How she taught the teacher communion

(Mark 1: 29-39)

Jesus was fed so many times –
sabbath meals at home,
Matthew’s table,
Martha’s overambitious feast,
the boy’s lunch,
Simon with the wide platters
and the narrow heart,

the making-amends-meal
of the short man
who climbed down and down
and down from a tree
to see Jesus, fork in his hand,
“taste this”
and it was forgiveness.

But this was the first day
he was in the healing business,
and Naomi,
(it’s a good mother-in-law name)
had a fever so high
she could not get up
to plate food pre-cooked for sabbath
before her son-in-law’s
new teacher came.

Jesus lifted her up,
forehead burning virus and all,
and fever was broken,
compassion poured,
and, in gratitude for what he did for her,
she broke bread for them
poured wine into their cups.
and served them all …

As evening fell, others came ¬–
with illnesses of mind and body,
gaping holes of loss,
and he healed them through the night
as they clamored at the door,

but he had time to watch,
as she baked bread after bread, fried fish,
opened jugs of olive oil,
lifted a cup always running over.

And Jesus thought,
as dawn came up in prayer –
when I go,
perhaps this serving,
and these old hands of love

is what I shall leave behind
in remembrance of me.

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16 Responses to How she taught the teacher communion

  1. cvdennis.wpcgwd@gmail.com says:

    Thank you for this beautiful thought so well told.

  2. mbmankin says:

    Thank you, Maren. This helped me read this passage much more closely and to picture it in much more detail! What beautiful connections.

  3. Andrea Stoeckel says:

    WOW

  4. Joyce O Crutchfield says:

    Maren, I cannot thank you enough for sharing your wisdom and craft.
    Blessings,
    Joyce

  5. I love this poem, Maren. You’ve brought new dimensions to the story, In particular, it’s given me a new appreciation of the phrase, “cup running over.” Mahalo.

  6. revtjmack@hancockucc.com says:

    wow. beautiful. thank you.

  7. Terry Farish says:

    I like how the man making amends is given forgiveness. “How great a sweetness fills the breast. And we are blessed by everything.” I got in!

  8. “And Jesus thought,
    as dawn came up in prayer –
    when I go,
    perhaps this serving,
    and these old hands of love
    is what I shall leave behind
    in remembrance of me.” I love the images here. It makes me think of all the women in the churches I served and their nurturing gifts of food.

  9. Maren says:

    We are nurtured by them still.

  10. Pingback: This Is No Mother-in-Law Joke – pastorsusan

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