In Remembrance of Me | Sojourners

In Remembrance of Me

A Poem for Maundy Thursday

I am this broken and bleeding world.
I am Brussels, blown apart, the strewn limbs, the piercing wail of a mother for her baby.
I am Yemen, at the marketplace, charred bodies of children face-down in the dust.
I am Syria, families cramming into boats as guns and missiles chase them from the shore.
I am Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, pockmarked by bomb blasts, orphaned children hiding away from clear blue skies.
I am the growling of empty bellies drowned by the sound of gold pouring into the bottomless coffers of the war machines as they devour their sustenance and spit out death in return.
I am generation upon generation of silenced and vanished victim buried in the ground and trampled.
I am slain from the foundation of the world.

Absorbing the fear and hate of thousands of years,
I clothed myself in flesh and vulnerability
And came back to my plundered home.

I walked among those whose pain I had shouldered from the beginning of time,
The cast off and thrown away.
I took the leper into my arms.
In my eyes the used and exploited found their humanity reflected back to them.
I opened the eyes of the blind.
I fed the starving with bread and wisdom.
I took the children on my knee.
As I walked, I scattered the Love in which I was born before time began.

A sick and aching world takes time to heal.
And in that time, fear moves fast.
The Powers that build their empires by exploiting divisions –
Only to reign in the sprawling chaos by uniting the deceived people against someone –
Have named me the enemy.

So now I come to you, my friends,
As we gather around this table.
And you quarrel about who among you is the greatest.
Don’t you see, it is this me-against-you attitude
That has brought me here, to the brink of my destruction?
For one evening, let us put aside the bitter bickering
And enjoy one last feast, one final fellowship.

If you want to be great, cast off the shackles of self-doubt that choke out your love for each other,
If you want glory, make it manifest in acts of service.
I come among you, I come below you, washing your feet,
To show you love you’ve never known.
You will never know how blessed and beloved you are,
Until you let the love within you pour out to others.

From the beginning of time, I have seen brother set against brother,
Nation set against nation,
Selfishness erupt in violence, converging upon victim after victim
All sprung from the same seed of desire for greatness against someone else.
If you want to be great, be for others,
Even as I am for you.

I am this broken and bleeding world.
This bread is my broken body.
This cup is my spilled blood.
As it has been done to victims from the beginning of time,
So it is done to me.
I give my broken self to you.

Take in my life.
Let me nourish you with my love
Until the spirit of compassion bursts the old wineskins of your brittle hearts …
Until you become a new creation.

Let the body of my work become the work of your body.
Embrace the outcasts,
Reconcile enemies,
Feed my sheep.

Unite in me, with me in you.
I give my broken self to you –
Only in coming together can the fullness of my life be manifest again.
Let this bread bind you together,
Let this wine wash away your divisions.

I am broken for a broken world
A world that needs your love
To be made whole again.
Take me into you and become my body.
Eat this bread.
Drink this wine.
Do this in re-membrance of me.

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