I did not choose: hearing Martha

Today I read Luke 10.38-42. So well known it was hard to know what would catch my eye. Something did.

Martamaria_2

 

I did not choose this part;

I do not despise those who find the time

to sit

and wait

and listen

and learn

and be;

be loved

and held

by words,

by peace,

by grace,

by eyes,

eyes that promise hope

and undo all the hurt that’s past.

 

But I did not choose this part; it chose me.

 

 

Day 7: The Good Samaritan

Samaritan

So today it was about the familiar: Luke 10.29-37

 

Steps become quicker,

as the stench of sickly suffering

is dismissed by a thurible.

 

Overpowered by holiness,

dismissed by a wave;

as hands too busy praising, praying,

find no time to bend and tend.

 

What is bruised and broken

waits for a stranger,

who knows no better

than to see beyond the barrier;

kiss with compassion

these wounds that tell a tale.

 

I long for neither a seat in heaven,

nor one in church,

but if you will notice my face,

you’ll see,

I see

with grace.

 


Love You? Love Me?

Dsc_0247

 

 

I hold this delicate life.

I fear it will shatter

if held too tight or loose.

 

It lies in my hand;

I dare not breathe,

lest the least movement

would destroy

what I behold.

 

Do you bear me with such tenderness?

 

For I am what it is I fear;

I am the brittle so easily broken.

Can I love you,

before I learn to love me?

 

 

Today’s reading was Luke 10.25-28. Forgive me for not focusing on that aspects of the response of Jesus that invokes the Shema. Instead, I wanted to draw on the second commandment: love your neighbour as yourself. Too many dodgy sermons have told me to love God first, neighbour second and me last.

Jesus calls on me to love God but then defines my love of another in reference to my love of myself.

To love me isn’t selfish; how I learn to love myself informs my love for others as it is born from God’s self-loving. God Loves, within the Father, the Son and the Spirit, so I am called to learn to love myself and others. The church needs less false sacrifice, real or imposed, and a greater celebration of what it means to love, and be loved.  

 

Love You? Love Me

Dsc_0247

 

I hold this delicate life.

I fear it will shatter

if held too tight, or loose.

 

It lies in my hand;

I dare not breathe,

lest the least movement

would destroy

what I behold.

 

Do you bear me with such tenderness?

 

For I am what it is I fear;

I am the Brittle so easily broken.

Can I love you,

before I learn to love me?

 

 

Today’s reading was Luke 10.25-28. Forgive me for not focusing on that aspects of the response of Jesus that invokes the Shema. Instead, I wanted to draw on the second commandment: love your neighbour as yourself. Too many dodgy sermons have told me to love God first, neighbour second and me last.

Jesus calls on me to love God, but then defines my love of another in reference to my love of myself.

To love me isn’t selfish; how I learn to love myself informs my love for others as it is born from God’s self-loving. God Loves, within the Father, the Son and the Spirit, so I am called to learn to love myself and others. The church needs less false sacrifice, real or imposed, and a greater celebration of what it means to love, and be loved. 

To The Trinity

Today’s reading was from Luke 10.21-24. The first line, on the back of many weeks work on the Trinity, just struck a chord:

At the same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth . . . “

Picture_114

See the three,

in one entwining dance,

Each motion, step and stop;

each fleeting glance

captures the flush,

the confession of love,

disclosed by a subtle blush.

 

They embrace in a sudden still,

they fall, one,

bound in their even-song.

Held, they halt, breathe,

then move, not by chance.

 

Three divine movements

offer

their single performance. 

Day 4: Learning humility

Luke 10.17-20: Seems my words are getting shorter! Could be by Wednesday next week I’ll be down to a poem in one word. That said I hope I have captured a sense of humility; it is not for us to presume we can do, but instead to trust what God can do

 

Do not presume what you can do

can undo what has been done.

But, the done can be undone

and new things yet become.

 

 

‘Lambs into the midst of Wolves’

 

 

The ABC and RD

in conversation playing,

 

but whose the lamb

and whose the wolf

and who inhabits daydreams?

 

 

Not offering anything profound today, just something short and deliberately light. I was in Luke 10.1-4 where Jesus sends the 70 out to collect the “harvest”. He described it as like “sending lambs into the midst wolves”. With a dry smile I hope you can see what came to mind.

If you’d like more substance then why not watch the dialogue: http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/941

 

 

Foxes have holes

Today’s poem was written in response to reading Luk 9.57-62. It wasn’t my intention to write but it just sort of happened. Just as I finished I saw a link to this on twitter: @publicissues Worrying news about the increase in rough sleeping in England:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17141758

Man sleeping rough

Made the poem seem more poignant.

 

FOXES HAVE HOLES


 

Fox, the city’s wild walker is resting,

hiding beneath the mounded earth.

She has fed;

feasted in the dark night

troubling the local livestock

with a distant furtive glance.

 

And above rests the slightness of chaffinch

who did not keep a nocturnal watch

over the passing and returning.

Instead she played the helpless sleeping soul

‘til daylight carried her to seeds

for the night watch to pass again

without disturbance or dismay.

 

And yet in the city, sleeps,

the man whose dreams were not disturbed

by passing steps.

Ignored by chaffinch and by fox,

this stranger’s bed,

left unperturbed by comfort,

became a holy icon.

 

 

 

Foxes have holes,

and birds their nests,

but the son of man has nowhere

to lay his head.

 

 

Facing the City

I’m not promising to write a poem a day in Lent. However, like others I am readin my way through Lent and whenever something emerges I will post it here. Today: Luke 9.51-56

 

Do you see the city?

Her towers rise piercing the sky;

Babel monoliths that still believe

in their own dominance.

 

In these streets there was welcome

and now resides the tinge of threat;

it is unspoken

but its caustic presence is the nausea

that plagues your stomach.

 

Shall you walk the line that leads,

or be lost in the land that surrounds;

Misdirected steps towards,

or run back to desert lands?

 

Feeble,

what are you against this panoply of power?

do you believe, for one moment, love can conquer here?

Watch for this Wasteland

Thought I’d offer a little poetic telling of the temptations of Jesus: 

Dsc_0248

Watch for this wasteland,

it will burn minds and

desecrate memories.

Here the wind cuts flesh

and sand draws the last drop of love from hearts.

 

Lips will break and words shatter on rocks;

stones in hands are opened and yeast,

the bacteria for life,

breeds a promise that beckons

but does not satisfy.

 

Glimpse from the heights

the lonely lands populated

by power that you could hold,

control.

Surrender your soul

to the balance sheet that shits

on lives discounted as commodities;

named worthless.


 

Fall in faith, forward,

be a god among, only, men

be your own contempt

and forget why you ever came.

 

Watch for this wasteland.

Watch.

Watch and pray.