By Lonetta Key


Usually, our feet are not our most attractive feature.  But they are definitely one of our most essential.   They support us.  And they are very efficient in carrying us from one venue to another as we go through our day.  In the time of Jesus’ sojourn on earth, feet functioned as a major mode of transportation.  Hence the customary washing of feet because the popular footwear was sandals and the lanes traversed were dusty.


In John 13:1-17 we have recorded the washing of the feet of the twelve by Christ.  However this is an event that is possibly more consequential than we might initially perceive.  It definitely serves as an outstanding example of humility.  And that was the main goal the Lord was endeavoring to accomplish.  But I think it behooves us to delve a bit more deeply into an additional application.


Let us contemplate the feet being washed by the Lord.  Where were the Jesus’ washed feet of the disciples taking them?   Well it appears most used their feet to flee from the cross.  But one used his feet to walk to the cross.  And then one used his feet to trudge to destruction.


Judas’ feet were cleansed by the Master’s divine hands.  But the master of his heart was Satan.  And consequently his feet took him on a route that led straight into hell. 


It is crucially important for us to recognize that simply placing ourselves in close proximity to Christ—such as worship services;; or acquiring knowledge relating to Him—such as Bible study; or even spiritual practices—such as prayer if not motivated by rock solid faith; none of these in and of themselves designate that we are walking with the Lord.  It requires heart and soul commitment to following in His steps with every facet of our being.


In closing consider Psalm 119:105  “Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path.”  Where are your feet taking you?  Are they guided by God’s word and is the path they walk illumined by His light?









I reach towards my inner self… inner walls begin to crumble… the depth of my being opens…



Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner.”




In through the nose…

And exhale out through the mouth…

I begin by setting the scene of today’s reflection in my mind…

A towel tied firmly round his waist, cold water poured into a bowl, his bended knee on cold stone floor, he washed their feet with tenderness, saying: ‘wash one another’s feet’, the one from God returns like this…

Ask for the grace to know how to wash the feet of others…or whatever it is that you need at this moment…

READ: John 13:1-15


Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father.


Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.


The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him.


And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself.

Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him.


He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, ‘Lord, are you going to wash my feet?’


Jesus answered, ‘You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.’ Peter said to him, ‘You will never wash my feet.’ Jesus answered, ‘Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.’ Simon Peter said to him, ‘Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!’


Jesus said to him, ‘One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.’ For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, ‘Not all of you are clean.’


After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am.


So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.

As Jesus washes his disciples’ feet, let yourself be drawn into the movements and gestures he makes, tenderly approaching each one of those present, holding their feet, bathing them with water and drying them with his towel…does he want to wash your feet too…?


Will you turn away like Peter…? Or will you let him kneel by your side to perform this tender gesture…?


As you read the scripture again, think about the people in your life whose feet you are called to wash, and how you might follow the example of Jesus…


READ: John 13:1-15

So, if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.

Speak to Jesus, as one friend speaks to another, talk to him about whose feet you need to wash and ask him how you are to wash them, then listen to his response…


Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit…

As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.



*Pray As You Go App. Lenten Journey; Session 5, “THE FEET.”








Lectio Divina is broken up into 5 separate sections:

  1. SILENCO – Silence (we can use our Centering Prayer to help prepare.) Take 60 seconds (or more) in silent preparation for sacred reading.
  2. LECTIO – Listen to the text by reading out loud slowly and repeating it 3 times.
  3. MEDITATO – Meditation – Reflect on what word, words, phrase, or sentence that speaks to you from the text, then write it down.
  4. ORATIO – Pray – Pray as responding to the words, phrases, sentence that God has stirred in you.
  5. CONTEMPLATIO – Rest in the presence of God, allowing the words revealed to take root.


  • SILENCIO – 60 seconds or more of silence
  • LECTIO – Scripture read out loud slowly and repeated 3 times.
    • READ: Jeremiah 17:5-10
  • MEDITATIO – Reflection on a word, words, phrase, or sentence that speaks to you from the text. Hold onto it or write it down.
  • ORATIO – Pray as responding to the words, phrase sentences that God has stirred in you.
  • CONTEMPLATIO – Rest in the presence of God allowing the words revealed to take root: 3 to 5 minutes.
  • AMEN










A poem by Edward Shillito (1872-1948), a Free Church minister in England during World War I:


“Jesus of the Scars”

by Edward Shillito


If we have never sought, we seek Thee now;

Thine eyes burn through the dark, our only stars;

We must have sight of thorn-pricks on Thy brow,

We must have Thee, O Jesus of the Scars.


The heavens frighten us; they are too calm;

In all the universe we have no place.

Our wounds are hurting us; where is the balm?

Lord Jesus, by Thy Scars, we claim Thy grace.


If, when the doors are shut, Thou drawest near,

Only reveal those hands, that side of Thine;

We know to-day what wounds are, have no fear,

Show us Thy Scars, we know the countersign.


The other gods were strong; but Thou wast weak;

They rode, but Thou didst stumble to a throne;

But to our wounds only God’s wounds can speak,

And not a god has wounds, but Thou alone.




Holy God you did not shy away from suffering.

Jesus, you asked the Father to take this cup away.

Only if it were the Fathers will.


You were tortured, bled, and died for your people, for your creation.

Lord, you bore the sin of the world as you hung on the cross.

You have the scars which you shared with your disciples.


The holes in your hands and feet.

The scar from the spear entering your side.

These scars are a reminder of your sacrifice on our behalf.


Lord we all have scars.

Emotional, physical, and mental scars.

Scars from our turning from you and sin in our lives.


They cause pain and mark us as people who need a savior.

These scars, as deep as they are, do not define us.

Our scars remind us that we have a Lord who had scars too.

One who enters in and suffers alongside.


You forgive us.

You heal us.

You are a God who had to scar to help remove ours.


Glory to you Lord Jesus Christ.













The haiku is a Japanese poetic form that consists of three lines, with five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five in the third.


This Haiku is Holy Spirit inspired from John 13:1-17



by Maria Burke


My Lord and Teacher

Humbly you bent down to us

Loving, gentle King. 




The following reading is taken from an Icelandic Hymn Book, Hymns of the Passion.  The hymns in this collection were written in 1659 by clergyman Hallgrimur Petursson.  His poetic style and form are comparable to the best European religious poetry at the time.

Throughout generations in Iceland, the Hymns of the Passion,  were sung and read in almost every home during the Lenten period leading up to Easter.  For the past 80 years they have been read daily during lent on the state sponsored radio.


My family and I were able to travel to Iceland last summer and while in Reykjavik visited Hallgrimskirkja.  This church was named after the much beloved clergyman and is a beautiful place of worship.  While touring the cathedral I picked up an English translation of,  the Hymns of the Passion.  The words and verse are very rich and grounded in scripture.  I hope you enjoy this reading of, Christ’s Suffering in the Garden.


Gospel Sources for this Hymn:

Matthew 26:36-39; Mark 14:32-36;

Luke 22:40-42; John 18:2

  • Gethsemane means in Hebrew “winepress” or “oil press.”


Christ’s Suffering in the Garden

by Hallgrimur Petursson

Translated into English

by Gracia Grindal


Then Jesus to the garden came,

Gethsemane, the garden’s name,

It means to us an olive press.

The olive tree our Lord himself;

The oil from there was pressed, his toil,

Became for us salvation’s oil.


First in a garden Adam sinned

But Christ would come to make amends.

There was a tree that bore some fruit.

Of sin and death down to its root.

The Tree of Life, more tasty grew,

Begetting life made all things new.


Now Judas new the special spot

Were he could weave his evil plot,

He wondered, should this be the place

Where he our dear Lord would betray?

So few would see his wicked deed

He’d hide his evil treachery.


Thus does the Evil One observe

Both night and day to see me swerve

And plans to catch me, watch me fall

To draw me into sin’s dark toils,

But flashes most his fiery sword

In paths where I would serve the Lord.


The children of the world would learn well

To cover their betrayals still.

But following the devil’s snares

They hide them, keep them unaware

Of tricky ways they tried so long.

Lord Jesus keep me safe from wrong.


Christ Jesus truly loved this site

And  went to pray again that night,

A custom our Lord calmly kept

To think upon his pain and death

And pray his Father for some help

To garner courage for himself.


The garden of the Lord for us

Is where God’s children find repose.

So when you walk this holy ground

Pray fervently you will be found

Ready for death and then await

The resurrection’s day of days.


He left his followers waiting there,

But three of them he wanted near

We see the pure and loving Son

Who did not wish to be alone.

My, soul observes what Jesus does

And imitate his practices.


God’s church is like a garden fair;

God’s Son our teacher. Be prepared:

To sit here where he bids you sit,

Obedience will make you fit.

For when he calls, take up your cross.

Come to him, do not count the cost.


And when temptations trouble you

Avoid a lonely solitude

Seek out some Christian friends to help

They will give good advice as well.

We find sweet solace in our friends

A gift of mercy God has sent


Weighed down with sorrow and distress

Our Lord knelt down to pray and wept

His body quaking as he sighed.

Great tears of blood filled up his eyes.

He, weeping, said “My soul within

Is troubled now with death and sin.”


He went from them a little space,

Then, faltering, fell upon his face.

Flat on the ground his spirit cringed,

His heart beat furiously within.

His weary souls and body lay

Upon the earth where our Lord prayed.


My conscience smites me with the thought:

I see what pain my sin has wrought.

My sin, my sin, has tortured you,

Dear Jesus, as you paid my due.

Alas, that I, a wretched slave

Increased your sorrow to the grave.

My sin, it seems, has greater weight

Than earth and heaven together weigh.

He by the Word and his great power

Still shoulders all things to this hour,

Yet bearing all my sin’s disgrace,

He fell with horror upon his face.


What confidence, what joy of heart,

My soul, are given for my part

The ransom paid for me was worth

More than the wealth of heaven and earth!

His depth of grief, the pains he felt,

Have won the pardon for myself.


There Jesus, fallen to the ground,

Breathed out a prayer, its beauties sound,

“O Abba, Father, take this cup!

Yet at your word I drink it up

Your will, not mine, let it be done.”

A prayer to God from his dear Son.


In prayer these are the best resorts.

Of humble spirits, grieving hearts

When sorrow presses down on you

Reflect on this and give it due.

Impatience, obstinate complaint,

Bring even greater punishment.


You must not ever proudly rave

Demanding all your heart may crave

To satisfy your fleshly needs.

Do not forget our Savior sees

The needs of both your flesh and soul

Better then you yourself can know.


So let your soul and body join

In humble prayer to God the Son.

The Lord sees through your inward heart

But still your flesh, its outward parts

With reverence and with self-reproach,

Like Abraham, the Lord approach.


Lord, in the garden, tears were shed

Rejoice, my soul, I have been freed.

Your heart’s pain has my own heart healed,

Your blood has my salvation sealed.

Now shall my heart of hearts be well

Extolling you, Emmanuel! Amen!










SCRIPTURE: Matthew 26: 36-40; Matthew 27:27-66



by Lonetta Key


Alone.  One of the most overwhelmingly devastating feelings to be experienced.  Stop for a moment and consider the loneliness that Jesus endured.  Alone in Gethsemane.  Alone on the cross.  Alone in the  tomb.


Let us remember In the Gethsemane Garden that the human side of Christ was evident as well as the Divine.  Jesus needed human companionship, so He took His three closest disciples with him.  They failed miserably in fulfilling their purpose, unable to sustain Him in prayer.  Alone


Feeling the need for Divine support He dropped to His knees and sought the help of His Father.  The human resisted—“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.”  The Divine surrendered.  “Yet not as I will but as you will.” God could not intercede.  Alone.


Now we climb the skull-shaped hill called Golgotha.  And there the Lord suffered the most excruciatingly painful and most humiliating death as He was stretched out naked.  


Oh, dear reader come to the cross.  See Him hanging there.  Kneel before it.  There at the foot of the cross we experience a heart-rending moment.  There is where we encounter the most amazing outpouring of selfless love and forgiveness the world will ever know—forgiveness of our sins. And we wholly dedicate our heart and soul.  There is where we realize the utmost emotion of gratitude.  Let tears of indebtedness flow.


As we kneel there, we hear the words almost inaudibly spoken, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  Alone


Two friends take charge of Jesus’ body upon His death.  As Jesus is prepared for burial Heaven was preparing for resurrection.  But in the meantime, imagine what it is like—His tomb.  Cramped, cold, dark, encased by 2000 pounds of stone at the entrance.  Alone.


“In the cross, and him who hung upon it, all things meet; all things subserve it, all things need it.  It is their center and their interpretation.  For he was lifted up upon it, that he might draw all men[women] and all things unto him.”

-John Henry Newman



I free myself from worldly cares… I go downwards into the deep… to the place I meet my maker…


Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner.”


In through the nose…

And exhale out through the mouth…

Let us see if he will be saved, let us gaze up at three o’clock, let us raise sour wine on a sponge, let us listen to his last cry, let us breathe with him his last breath, we wait at the foot of the cross…let us wait…

Ask for the grace to remain with Jesus all the way to the end…or whatever it is that you need at this moment…

READ: Matthew 27:45-56

As you stand at the foot of the cross, let yourself be united with Jesus at the moment of his greatest suffering…

How is it possible that the one who preached the good news,

Who healed the sick,

Who met the poor and outcast, is dying on a cross…?

How is it possible that one who loved his friends so much has been betrayed…?

As you stand there, what do you learn from all you have witnessed?

As you read the passage again, let the meaning of this moment sink in… all that has happened to Jesus has been done just for you… Are you able to join with the Centurion in recognizing that Jesus is God’s son?

READ: Matthew 27:45-56

‘Truly this man was God’s Son!’

Speak to Jesus, as one friend speaks to another, tell him that you want to remain with him whatever happens, then Listen to his response…

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit…
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

*Pray As You Go App. Lenten Journey; Session 6, “The Death.”









”Since it was fitting for Christ to die, in order to deliver us from death, so it was fitting for him to descend into hell in order to deliver us also from going down into hell…

He remained in hell until the hour of the Resurrection.”

  • Thomas Aquinas

READ: PSALM 88 & 1 PETER 3:17-22

Though the Nicene Creed simply says, “and was buried,” the Apostles’ Creed, after mentioning his burial, says of the dead Jesus that he “descended into hell.” There are, most likely, two biblical references that stand behind this claim.

The first is the assertion, expressed in numerous places in the Old Testament, that the dead go to a shadowy underworld called Sheol. This is not a place of heavenly refreshment or spiritual fulfillment; it is instead a dismal and dissatisfying realm, where shades of human beings live a sort of half-life, cut off from community and, most painfully, the praise of God. A particularly telling description of Sheol can be found in Psalm 88: “I am counted among those who go down to the Pit; I am like those who have no help, like those forsaken among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, like those whom you remember no more, for they are cut off from your hand” (Ps. 88:4-5). Jesus’ descent into hell means that he has entered into solidarity with those at the furthest possible remove from the mercy of God.

Though it is odd to say, it coheres with a Trinitarian logic:

God goes to those cut off from God and overcomes thereby a separation that could never be overcome from the human side.

And this brings us to the second scriptural inspiration behind the doctrine of Christ’s descent into hell- namely,

1 Peter 3:18-19: “He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, who in former times did not obey.” The prison in question here is undoubtedly Sheol, and the prisoners are those dead who, in their lifetimes, had wandered from the path of God. That Jesus preached the Gospel, or better, revealed it in his very person, to these long-forgotten people, is a source of tremendous consolation.

How else could we possibly claim the possibility of salvation for those who had lived and died before the saving event of the Incarnation? This passage helps us see that what happened in Jesus, since it was grounded in a properly divine subject, has a ramification across all of space and time.

Robert Barron, Light from Light, Word on Fire Ministries












by Lonetta Key


What could cause such delirious joy and exaltation in excited voices when reality sank in?  Three of the most revolutionary, life-changing words ever uttered.   “He has risen; …”   (Matthew 28:6)  


Followers of Jesus know that we serve a resurrected, vibrantly alive Christ.

And as such we ought not to relegate the Resurrection to the past, but live its power in the present.  As we will see, the very same power that freed Jesus from the suffocating cocoon of death and the tomb is available in all of its potency to you and me. 


God intends for us to access this power.  The Bible references this availability in several passages.  Romans 8:11 “The Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you.  And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by the same Spirit living within you.”

I pray you are grasping this in its totality.  The life giving, resurrecting Spirit that raised Jesus, lives in you and me.  Our mortal bodies possess that same source of energy.  Imagine the limitless possibilities and potency of a resurrection power infused life.  Oh, let our hearts be thrilled to overflow knowing we can experience this daily renewal.    

Then we turn our attention to Philippians 3:10.  “that I may…come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection which it exerts over believers…”  Both Scriptures provide absolute assurance that this power is just as alive and active as it was that first Easter Morning.  And that as believers we are the beneficiaries.    

Now people grab hold of every single word in this next text in all of its soul bending intensity.  ”And so that you can know and understand what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength, Which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead…” (Ephesians 1:19,20).  Notice that the dynamic word “exert” is used here in Ephesians as well as in the passage from Philippians.


Absorb every single qualifying adjective of the greatness of this power—Immeasurable, unlimited, surpassing.  Wow!!!  It was not only Paul’s desire that he come to know this power (Philippians 3:10), but he also longed for the same to be true for the Christians in Ephesus.  The first requirement is to have knowledge of this extraordinary power.  And then we must put forth the needed effort to understand it.  But the reward is incredible and astounding.


These Scriptures say it all.  The realization that we are the recipients of this marvelous bestowal of resurrection power should excite us, motivate us, and ignite a glowing spark, provoking us to shout Hallelujah!!


Hallelujah! He has Risen!




The haiku is a Japanese poetic form that consists of three lines, with five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five in the third.


This Haiku is Holy Spirit inspired from Romans 8:38-39



by Maria Burke


Now fully convinced,

Nothing can separate us,

From the love of Gd


“We are Easter people and ‘Alleluia is our song,”


“He is Risen”

“He is Risen Indeed”








Lord Jesus Christ, give me your Hope.”


In through the nose…

And exhale out through the mouth…

Breathe and Pray your Centering Prayer 3 times.

· Consciously place yourself in God’s presence …
· Become aware of the preoccupations and worries that trouble you today…
· Gently lay all your concerns before God …
· Breathe in the peace that is the gift of the Holy Spirit …
· ‘Give us this day our daily bread.’ Ask God for what you need today …

Reading: Romans 8: 26 + Galatians 5: 22, 23
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.
By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.

· Paul tells us that the Holy Spirit fills us with hope, and comes to help us in our weakness. If we open our hearts to receive this hope (‘trustfulness’ is one of the many fruits of the Spirit), we will not be preserved from the inevitable sorrows of life, but we will not be totally crushed and embittered by them. The Spirit helps us to live in the here and now, with its burdens and fears, personal and global, without losing hope.
· The Holy Spirit, ‘God’s indwelling nearness’ (Elizabeth Johnson), keeps the melody of hope audible in our lives, and offers a vision of hope, a new perspective on what is happening in the world and in our own lives. The Spirit helps us to trust that God keeps us company in all that happens to us – in our failures and defeats as well as in our joys and achievements. The gift of hope helps us not to be imprisoned in the past or constrained by the present; it shapes and colours the future, disposes us to change and opens us, heart and soul, to new possibilities.
· “Hope”, said Henri Nouwen, “means to keep living amid desperation, and to keep humming in the darkness. Hoping is knowing that there is love; it is trust in tomorrow; it is falling asleep and waking up when the sun rises … And God will be holding you in his hands.”

· Recall an occasion when you experienced ‘the terror of the night’ (Psalm 91) followed by ‘the joy that comes in the morning’ (Psalm 30).
· Reflect on a situation in our world today where an injection of hope is sorely needed…
· Pray this verse from Psalm 70: “O God, come to our aid. O Lord, make haste to help us.”
· Identify a difficult experience in your own life, past or present, and ask God to bring healing to you and to all concerned.

End thoughts
The hope that the Spirit brings is accompanied by a readiness to wait patiently for what we hope for to be brought to fulfilment. To pray in hope means that all our concrete petitions – for safety, for employment, for healing, for basic necessities, for justice and peace and reconciliation, for the homeless and the hungry – are simply our way of expressing our confidence in God, and our expectation of his providential care for us.

You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.


* https://pray-as-you-go.org/player/special/3708-session-7-the-holy-spirit-source-of-hope

Lent Series: by Teresa White FCJ and it is based on her new book, ‘Hope and the Nearness of God’ (Bloomsbury, 2021 https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/hope-and-the-nearness-of-god-9781472984197/ ).






I would like to thank all who contributed to our collection of reflections, meditation, haiku’s, prayer and poetry.  I pray this has been an uplifting and encouraging Lenten Season.  We now are in Easter Season and may we not forget that we are “Easter People and Alleluia is our Song!”

Peace and hope to you all from the Risen Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen!


Tom Hartshorn

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