This week holds Holy Monday, Holy Tuesday, and Holy Wednesday. Maundy Thursday. Good Friday. Holy Saturday, then, finally, Easter. Holy Week. I’m reading Between Midnight and Dawn: A Literary Guide to Prayer for Lent, Holy Week, and Eastertide, gathered and edited by Sarah Arthur. It’s Sarah’s third devotional guide. I wrote about another, At the Still Point, on this blog last summer.
On these pages Sarah brings together Scripture, poetry, and literature for the purpose of prayer, for the purpose of Word informing word and visa versa, for the purpose of sparking imagination in service to truth.
I’ve jumped ahead to the readings for Maundy Thursday with its title “Accused,” the day of the last supper and Jesus’s arrest and midnight trial. From Psalm 35: “Ruthless witnesses come forward…” From the prophet Isaiah: “He was opposed and afflicted yet he did not open his mouth.” From Mark 14: the narrative of the first hours after Jesus’s arrest. From Revelation: an angel delivers judgment. From a poem by Hannah Faith Notess: the images of the blood sacrifice of Passover startle the soothing comforts of bread and wine and a well laid table. From a poem by Jill Peláez Paumgartner: Jesus’s silence before Pilate is “the silence of termites. / It is the silence of the vein of silver / underneath the mountain’s / grimace….” From a poem by Luci Show: “fallen knees / under a whole world’s weight….” From the Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky: an excerpt from the epic and genius scene of the Grand Inquisitor, a fictitious story of Jesus being brought to trial again during the Spanish Inquisition and challenged for his responses to the three temptations of Satan.
Recently I asked Sarah some questions about the book and her process.