A Holy Thursday Poem by Ched Spellman
The candle is lit. The lights are dimmed.
The service has begun.
As the melting marks our progress,
We do as we are told
Among the reading and response,
We watch the narrative unfold.
We see him set his face like flint
In the direction of his destination
We hear his silence fill the court
As he absorbs ironic accusation
The void his words have left
Are filled with darker sound
The hint of kiss, the curse of foe,
The pound of fist, the rooster crow
I eat the bread and drink the cup
And sense the sin I can’t deny
And think of blood he sweat and bled,
And hear my heart shout “crucify”
The old, old story now so real
The weight of murdered son
His dying breath is on his lips
The closing song is almost done
There. Now. It is Finished.
The room is darker now,
The smell of the snuffed out candle is not pleasant.
And Hope must wait for another day.
— Ched Spellman, 2009
A Holy Thursday Prayer by Rev. Thom M. Shuman
It was the beginning of hope
on that night long ago,
as you prepared to lead
your people to freedom.
As they readied themselves,
you fed them
with your unblemished grace,
so all sin, pain, and bitterness
could be set down and left behind
when it was time
to follow you.
It was the beginning of salvation
on that night long ago,
as you prepared your disciples
for all the things which were to happen.
You humbled yourself
by washing their feet,
so they could follow you
in service and love
to a world which would reject you
and hang you on a cross.
We tell these stories once again
on this night of remembrance,
Here is the Bread
which gives us life;
here is the Cup
which slakes our thirst for justice;
here is the towel
with which we wipe the tears
of the broken-hearted;
here is the basin
which cleanses the stains
of the world….
Creator and Loving God,
you kneel to wash our feet, yet we are reluctant for you
to see all the places we have gone in our attempts to escape you.
You would bathe us in the warm, living waters of your love,
and though we splash and play in the puddles of temptation.
We have received all the gifts you have to offer,
yet we are tempted to think they are only for us,
rather than sharing them.
Forgive us, Holy One, and have mercy on us.
What can we give you for all your wonderful graciousness towards us?
As you have broken your heart for us, may we open ours in service to others.
As you have given your life for us, may we offer ours to bring healing to the world.
As you have called us together around your Table, may we go forth to feed a world hungry,
not only for food, but for that Spirit which brings peace and reconciliation.
This we pray as servants of Jesus Christ, who came to serve us in life, in death.
[PHOTO by cavmtv on photobucket.com]