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Food for Thought - Musings

Seven Poems for Holy Week

Below you will find seven poems—one for each for day of Holy Week. These poems and reflections are from the book Seeing Jesus with New Eyes.  Begin your journey today.


The poems are b’s gift to you to help you reflect upon the life shattering, love declaring, hope bestowing actions of Holy Week. Each poem is an invitation to linger with Jesus, to explore your heart, to open your life to God in new ways.

Please feel free to share these poems with others.


Monday Poem

Receiving (footwashing)

(John 13:5) 


slipping away

he returns with towel and basin 

looking more like servant
than leader 


he kneels before me— 

I freeze as he removes 

my sandals 

embarrassed, nervous 

uncertain what to do 


Jesus’ pace is slow

his actions purposeful, 


tenderly washing, 

drying my feet 


his touch

his pace

invite me to be present, 



my body relaxes

my awkwardness dissolves 

I begin to receive

opening to his touch,

his presence, in new ways 


rising to his feet

he touches my shoulder 

his hand lingering there 


he leans in

his mouth near my ear 



I feel his breath

as he whispers

his words unlock my heart 


tears stream down my face 

I am lost in the moment

I am lost in his love—

seen, known 




Imagine yourself in this poem, Jesus coming to you, kneeling before you, washing and drying your feet. What do you feel? What do you desire, what do you need Jesus to say to you? 


Tuesday Poem



(Matthew 26:31) 


“I will never fall away! 

I will never deny you!” 


embolden by Peter’s hubris 

I avoid honest reflection 


like Adam and Eve before me 

opting for covering, hiding 


hurriedly blurting

“I will not deny you” 


now no need to explore 

my exposed heart. 




Are there parts of your heart you want to keep hidden from God? What hinders you from believing God loves you in your struggles, in your worst moments? Soak in God’s love and, when you are ready, share those heart places where you are hiding from God with God. 


Wednesday Poem


More Than a Sword 

(John 18:1-12) 


The realization dawning, 

this cannot be happening, 

everything going sideways, 

coming to an end. 


Peter, unable to believe

Jesus’ predictions

of death and denials—

His kingdom not of this world?! 


Under cover of darkness 

the captors come,

Judas in the lead, 

betrays Jesus with a kiss. 


Peter, reaching for his sword, 

seeks to seize the moment, 

a weapon to exert his will, 

further his desired end. 


Peter’s sword a symbol

of worldly ways and wisdom, 

affirmation of his devotion 

to a personal agenda. 


Swinging at a temple guard, 

hoping for a revolution, 

sowing seeds of rebellion, 

severing a servant’s ear. 


“Put away your sword.”

Jesus heals the damage 

by Peter’s selfish act.

Shall I not drink the cup my father gives?” 




Do you sometimes see a little of yourself in Peter? In which area(s) of your life do you wield the sword of your own agenda? Are you willing to lay down your sword and trust in the timing and wisdom of Jesus? What does it look like to surrender that to God? 


Thursday Poem


Jesus, Beloved of God 

(Matthew 26:28) 


Spring of healing, wholeness and life, 

nailed to a cross by

MY sins,

MY rebellion, 


affixed to the cross by 

YOUR love for me 

pierced, crushed, 

beaten, bruised, 

forsaken by God 

all for love. 


Love poured into my heart, 

rooting me,

grounding me

in love, 

challenging me 

to love. 




What feelings arise as you reflect on the love of God displayed by Jesus’ willingness to relinquish, endure, suffer for your sake? What would you like to say to Him in light of this tangible expression of sacrificial love? How does this same love, poured into you, inform and shape your love for others, your interactions with others?



Friday Poem


Good Friday 

(Matthew 27:45, 28:2) 


the earth quakes in disapproval

the sun hides her face

ashamed to witness today’s proceedings 

darkness descends like judgment

the air is cold, the intense cold that 

precedes the dawning of a new day 




Despair and hope often exist side by side. How does it feel to experience this darkness without a sign of light? What is God showing you about your sin, about forgiveness and the surpassing greatness of God’s love? 

Saturday Poem


Holy Saturday 

(John 20:19a


huddled together 

what ifs, if onlys 

gnawing at their hearts 


fear, anger, hopelessness 

alternating as partners 

dancing to death’s dirge 


they wait for what, 

for whom

no one is quite sure 


sighs of despair 

shattering the silence, 


sadness visible in vacant eyes 

it is finished all is lost. 




This is the agonizing in-between place—the now, not yet—of faith. Put your- self into this huddled group of mourners. How are you feeling in this place of despair? Can you continue to trust God or are you tempted to make something happen on your own? Share your feelings with God. 


Easter Sunday Poem


Women at the Tomb 

(Luke 24:1-12) 


Dressed in black, they approach the tomb, 

a trail of tears, a pilgrimage of grief. 

Carrying spices to anoint His corpse,

a final act of devotion, love. 


One last chance to caress His hands, 

to gaze again on His holy face,

to honor His life with burial spices, 

whispers of love, goodbyes, 

I will carry You, Your words within me. 


The stone has been moved. 

Entering, they collapse.

The tomb is empty, Jesus is gone. 

“Where have they taken Him?” 


Bereft, weeping, they grieve their loss, 

longing for one more moment,

one last act of devotion and love. 


Remember His promise?

Remember His words?

The angel explains what has occurred. 


Excited, breathless, giddy, they run 

to tell the disciples, tell the world— 

He is not there, He is alive!

Jesus has risen! Jesus lives!




How does your love, devotion and desire to serve Jesus shape your actions? Can you think of a time when your desire to love and serve Jesus led you to an unexpected discovery about or encounter with God? 


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