Ash Wednesday to Pentecost


  1. Blood of Jesus shed for all,
    For Jew and Gentile, white and black;
    Always beside us though we often fall,
    Never a knowing shrug when we turn back:
    Who are we then to punish or condone
    When You died uncomplaining and alone?
  2. Blood of Jesus shed for us
    That we might live to testify,
    Following Your gentle precepts humbly
    With Cross in hand and sword and shield put by:
    In what then lies our claim to violate
    The race which raised the Cross we venerate?
  3. Blood of Jesus shed for those
    Whose ways and means we deprecate,
    Whose state requires compassion and respect,
    Not cold indifference nor violent hate:
    For if indeed faith gives us pride of place
    It is in the commandment to earn Grace.
  4. Blood of Jesus, shed in pain
    From thorns and lashes, nails and a spear,
    A cruel, sneering, messy, searing shout
    Not paint, soft-focused, full of atmosphere:
    Will Your example save me from the crowd?
    Or will I fall in line when it grows loud?
  5. Blood of Jesus shed for me
    Whose formulae of worth and love
    Hardly recall the words of Jeremiah
    But like to keep things simple, soft and smooth:
    Cleanse my self-portrait in revealing blood
    And smear my mannered texts on being good.