Thursday, April 30, 2020

third thursday of eastertide

“Then God spoke all these words” Exodus 20:1ff

only you
you in every person
use your name in love only
hallow that day of rest
care for the most vulnerable
(especially the older folks)
see all life as sacred
don’t mess up relationships
don’t think about grabbing others’ stuff
use truth in every conversation
don’t be stupid when it comes
to other people’s relationships

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

third wednesday of eastertide

“He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:17 

cracked to pieces
we all feel like humpty
these days, wondering if
we will ever be able
to be put back together
again, but
we already are, simply
by the one made whole
by resurrection love

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

third tuesday of eastertide

“The people all answered as one, ‘Everything that the LORD has spoken we will do.’” Exodus 19:8b

we will (honest!)
we read the fine print
loving your neighbor
forgiving a lot of times
looking after the vulnerable
treating enemies as friends
and all those other
silly expectations

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, April 27, 2020

third monday of eastertide

“In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming,” Matthew 3:1

in these days
of wandering in
the wilderness of
isolation and stepping
in the quandrysand of fear,
let the baptized declare:
love will not be hidden
behind a mask,
hope will reach across
every distance,
life (for all) is the reason
we choose to be alone

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, April 26, 2020

third sunday of eastertide

Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you have had from the beginning;” 1 John 2:7a

convinced we are
shaped out of
glory’s grit,
hope’s lint,
cinders of compassion,
and flakes of faith,
show us the sawdust
from the 2 x 4s of love
you used to craft
all of creation, reminding us
‘there are your ancestors’

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, April 25, 2020

second saturday of eastertide

“Above all, maintain constant love for one another,” 1 Peter 4:8a

whether it’s the rough sleepers
who look after each other in the park
or the most popular kid in the class
sitting alone at home on Saturday night,
whether it’s the older couple separated
from one another by a strange illness
or the newlyweds learning to navigate
this strange journey called marriage,
whether it’s the most cynical cad
or the lifelong romantic searching,
everyone is looking for the same thing:

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

second friday of eastertide

“Do not fear [their fear], and do not be intimidated.” 1 Peter 3:14b

with their ads, coupons,
offers of free delivery,
the fast fear chains make
their menu so appetizing,
may we choose to try
the healthier soul food
of hope, grace, peace,
that may take awhile
to appreciate, but
we soon notice the change
when we look in the
mirror of life

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, April 23, 2020

second thursday of eastertide

 “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13 

if giving your life
seems like a bit
of a stretch, well,
could we be willing
(at least)
to wear a mask,
to stay at home awhile longer,
to keep an even safer distance,
to value a life
more than an economic

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

second wednesday of eastertide

“Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.’”  Matthew 28:10

whenever we take
a tentative step
outside the door,
however afraid we
find ourselves,
wherever we find ourselves
in any moment
of any day, we are
in Galilee, where
Jesus is waiting, having
already shown us the way
through worry, fear, uncertainty,
even death
to life

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

second tuesday of eastertide

“He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
    to the house of Israel.” Psalm 98:3

older than
even dirt itself,
God has not forgotten
those promises made
so long ago.
together for more years
then there are candles
to put on a cake, God
doesn’t forget to tell us
“I love you”
first thing in the morning
and last thing at night
(and all through the day)

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, April 20, 2020

second monday of eastertide

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” 1 Peter 1:3

not just a snippet
from Emily’s poem,
not a song sung by
many singers, not
something we can’t see
but imagine it might be, now
is as deep in us
as our hearts,
as close as
the breath we take,
as real as the tears
we taste on our cheeks.

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, April 19, 2020

second sunday of eastertide

“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5

in the silence of
of unnoticed caring
and the songs
for our neighbors,
in the stories told
to little ones at night
and in the memories
of our grandparents,
in the whispers
of prayers on our walks
as well as the waved
hellos to strangers,
let us remind the world
that the Light has not
gone out of it
or our lives

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, April 18, 2020

first saturday of eastertide

"The Lord went in front of them in a pillar of cloud by day, to lead them along the way, and in a pillar of fire by night, to give them light, so that they might travel by day and by night.”  Exodus 13:21

in the calm approach
of leaders and scientists,
in the soothing whispers
of gentle caregivers,
in the familiar voices
of teachers over the internet,
you continue to point the way
on this uncertain path

in the reassuring touch
of a parent at bedtime,
in the comfort of food,
stories, songs, and pets,
in the wonders of the sky
as night begins to settle,
you remain the light
in the shadows of our lives

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, April 17, 2020

first friday of eastertide

“‘Where, O death, is your
Where, O death, is your
      sting?’”  1 Corinthians 15:50

walking out of
the tomb, you lean
down to suck the
poison of death out
of where it has bitten us, so
together we can walk
hand in hand leaving
that last enemy lying
in the dust

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, April 16, 2020

first thursday of eastertide

“Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.” Matthew 28:16

we might be in
that unfamiliar territory
called calculus,
we might be trying
to figure out the intricacies
of Zoom meetings (what?),
we might be seeing
if we have any recipes
that might make that
box, that can, that frozen
(unidentifiable) meat into
a meal our family will applaud,
wherever we are, we
are in Galilee, where you
are waiting for us, just
like you said

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

first wednesday of eastertide

“After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb.” Matthew 28:1

on the second day
of the week, the other Mary
started making masks
for the folks in her
apartment complex;
on the third day
of the week, Peter
boned up on history
to help his kids with
their school work;
on the fourth day
of the week, the other Mary
handed out boxes of food
at the local pantry
for those who had nothing
and on the following days,
we . . .

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

first tuesday of eastertide

 “The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” 1 Corinthians 15:26

in God’s usual reversal,
the thing we fear
first and foremost
has already been
taken care of,
then we really
don’t have anything
to lie awake at night
worrying about,
do we?

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, April 13, 2020

first monday of eastertide

“And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb.” Mark 16:2

on the second day
of the week, Peter
heard it raining outside
and rolled over to go back to sleep,
Mary Mags put another
load in the laundry
before sorting out the first,
Pilate tried to set up
a Zoom meeting with
his officers, but gave up
in frustration,
all as if nothing had happened
on that first day

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, April 12, 2020


“Praise the Lord, all you nations!
    Extol him, all you peoples!
 For great is his steadfast love toward us,
    and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord!”  Psalm 117

not just the chosen,
but those who aren’t
even picked last for teams;
not just the elect
but those who aren’t
considered for the ballot;
not just the favored few
but for all who have been
forgotten for so long;
not just the decent
and the orderly,
but for all the rabble-rousers
and smelly rough sleepers;
not just for the privileged
but especially for those
who are pushed aside . . .

the tomb was emptied
so there could be room
for everyone in God’s heart.

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, April 11, 2020

holy saturday

“You came near when I called on you;
    you said, ‘Do not fear!’” Lamentations 3:57

into the shadows that seem
so thick we cannot see
our hope in front of our faces,
into the silence that is
so deafening we cannot
hear a whisper of grace,
into the brokenness not
even the queen’s guard
can put back together,
into the tears which quench
the flickering candle
of our faith,
into the death which seems
to have the final word
over us, you come and
take us by the hand,
‘don’t be scared, sillies;
i’ve been down here before
and know the way out.’

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, April 10, 2020

holy friday

“But this I call to mind,
    and therefore I have hope:” Lamentations 3:21

when every moment
seems longer than the last,
when isolation is starting to make
us just a little bit weirder than before,
when every life’s forecast
seems dreichier than yesterday’s,
let us hear that hope you whispered
as you slipped into the cold, empty
embrace of death:

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
    his mercies never come to an end;” Lamentations 3:22

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, April 09, 2020

holy thursday

“While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, ‘Take; this is my body.’”  Mark 14:22

with a dustpan and broom
you sweep up the crumbs
of our hopes and dreams
scattered under the table,
to shape them into that
which you will break
and offer back to us, all
the while knowing that
we will shatter your heart
and leave it lying
in pieces in a deserted

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

holy wednesday

“But if anyone has caused pain . . . I urge you to reaffirm your love for him.” 2 Corinthians 2: 5a, 8a

we find it so easy
to hold grudges against
those we have never met
because of how they look,
what comes out of their mouths,
their political beliefs, so
remind us that even
in the final days, up
to that very last breath,
you continued to love those
closest to you,
the very best of friends
who denied you,
turned their backs on you,
betrayed you
forgot you

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

holy tuesday

“He who rescued us from so deadly a peril will continue to rescue us; on him we have set our hope that he will rescue us again,” 2 Corinthians 1:10

if we have the
common sense to
listen to the old stories,
we will know that our help
comes from those we least expect:
not the wealthy and wise
the powerful and profound,
but the stockers in grocery stores
working the graveyard shift,
the truck drivers hauling stock
over emptier and emptier roads,
the weary nurses, the frazzled doctors,
the lab workers, the chaplains in crammed hospitals,
and all the other overlooked, unsung,
underpaid, working-double-shifts
heroes and heroines.

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, April 06, 2020

holy monday

“How lonely sits the city
    that once was full of people!” Lamentations 1:1

with yellow caution tape
swaddling the swings and slides,
echoing the absent voices
of students sequestered at home,
faith communities
with silent pews and chairs
and musical instruments
muted and deadened,
you walk the empty
leaving breadcrumbs
of hope and grace
for us to follow

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, April 05, 2020

passion/palm sunday

“Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope;
    today I declare that I will restore to you double.” Zechariah 9:12

thrown into isolation
and convinced the key
has been thrown away,
yet we will hope;
quarantined from the rest
of those who put their
trust in compassion and kindness,
goodness and mercy,
yet we will hope;
slowly stepping out
to follow you on that
dusty road which leads
to only you know where,

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, April 04, 2020

sixth saturday in lent

“Then Jesus said to him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ The blind man said to him, ‘My teacher, let me see again.’”  Mark 10:51

remove the cataracts
of caution which
have slowly grown
in our souls, take
the logs of loneliness
out of our eyes, so
we can see that
the world is still full
of wonder, joy, love,
hope, and grace

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, April 03, 2020

sixth friday in lent

“But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7

our lives shattered
by isolation, livelihoods
tossed out the back door
to lie broken in the
alleyways of the world,
the future seeming more
murky minute by minute,
you would use us
as your most precious
to be the grace, the hope,
the wonder, the welcome
the world needs

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, April 02, 2020

sixth thursday in lent

“Since, then, we have such a hope, we act with great boldness,”  2 Corinthians 3:12

we can still be
conduits of hope;
sheltering in place,
we can still let
hope take a walk
around the neighborhood;
maintaining a safe distance,
we just need to practice
more and more until our
arms are strong enough
to toss hope to those
six feet (or more) away
from us

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

sixth wednesday in lent

“and you show that you are a letter of Christ, prepared by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”  2 Corinthians 3:3

that text,
even old-fashioned
hand-written note, when
people open it, will
they want to keep
it folded in their hearts,
or wish
they had
recycled it before
ever opening it

© 2020 Thom M. Shuman