Tag Archive: Lent

Holy Week

A haiku:

Last week in Jerusalem

Friends of Jesus are
Following at a distance
Enemies watching


This week’s haiku:

Shadow of the Cross

Sad wondering eyes
Looking across at Jesus
Cross distant and near

Fifth Sunday of Lent…

…or “Passion Sunday”. These next two weeks are referred to as “passiontide”. I am so used to these things that I forget that “Passion” is a jargon- church word. In everyday places we use the word “passion” to indicate a strongly felt feeling or desire. It often refers to how strongly we like or love something or someone. Here it means “suffering” and has more in common with a patient (who is suffering an illness or a broken body) than with falling in love. So today the liturgy begins to focus on the events of Holy Week, in particular on Good Friday and Jesus’ death on a cross.

Drop, drop, slow tears,
and bathe those beauteous feet,
which brought from heaven
the news and Prince of Peace.

Cease not, wet eyes,
his mercies to entreat;
to cry for vengeance
sin doth never cease.

In your deep floods
drown all my faults and fears;
nor let his eye
see sin, but through my tears.

Phineas Fletcher (1582–1650)

Haiku during Lent

Last Sunday, fourth in Lent, is kept as Mothering Sunday in many churches in this country. The haiku below picks up on that bitter-sweet theme.

Mothering Sunday

So Mary knows joy
Yet ev’ry mother knows this
Loving is painful

Fourth Sunday of Lent

In this country this Sunday is usually kept as “Mothering Sunday”; elsewhere it is known as “Refreshment Sunday”. Either way, we are in the mid-point of Lent. This hymn is new to me – I chanced upon it browsing a hymn book – although the author, Charles Wesley is a familiar name.

Help us to help each other, Lord,
each other’s cross to bear;
let each his friendly aid afford,
and feel another’s care.

Up into thee, our living head,
let us in all things grow,
and by thy sacrifice be led
the fruits of love to show.

Touched by the lodestone of thy love
let all our hearts agree;
and ever towards each other move,
and ever move towards thee.

This is the bond of perfectness,
thy spotless charity.
O let us still, we pray, possess
the mind that was in thee.

Charles Wesley (1707–1788)

Lent haiku

Today’s offering:

In a Temple

For what do you seek?
How hard can it be to see?
Whom are you seeking?

Third Sunday of Lent 2015

I think I first heard this hymn on a film or TV program where the first line was sung as a dramatic device – or rather a comedic one – to indicate that the particular character was a Christian. To put it less kindly, they were a “Bible-basher”. It was not till several years later when I heard this sung in a neighbouring church (it was not in our regular hymn book) that I realised that it was a hymn. The tune was somewhat 19th century revivalist which sounds funny if you are used to a more catholic liturgy.

At first I thought this was simply saying “Don’t worry, be happy, Jesus is your mate/buddy”. Actually, it says more than that: we can speak to Jesus, pray to God, in any and every circumstance. Jesus is no fair-weather friend.

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit!
O what needless pain we bear!
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Saviour, still our refuge,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer;
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.

Joseph Scriven (1819-90)

Another haiku

Here is the next haiku:

Found water

Drill well for water
Plumb ever deeper to drink
Needing bread also


Second Sunday of Lent 2015

Here is this week’s hymn choice. We sing it to a folk tune “rescued” by Ralph Vaughn Williams so for me this has a suggestion of the English countryside about it. In fact the hymn is about Jesus’ faithfulness towards us especially when we are feeling tired or discouraged.

I heard the voice of Jesus say:
‘Come unto Me and rest;
Lay down, thou weary one, lay down
Thy head upon My breast.’
I came to Jesus as I was,
Weary and worn and sad;
I found in Him a resting place,
And He has made me glad.

I heard the voice of Jesus say:
‘Behold I freely give
The living water, thirsty one,
Stoop down and drink and live.’
I came to Jesus, and I drank
Of that life-giving stream;
My thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
And now I live in Him.

I heard the voice of Jesus say:
‘I am this dark world’s light;
Look unto Me, thy morn shall rise,
And all thy day be bright.’
I looked to Jesus, and I found
In Him my Star, my Sun;
And in that light of life I’ll walk,
Till travelling days are done.

Horatius Bonar (1808-89)

A haiku

This week’s haiku:


Whatever is true
Whatever is trustworthy
Think about those things

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