Part One: Maundy Thursday

Poet and Senior Teaching Fellow John Dennison and artist and staff alumna Juanita Madden bring you Maundy Thursday’s offering. The Collects and Readings are taken from A New Zealand Prayer Book, Lectionary Cycle Year A.

Maundy Thursday by Juanita Madden

Gethsemane, Tawa
By John Dennison

He is alone.
The Easter moon,
its sheer, unguarded face, floods
the underneath of everything
in the park with darkness.
Beside the stream
the playground watches; it swings empty,
slides down to the ground.
He’s on
the other side, over where at
truant lunchtimes college students
restage Eden, the fall.
He kneels,
stands, kneels, is not silent,
speaks what I do not understand,
as all about his friends in hopeless
sleep compose a parable.
Their feet shine.
Again he stands,
is crushed by a fall of light, gathers
his body—the night, his friends, this park,
the careful suburb, the state highway,
the islands, the waters and all they mother,
the under and over, the singing all—
gathers it into agreement,
encompassing, excruciating yes.

Still now, his hands shine. They
have washed and washed and washed tonight.
The darkness moves to kiss his face.

For Reflection

Psalm 116:1–2, 12–19
Exodus 12:1–4, (5–10), 11–14
1 Corinthians 11:23–26
John 13:1–17, (31b–35)

Infinite, intimate God;
this night you kneel before your friends
and wash our feet.
Bound together in your love, trembling,
we drink your cup and watch.
Hear this prayer for your love’s sake.

“The Gospel of John records Jesus washing his disciples’ feet, and if he has washed our feet we ought to wash one another’s.” (David Fagerberg)
In what ways can you serve your neighbours this Easter weekend?