We have arrived again at the most important time on the Christian calendar. Holy Week returns every year and yet it is always different, always surprising, which is certainly appropriate because this is the week when God surprised us and when God offered us new life.
A year is usually enough time for me to lose my appreciation that all the events of this week really happened, and were orchestrated by a God whose love for us is surely undeniable.
And every year I am always surprised and moved by the fact that these series of events that altered the universe and eternity, occur with such simple, basic, mundane, everyday elements: a donkey, palm fronds, bread, wine, tears, wood, thorns, blood, stone and a garden.
A few years ago as I reflected on the simple means God chose to change the cosmos, I wrote this poem. I found it recently and it helped me frame my thoughts as we approach Holy Week, and I hope it might help you.
A Maundy Thursday Prayer
The culmination of time converges.
The heavens swoon, history bends, angels swirl
Like a mad ethereal opera
While the preparations are made for Passover
For you and your friends.
Our souls yearn to cry out Hosanna in the Highest!
We expect celestial congregations and a kingly procession
But the gritty rocks beat us to it,
And you are riding on a donkey.
This moment is suffuse not with the heavens
But with filthy feet
And broken bread
And poured, cheap wine.
These are the instruments you use
To redeem not disembodied spirits,
But the earth, whole.