Jesus, the branch of Jesse (Isaiah 11.1-3a)

You came
and I didn’t expect you then,
you needed me
and I wasn’t ready,
you’d invited me in
and I had to turn away,
you’d told me what to bring
and I hadn’t done it.

What had I been doing
all my life
that I wasn’t ready?

I had prepared your church for you.
I had learnt its ways
and attended to its tasks.

But I hadn’t prepared you
my heart.

I didn’t have to be
expert or leader,
it wasn’t too big a thing
for you to ask,
it wasn’t about
how I looked on the outside.
I just had to give you
my heart.

Christ a curse for me (Galatians 3.10-14)

When I come
into your presence with soft feet
your joy at my attending
fills my cup
and floors the road
I tread upon.

The Scapegoat (Leviticus 16.1-22)

The wilderness calls.
I can hear the flap of its canvas,
feel the drought in its breath,
smell the baked bark of stone
as it burns in the boiling sun.
It is not home
save to jackals and outcasts,
demons and fears
and temptation.

Surely not I? (2 Timothy 3.1-9)

Could it be me
who would let you down,
who would live
in the house of your name,
the shape of your desire,
without the heart of your spirit,
without the fruit of your love?

I am not myself (Colossians 3.1)

I am not myself,
I am Christ raised on high.
I am not who I was
when I stumbled on sin and lost my way,
when guilt or fear kept
a close watch through the night,
when striving to perform or please
marked my day.