Thursday, April 2, 2015

All the Old, Old Stories--and a New Poem!

This morning, I'm thinking about food and suppers of all sorts, both the Last Supper and last night's supper.  Last night, after our day of many meetings, some of us had happy hour at a local spot that has good happy hour food and prices.  One of my friends was able to enjoy herself in a way that she hasn't in many months.  I'm hopeful that last night's supper will be the start of many meal joys to come.

It's Maundy Thursday, Holy Thursday, the day that can be a celebration of so much, and include so many elements.  Maybe it will be a meal, a Seder inspired meal, a potluck dinner, a quick bite grabbed between work and evening service.  Maybe we will wash each other's feet.  Maybe there will be anointing with oil.

Maybe we are waiting until tomorrow, sunset, when Passover starts.  If you're in the mood to think about the intersections between Passover and Maundy Thursday, head over to this post of mine on the Living Lutheran site.  Many writers have wrestled with the question of how inclusive a Seder meal should be.  I hadn't really thought of some of the more troublesome aspects of an ecumenical Seder until recently--yet I still don't think we need to forsake the idea.

This morning I spent time with an earlier story in the Bible.  I started writing the cancer cells and the angel Gabriel poem--and suddenly, I thought of the Bible verse where God makes Abraham a promise about numerous descendants.  I looked up the exact wording:  "I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, . . ."

Oh, my!  My brain didn't need to work very hard.  Instead of the voice of Gabriel, I decided to go big--I wrote in the voice of God.  Luckily I come out of a religious tradition where I will not be struck down for such hubris.

Here's the first draft of the poem.  It's not exactly a good fit for Maundy Thursday--but it works as a prelude for a certain kind of Good Friday meditation.

I will surely bless you,
as I have always blessed
the lowly.  I have raised
the simple ones to new heights.
Will I not do the same for you?

I will make your descendants as numerous
as the stars in the sky,
as the sand on the seashore,
your genetic mistakes repeated
into the seventh generation.

Your descendants will conquer
the cities of their enemies,
the distant outposts of the body
or the inmost organs.

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