Passiontide Meditations

These are the meditations used tonight during our Passiontide Sequence service exploring the pain and love that grows within and throughout Christ’s Passion.  The artwork is by Christine Keen.

Meditation 1 – Pain, Judas and Peter

A kiss.
An act of devotion,
of welcome,
of love.
The sound of lips against another’s skin,
an intimate act,
outwardly gentle,
yet cutting deeply
into a love
that feels the deepest pain.

“I do not know the man.”
“Not me.”
Denial not just of another,
but also of self.
Three years travelling with questions.
Three years unfolding the kingdom.
Three years sharing bread and laughing with heaven.
Wiped out.
“I do not know the man”
Words to protect self while
inflicting pain on the other.

A kiss,
Mere words
and a chasm
filled with the growing pain
of love.


Meditation 2 – Pain, the Soliders

The scorn stabbing from faces like daggers drawn.
No justice, none deserved they wordlessly cry.
The slow turning of those created
against the one who was there at the beginning.

The crack of a whip
Puncturing, air and skin

again and again.
Physical pain atop the pain to test the soul.

Yet more words.
This time purposeful
scoffing, jeering,
A king, yeah right!
A robe and crown to mock_
to clothe as fool not King.

Words cutting deep like the barbs of the whip.
Sarcastic gestures rubbing salt into torn flesh.

They did not know to whom they spoke,
but their words would grow,
taken up by others
who watched him walk and fall.
Laughter, derision, torment.
Pain upon pain hitting his tortured body
all received in silent love.


Meditation 3 – Pain, The Cross

The spear.
The nails.
The crown of thorns.
That make this man a gargoyle of grace.

Sinew stretching,
lungs shuddering,
grasping the last breaths
of foul air.
A rank mix of anger and amusement,
where pain is entertainment
and misery a distraction
from the deeper,
more thorough pain,
of a world
that refuses to identify with good
and chases hope
with a cross
and a dying man
with a collage of torture.

A kiss, a denial, a whip and taunts.
The falls, the nails, the spear, the thorns.
Such is the soundtrack
to the wasting of heaven;
and the deathbed of the one
who cannot turn back.
Holding on to a love
that will kill him,
and leave him,
in the last painful gasp of breath –
with silence.


Meditation 4 – Jesus’ Death the end of pain?

In the silence of his still dead body
pain echoes on.

In a mother’s sobs.
In a friend’s despair.
In a follower’s crushed dreams.
In a Pharisee’s pleading eyes.
In an apostle’s shame.
In the shattering of the death of hope

The silence of love.


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