Saturday, 26 March 2016

Sabbath rest

Mark 15:42-47
The Burial of Jesus
When evening had come, and since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had been dead for some time. When he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph. Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where the body was laid.

Joseph of Arimathea
Waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God
offered what he had
- an empty tomb.
He wrapped the body in a linen cloth
sealed the tomb
and continued to wait.
Did he have the slightest inkling
of how God would usher in the kingdom?
Or were his actions those of a defeated hope?
Joseph of Arimathea
by doing what he could
and giving what he had
unwittingly,played a part
in the greatest story ever told.
But first....sabbath rest.

God may we be willing to do what we can and to give what we have, especially when we cannot imagine the outcome. For your kingdom.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Nine o'clock in the morning

Mark 15:25-27
It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him. The inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.” And with him they crucified two bandits, one on his right and one on his left.

The day started early
Forced to carry the instrument of torture
through streets thronged with revellers,
some sporting post Passover hangovers
some just winding their way home
some heading to jobs that would not wait
And others who knew a good spectacle was promised
By nine o'clock, the excitement was over
the procession had stopped
And all that remained
was the sorry business of dying.
Three criminals
hoisted up as a warning to others
Left to die
as the party moved on.

God, may we not move on too quickly to the next thing but stay awhile by your cross today.

Thursday, 24 March 2016


Mark 14:17-19
When it was evening, he came with the twelve. And when they had taken their places and were eating, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.” They began to be distressed and to say to him one after another, “Surely, not I?”

One  of you will betray me...
Surely not I, Lord?
Surely not I?
Betrayal lives in us
Betrayal lives
deep in the recesses
of all we keep hidden
Betrayal lives in us
when we take the easy option
and settle for a quiet life
Betrayal lives in us
when we refuse to speak up
and let our voice be heard
Betrayal lives in us...
And Christ on his way to the cross
embraces our betrayal
simply placing it
within the sphere
of forgiveness 
and grace
that was God's response
to hatred and evil.
One  of you will betray me...
Surely not I, Lord?
Surely not I?

God, may we accept that betrayal lives in us along with the forgiveness found in your response to evil.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016


Mark 14:66-68
Peter Denies Jesus
While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant-girls of the high priest came by. When she saw Peter warming himself, she stared at him and said, “You also were with Jesus, the man from Nazareth.” But he denied it, saying, “I do not know or understand what you are talking about.” And he went out into the forecourt. Then the cock crowed.

Jesus was under no illusions
He knew how fickle we can be
The lengths we will go
to save ourselves
consequences be damned.
He knew
and yet he continued
To hold out
No illusions
Just arms opened wide
to embrace.

God, as we recognise our many failings, may we remember our beloved status. Known and loved by you.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016


Mark 14:50
All of them deserted him and fled.

Left alone
with those who sought to harm him
those who came for him
mob handed.
Suddenly the garden,
a place of retreat
became a place 
of sinister shadows
filled with malevolent soldiers 
and guards
and frightened friends
cowering in the darkness.
And when we imagine
that we would have stuck around
stood our ground
not melted into the darkness
we are reminded
that it was for us
and others like us
that Jesus endured
alone in the garden.
And we too 
are included in that statement
All of them deserted him and fled.

God when we are tempted to trumpet our loyalty and our bravery, confront us with our willingness to be with the crowd and even your friends who deserted you. And, God, forgive us.

Monday, 21 March 2016

In remembrance...

Mark 14:3-9
The Anointing at Bethany
While he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment of nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the ointment on his head. But some were there who said to one another in anger, “Why was the ointment wasted in this way? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.” And they scolded her. But Jesus said, “Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has performed a good service for me. For you always have the poor with you, and you can show kindness to them whenever you wish; but you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.”

What she has done ...
Gifting her precious ointment
Sensuously pouring it on Jesus' head
Not minding those
with whom he dined
Overcoming her fear
with love so pure
it could not be denied
Stepping into the line of fire
because it was now or never
will be told...
Told with scorn
Told with wonder
Told with derision
Told with awe
Repeated in myriad ways
in remembrance of her...
Who did this
in memory of him.

God, just for a moment give us the audacity to do as this woman did,
taking risks to show our love. Stepping out of line and not counting the cost.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Beyond words

Mark 13:10-11
And the good news must first be proclaimed to all nations. When they bring you to trial and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say; but say whatever is given you at that time, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.

So many ways to witness
Proclaiming good news
to all nations
On the midst of suffering
witnessing love.

God, in all things, may we proclaim the good news, in and out of love.