It’s Holy Week, and we’ll depart from our regular schedule to provide daily opportunities to share our preparation and offer support to one another. Whether you’re preaching or planning or praying, we hope you’ll join us each day and share your experiences, questions or brilliant ideas in the comments.
If you’re not yet a member of our Facebook group, we hope you’ll join us there for lively conversations, too.
In my tradition we don’t have services each day of Holy Week, but I love to explore the daily readings, found here. In today’s gospel lesson, Jesus has dinner with his friends Mary and Martha, and their recently revived brother, Lazarus. The passage ends on a note of concern, and it inspired the poem I share below.
When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus. (John 12:9-11, NRSV)
Mary and Martha
How do you keep quiet
when a man comes back to life?
(Do you believe a dead man came back to life?)
When it all seemed impossible,
all light and air withdrawn,
that’s when we heard breathing.
No one could have survived.
(We knew it couldn’t be true.)
But we heard breathing. We heard it.
(We thought we heard it.)
When we breathe, really breathe,
our chests rise,
the air fills us.
(We are telling you the truth.)
They didn’t want to hear it,
to know the truth.
They didn’t want people to know.
They wanted to push the air out,
flatten him, take away the life–
the unexpected life–
the thing we couldn’t believe,
the thing we couldn’t imagine
(but we saw him with our own eyes)
the thing that made us believe.