St Peter.

Did you doubt Peter as you gazed at the gory crosses?

Did you seek God in the moment of your terror and trial?

Did you ask and find as He did that God was absent from

the darkness of that pivotal day of death’s destruction?


Was God with you on the wind whipped lake of Galilee?

Did you look at Him as he called to the primeval tones of

nature to its peace, and think God was missing but that 

this amazing man of multiple means was come instead?


As He touched the mutilated lepers for what sign were

you hoping? When He broke the laws and put his own

hands onto the corpse or called forth Lazarus from the 

dead were you praising God or was it a miracle man?


As you shared out the bread and fishes on the mountain-

side were you thinking that God was with you or was the

God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob somewhere else?

On the nights around the campfire did you find God or


was the God of your ancestors strangely elsewhere and

this man was bridging the gap in your own baffled thinking?

Did you see the dust of his walking and hear the echo of 

his words and feel your heart move with a longing for Him? 


How did you feel when he made Mary Magdalene a leader?

Did you feel that this brought you closer to the living God?

How did you feel pulling in nets full of fish after a long night 

of emptiness. Was it then you knew? My Lord and my God!

Dear Peter, when was  Emmanuel with you? Did you, like

we do, miss the moment when Elohim walked miles in the

desert of our living souls, felt the very hair on our heads

that he numbered, and emphatically embraced with love?


Did you as he ascended into heaven think, come back I

have only just realised you were here with us? Were you

separated from Him and God as you waited in fear in the

city of Jerusalem? Were you able to feel their presence?


Or was it when the Spirit came that you suddenly knew that

Jesus was God and so you spoke so calmly and clearly of 

the truth of his being; that God had come to our rescue. You 

told us clearly that God was always present but was it easy


for you? You led the church and saw thousands coming to

give their lives to Jesus the Messiah. Was he there, as solid

as the Romans who arrested you? Or Peter was he only really

the living God as you died, crucified, upside down on a cross?


Peter replies:

It was the law that we were aware of as we tried to live in an

occupied country. Strict laws, tithes, taxes, Talmud. We never

even thought we were worthy of God’s presence and we saw

the Messiah as a man, like any other one,  but even so – His

words wondrous in our hearts. We saw his miracles and knew

that he loved and turned aside from the law for the sake of 

people. Yet, no, we did not know that he was God with us.

We only realised that God had been when it was too late,


You have the New Testament, Josephus, history and so, so

much information. We had only a day to day living knowledge

as we walked together, ate together, washed and worked side

by side. When he rose from he dead we were devastated by

the realisation that we had not understood, not seen, not been

aware of the creation changing events he brought to our world.

We knew then that God was with us and we felt the Holy Spirit 

but we trusted and followed in hinted hopefulness, like you in faith.

The Crucifixion

Jesus gasped for a breath, 

the pain reached everywhere,

the burning in is hands and feet,

his skin burnt in the strong sun,

the flies and ants and birds all

preying on his precious blood.


And I saw people from every nation,

every creed, every age, every tribe,

and they knelt before him and bowing

their heads worshipped him, and rising

cheered for the wonder of a God who

accepted horror, mutilation and death

rather than succumb to power and 

domination. A God who is ever thus.


Jesus looked out and saw the crowd,

He saw the proud, the oppressor, the

rapist, sadist, warmongers and those

who had mete out injustice, abusers

of children and bore the torture with

hope in his heart that they will hear,

they will repent, and become like

cherished children and his beloved.


The pain tore into his mind,

It burned in his soul and searched

out each weakness. In agony he so

longed for his father and found him

gone. “Eloi, Eloi. Why have you

forsaken me?” he cried; and found it

echoed in the emptiness of a lie. For

Yahweh was there, lashed, nailed, 

bleeding and dying on the cross.

Palm Sunday

As we enter into the winter of our discontent

the Son of God rides into Jerusalem on the

back of a donkey that was wild; until he felt

the touch of the Christ child grown. Like the 


but bidden that we are, to be broken in

by the gentle touch of hands that were

bound and nailed to a tree, its life given as

he wove its beauty long ago, by a soft smile

that was whipped into screams, as he fought

for hope in life rather than in death, crushed

for an unwilling world. 


Untie us Lord and lead us

to the wells of the water of life, guide us through

this frightened and fearful world of violence,

rape, plunder, poverty, starvation, tyranny and

tribulation, to where we can rest in those loving 

wounded hands, see the love in your smile  and 

know you are walking each step with us and will

weep with us, will right wrongs through us and

help us heal the hopelessness of our hearts cry.

The Harrowing of Hell

Is it within, without, was it always

someone else’s tool that they used

to abuse, confuse and cruise their

hate through another’s quick crisis.


Hell hath no fury? Give them hell.

Hell is – other people said Sartre,

The road to hell is paved with –

good intentions. I felt like hell; are


just the many man made ways we 

use a word that holds the world in

contempt; forgets to tell of the one

who came to hell and withstood its


snares, despair, and vile wares.

He sparred as he harrowed hell 

on a lonely hillside, braved alone, 

and faced the dreadful darkness down.


He attacked it within and as death

lost its power. he cowered it across

the land, until hell punched the air

with joy over the sealed dark tomb.


Dead, he harrowed evil o’er and more,

til he rose above the empty grave,

and hope erupted, gilding the day

and building a way for you and for 


me to crush and push and thrust

hell, hushing its voice in a troubled

land and hassling it in our hearts

to pulse anew with joy and grace.


To seek it, wreak it, break it and 

there in the darkest moment we

will find the candle set there by

a loving, grieving pearl of God.

The Black Messiah

They pushed the cross over and his body banged the earth,

His eyes wide staring, blood dried and his mouth of love

set in rictus like a scream as he gasped for one more breath,

his skin the colour of mahogany, peeled and a burned by 


the sun which touched him, naked and humiliated as he

hung visible in front of the before baying crowd, who

lately remembered his crippled hands’ gentle touch 

of loving healing, his thorn, torn ear hearing every word.


Gently they lowered him onto a sheet, and took him to 

the whitened sepulchre, a spectre of nothingness, hiding

the merit of mercy, the goodness of grace, a passionate

being whose desire for us exceeded our darkest imagining


of an avenging God, of righteous anger, a harbinger of 

horror, to reveal the truth of a generous God of abnegation,

who weeps over our plight and pledges to give all

out of love for our love even his life. The cold stone


met the overheated form, flowers flowed around,

and herbs him adorned to stifle the stench of the

the earth bound flesh suborned by self sacrifice, and

the stone shuts giving time for the King of Kings 


to release his eternal self and reunited he sleeps

and wakes, walks free of the shackles of human

existence within his heart the woundedness

of each human and their healing. His chosen one 


comes, his dark eyes see her beautiful tear driven 

anguish, as she greets the gardener, “Tell me where 

he is laid. The Tomb is empty.”  Grief engulfs him 

as he says her name, “Mary.” and in that moment


earth and heaven became one as expectation and hope

unite and the body broken on the cruel, cursed cross 

walks towards her and suddenly everything lost

is all things possible, “Teacher!” creation cries.