Untitled (Pilate washes his hands)

Easter Sequence - Pilate


What do you see
    standing there looking on?
How do you make
    that final choice?
As you juggle in your hand, your heart
The forces pressing in on you
How hard do you fight?
How far do you push?
How much must you let go
    just to hold on?
Yet what would you grasp
    if you just let go?
And when you wash your hands
    before you dine
    when you bathe
    time after time
    for so many things
Does it really make you clean?


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Untitled (Peter’s Denial)

Easter Sequence - Cock Crow

Cock Crow

How easy it is
to be strong, ahead of time
To be loud
before it’s all on the line

A simple thing
to make a promise
break a promise

To love yet forget
to care but upset
to be true and still lie
sincere and deny
to have the best
of intentions
and still come adrift

A difficult thing
to make a promise
break a promise

To catch a friend’s eye
to see a smile go
to feel dead inside
as you hear the cock crow

And what makes the difference
what turns it around
from bravado and bluster
collapsed to a lie
to the person on fire
willing to die?


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Untitled (Gethsemane)

Easter Sequence - Gethsemane


I guess we often know
when it’s all about to go down,
when the world falls away
and there’s no sunny way out;
that sudden transition
from a crisp Spring day
to the void of the darkest night.

When the battle raging
is not even between hope and despair;
when the combatants in your heart, your soul
contain not one
not one
who is on your side.

It makes no difference
if you wrestle and rage
run and hide
deny and avoid
sit and weep.
There are no silver bullets
No last minute reprieves
Time will not turn back
No wand will be waved.
There is only one way
and all that there is
in the pressure and absence
the hurt and the fear
the weary, weary depths
‘though you’d swear it ain’t so
a simple

we are
any of us


and we
all of us



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Untitled (The Last Supper)

Easter Sequence - Last Supper

Last Supper



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An Onlooker

Easter Sequence - The Temple

The Temple

I hadn’t really thought about it before.   I mean, the traders had always been there, selling all the things we needed for the rituals and sacrifices, changing money, providing all the paraphernalia of offering.   OK, so they clearly weren’t in it for charity, but, well … people need the stuff, and getting stiffed by the authorities, that’s just the way it is, right?   Don’t mess with the established order, keep your head down, get on with it.

Anyway, it’s all business as usual, and then suddenly this man Jesus shows up.   Apparently he’d only arrived in the city the day before, but he’s straight in there, no messing about – quoting the scriptures at the same time as chucking all the traders out of the courtyard: words, tables, money, birds, people all flying all over the place!   Certainly not one of those preachers that left you wondering just what it was they were trying to say.

But the really amazing thing, the thing that stuck with me, is he’s just one man, right?   Yes, he came in like a whirlwind, but he’s just one bloke.   Yet the people went.  And the temple bigwigs, they didn’t look too pleased, but they didn’t stop him.   And not only did they go, not only did he pull it off, they didn’t come back.   The next few days there’s none of the usual stalls and traders in there, just people coming to the temple for, well, for what the temple’s for.   And Jesus teaching, healing, and meeting with all kinds of people.

And now all the adrenalin’s long faded, and time’s moved on, it’s still left me thinking.  Left me wondering, mulling over, just how much of what we take for granted isn’t necessarily the way it should be?


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A View From A Donkey

Easter Sequence - Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday

So, Jerusalem.   All the people, all the noise; the cheering, the praise.   The warmth.   And the weight of expectation.

I wonder how many of them will remember this when they’re calling for my death, just a few days from now?   How many will have been in both crowds, caught up in the moment, swept along, but not really knowing, just carried in the moment?   It reminds me of the beginning – humanity so close to the Father; intimate, walking with Him; yet so soon and easily swayed to rejection by a few well-placed words, a gentle nudge at the right time, in the right place.

And look at my friends: bewildered, excited, happy, overwhelmed by this reception, not sure quite what to make of it, but certain it’s right, that we have finally arrived.   The mixture of joy and bemusement on their faces is such a picture, it makes me smile deep inside!   For them, despite the colt, despite all the subtle ironies, despite my trying to tell them what is to come, this really is a “triumphal entry”.   Yet at heart, it’s just another step of obedience, another moment on the journey, the choice to continue, to fulfil the task set before me, to walk in the Father’s will.

Still, it is good.   Good to be welcomed, to be recognised, to be known and acknowledged.   Good to share the joy, the celebration and the fun of this day, to see the Spirit stirring these hearts, to know that the stones don’t have to cry out.   And for my friends, my disciples, I hope that they can hold this day in their hearts, and begin to grasp that exciting and uplifting as it is, it is only a shadow of what is to come.


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