(Separately) Together

When we pass through the seas of separation. 
You will be there. 

The rivers of division twisting and turning 
bending into new streams. 
They will not overcome us. 

The doubts and fears
of the shattered years. 
Will not carry us away.

When we walk 
through the fire 
We will not be burned by hot tempered words and sun scorched tongues.

When the winds and waves
crash upon the house we built. 
Held together by holy moments
and tender memories. 
Where generations before us
dreamed dreams we lived. 
And generations behind
us will dream their very own. 
You will be there. 

Where can we go until this storm subsides? 
Where can we hide from the wind and flame? 

Together, we go to our Father’s house. 
His goodness and mercy greet us at the door. 
The table is set.
The meal is prepared. 
We gather and remember once more. 

With joined hands and humble hearts 
We bow low and offer our thanks.
We do this to remember.

We remember you are the shelter 
from every storm.
We remember you are the cornerstone
our house was built upon. 
We remember it is your table
we are gathered around. 

Your body that feeds us. 

Your blood that frees us. 

It is your great love that binds us

as sisters and brothers.

Ones and anothers. 

We will go to our Father’s house once more. 

The table is set. 

Jesus is here. 

We gather to remember 

Peace is present, 

but can it quieten our collective fear? 

With questioning eyes gazing; piercing within. 

We take an inventory

of one another’s perceived sin.

What does she think?

What does he believe?

Are you for me or against me? 

Where do you stand? 

Who told you to do this?

Who asked you to be the judge?

Were we not told to love one another.

To abide in His sweet love.

But how can we be one in the Spirit?

One in Love?

When the betrayer is seated 

in the chair next to us. 

When the one that dips after us

has blood on their hands. 

Surely it is not I you speak of?

I am not the one.

 Dear Lord, it is my brother. 

It is the one sitting across from the other.  

Breaking the chalice that holds us together. 

Shattering the dreams and traditions

of our Fathers and Mothers. 

I am not the one.

Dear Lord, no, it is my sister. 

Who will not add a chair to your table. 

Who will not welcome my sisters and brothers. 

Who will not make space for these others. 

Surely, it is not me?

No, it is the one that dipped their hand in the cup.
A cup tipped over and pouring down the altar. 
Running down to each seat at Christ’s holy table. 

Covering all who gather. 

Covering even the betrayer.

Forgiving the accuser.

Pouring out on each of us.

On one and the other.  

Who then is the betrayer? 

If not my sister.

Or my brother. 

Is it us? 

We who have failed to be an obedient church.

We who have not done your will.

We that broke your law.

We that rebelled against 

your great and abiding love.

We that have not loved our neighbors.

We that have not heard

the cry of the needy at our door.

Forgive us, we pray. 


Not that brother.

Or this sister.


 Not just you.

Not just me. 

Together, we repent and remember. 

Is it better that we never came together? 

That we never shared this holy meal

on bended bruised knees.

Weary from the journey. 

Afraid for our fragile future.  

Is it better to never have been

than to choose to leave the table. 

Forging divergent paths forward as "holy" friends.

This looks anything but holy to me.

Who then is the betrayer? 

If not my sister.

 Or my brother. 

You said it. 

It is not my brother. 

It is not my sister. 

It is me. 

I am the one. 

I stand condemned. 

Unworthy to take the cup. 

Refusing to share Christ's suffering.

Unwilling to break the bread. 

The yeast of division has us all corrupted.

And yet in the mystery of sweet communion 
on trembling knees and with heavy hearts 
we gather and grieve and remember.

Not because we are justified by our leanings. 
Not because we have earned
a place at your table. 
Not because of our pristine interpretations
of your Word.

Who can chain down the living Word of God.
The breath.
The being. 

The I Am that I Am.

That made a way in the desert.

And cut a path through the sea.

Who can stop The Word

that was and is and will always be. 

How then do you know you know for sure 

what is the heart of the one

that can never be fully known?

Not Me. 

Not I. 

Not We. 

So we humble ourselves and

We gather to remember. 

We gather to be transformed

by the one who is a holy mystery. 

We gather

because the master of the house beckons us. 

To be made into One. 

One Body. 

One Bread. 

One Death.

One Life. 

One Faith.

One Dream. 

Given to each of us freely 

by the master that stoops down low 

Leaving his rightful place in glory.

To be born in a filthy barn to an unwed mother.

Choosing to become human

for each one and another. 

The Word made flesh 

becoming servant and savior of all.  

He bends the knee and washes the dirty feet. 

He breaks the holy bread.

And shares the shattered cup. 

He forgives the sister and the brother.

He welcomes the one and the other. 

Together, we go to our Father’s house. 

His goodness and mercy greet us at the door. 

The table is set.

The meal is prepared. 

We gather and remember once more. 

We remember We are

called by His name. 

Washed by His blood.

Empowered by the Spirit 

We drink. 

We eat. 

We laugh. 

We love. 

We forgive.

We abide.

We dream.

We remember.

We remember there is a 

A new covenant. 

A new dream.

A new vision.

A new day. 

A new path.

A new hope.

A new future.

We remember our journey continues

(separately) together. 

                 MJ Kirby 9/2/2022


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