06 April 2020

Reflections for Holy Week 2020

Barbara Glasson and Clive Marsh have written short reflections for Holy Week. On Easter Sunday we will share their longer reflections for that day.

Saturday 11 April (Holy Saturday) - Barbara Glasson

(Prompted by John 19:38-42)

We have carried this

dead weight between us

wrapped rags around tattered dreams

lain down, this weighty love


We have followed the customs, 

the old familiar protocols,

helping us bear what we cannot bear


The heavy scent of death

all those hopes crucified

we have locked everything down

relinquished certainty

sealed the tomb


Go home, prepare for what?

Let the dead go, help the living live?

Keep safe, keep others safe?.


And yet we wait, and still we say

the dawn will come, tomorrow 

in the morning the sun will rise again

surely the stone will roll away?

Friday 10 April (Good Friday) - Clive Marsh

(Prompted by Psalm 22)

O God, our God, why have you forsaken us?

Why are you so far from us, and our words of groaning?

How close are you to those who gasp for breath?

On this day of all days we need to know that you are with us.

To you we cry; in you we trust,

though we are dust.

You do not despise the affliction of the afflicted.

You do not hide your face.

You feed those who lack food.

You comfort the sorrowful.

You do not keep your distance.

You stand beside us in our helplessness.

But on the third day…

Lord, we wait.

Thursday 9 April (Maundy Thursday) - Barbara Glasson

(Prompted by John 13: 1-16)

This homely act

this simple task

this humble posture

has stripped pride to its waist


This wiping of the dust

washing the grit and cracks

from tired and weary feet.


This simple glory

turns the world on her heel

pivoting from pomp to presence

revealing the hard worn arches

of hidden sacred places


This kneeling, to serve, to bind

to take the towel and bowl

assume the servant’s part


This transformation

This revolution

This holiest communion.

Wednesday 8 April - Clive Marsh

(Prompted by Hebrews 12.1-3)

Pioneer and perfecter of our faith,

we are far from perfect,

and the imperfections and frailties of the world around us are all too apparent today.

But you endured the cross,

for us,

all of us,

every single one of us;

and all creatures,

every single creature.

We see your suffering,

are ashamed at the hostility you endured,

and wince at the violence of the cross.

Yet as we look

and as we shield our eyes,

we do not grow weary,

nor do we lose heart.

For in you there is always life.


Tuesday 7 April - Barbara Glasson

(Prompted by 1 Corinthians 18-31)

How is this weakness strong?

what point to sacrifice

this holy love brought low

how is this folly wise?


How does the kingdom come

through such a gentle power

how will new life be given

in this dark watchful hour?


When will new life be given

how is love revealed

when fear still overcomes

how will the earth be healed?


What mystery is this?

the Son of God despised

how can such foolish strength

be glory realised?


Monday 6 April - Clive Marsh

(Prompted by John 12.1-11)

There will again be a time to celebrate, but it is not now.

There will again be a time for feasting, but not today.

There will again be a time to pour out expensive perfume, but for the moment we leave it stored.

We long for resurrection, but for now see mostly death.

We long for the fresh air of freedom, but today salvation keeps most at home,

whilst nurses and doctors keep Lazarus company, and water waits to be turned to wine.

It will all come; but not today.

Today, we hope.

In Christ, with Christ, through Christ.



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