness and the fury – even the thoughts that God has brought it all about.  We weep with those who weep, because words are meaningless.

And yet…This is the world Jesus was born into.  The world he still inhabits.  That is the ending.  God is here with us.

Lord,
into the pain,
anger,
confusion,
questions,
terror you were born.

Into a world of cruelty,
greed,
envy
and murder you came.

Little seems any different,
many feel lost,
afraid,
and threatened;
whilst others bully,
intimidate,
cause pain
and death – physical and emotional.

 Into this world Lord,
bring your peace,
your hope,
your comfort,
your life.

And equip me to work with you.

Taken from my 2015 book Voices Through Advent and Christmas, available through Moorleys

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He’s Not Here Anymore

 

Saint Elizabeth Catholic Church (Columbus, Ohio) - stained glass, The Empty Tomb
By Nheyob (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Matthew 28:1-8, Mark 16:1-8, Luke 24:1-12

I had to go
to the place they’d laid him.
I had to go
and continue the task,
to honour
in death
the one we loved so much.

I came,
dragging my cares,
my fears,
my worries.
Wondering,
questioning;
as much about practicalities
as huge theological questions.

The kind of things you worry about,
to stop you worrying about the really huge questions.

But when we got there
our confusion turned to panic.
Someone had moved the stone,
that huge rock
rolled right away.

How could anyone have budged that?

It was the final stopper
on all Jesus had been,
the seal on all he had promised.

The end had come.
We had to face it.
And yet
it had gone.

Moved.

No longer a barrier.

Left behind was
the message,
he’s not here.

It isn’t over,
this isn’t the end.
God has had the final word.
Jesus is alive.

What next?
Who knows,
but Jesus remains with us
God in him.

God taking us
on this journey
on
into life,
hope,
power.

Into life where there was death,
hope where there was despair,
freedom where there things were held down,
power where there was powerlessness.

He isn’t here anymore,
he has risen.

When seemed as if it was all over,
that this was it,
done,
finished with,
dreams shattered,
hopes dashed,
it was only the beginning.

Thank you Lord
that you have other ideas,
a new hope,
a bright future,
new life
in you.

Taken from my book Voices Through Holy Week and Easter, available from Moorleys

All Done

Cristo crucificado

Matthew 27:45-56, Mark 15:33-41, Luke 23:44-49, John 19: 28-37

It is done.
I can do no more.
I have given everything,
my life,
all that I am.

Given it to you.
Given it for you.
Given to all.
Given for all.
Lord,
as I look on your all,
your sacrifice,
your offering,
your giving
I stand in awe,
in worship,
in feeling unworthy
and incapable
of living up to it.

But you call me to you,
and you call me to follow,
to live,
to love,
to be
in your love
and in your name.

I kneel at your cross
and ask
that as your life flows from you,
it flows in and through me,
that I may
show some spark of you
in this world.

Only through you

From my book Voices Through Holy Week and Easter, available from Moorleys VoicesThroughHolyWeekandEaster-1