Three Figures

Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. (Luke 23:32)

three figures floating above the ground
one with fire in his mouth
rages in desperation against existence
one begs for deliverance
in a strong moment, pleading
with the third for rescue
the last One speaks hope and peace
amidst such hopeless violence
split apart at the place of the Skull
He opens the cosmos wide
with painful grace for all
and welcomes us in


This is the fifth in a group of seven original poems composed for Holy Week, including:

 

The Glory

Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there. (Luke 23:32-33)

without fanfare, the King of Glory is pinned
with gory force upon the beams of wood.

the people watch with voiceless stares.
the sneering rulers speak their fears.
the soldiers mock with maiming force.

overhead the notice speaks sharp
truth: this is the King of the Jews.

with no apparent human heroism,
His snapping skeleton – bloody body –
hangs heavy as God’s heart becomes a wound
opened wide with welcome for all who wash
their weary selves within its messy flow.

but now He hangs at God’s cross purposes
as holiness and grace collide with fire.
the vulture views the spectacle and waits,
as all earth’s air is drained out of God’s lungs.


This is the fourth in a group of seven original poems composed for Holy Week, including:

Senior Pastor Video Update in the Time of COVID-19 (April 8, 2020)

Here is my latest video update for Eastbrook Church as we navigate the time of COVID-19. I will continue to re-post these weekly video updates here at my blog for those who have not seen it or who are not part of our church but could use the encouragement. You can watch it here or at the Eastbrook Church Vimeo channel.

In my video update, I mention Eastbrook’s Holy Week services and experiences for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. You can access it all here, and I encourage you to look at some of the resources and experiences ahead of time so that you can utilize them at home on that day.

For Maundy Thursday:

  • resources for older and/or younger children
  • recipe for unleavened bread and communion service
  • foot-washing ceremony
  • simple seder meal  instructions

For Good Friday:

  • resources for older and/or younger children
  • fasting
  • observing silence from 12-3 pm
  • experiencing the Passion

You could also participate in an online “Way of the Cross,” a virtual walk through Jesus’ final moments..

Nothing for Him

With loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. So Pilate decided to grant their demand. (Luke 23:23-24)

No law can withstand human demands.
No governor forestalls foregone conclusions.
We stand amidst the crowd, shouting
For the death of our God to satisfy
Our anger. With no words for the crowd
And no words for Pilate, Jesus submits
Meekly to the grinding gears. No tears
Now from the King who is not of this world.
No harsh rebuke of a holy and awesome God.
No one leaps to His aid. No angels fall
From the skies. No one stops what has now
Been set into motion. The cold, cruel world
Reaches out for destruction, but still,
Even still, there is divine intention.
Hidden within and without from our eye,
God is working, transforming our reality.


This is the third in a group of seven original poems composed for Holy Week, including:

Maker Unmade

The man who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him. (Luke 22:63)

The mouths made by Him
through whom all things were made –
The mouths in which the gift
of language was given to bless –
Those mouths now rage against
their Creator with cruel curses.

The hands held by Him
from the earliest moments of life –
The hands that hold, hug,
greet and build –
Those hands descend in fast fury
to deconstruct their Maker.


This is the second in a group of seven original poems composed for Holy Week, including: