Of the Twelve? Of the Three? Of the…?

“[A man from the crowd shouted,] ‘I begged your disciples to cast [the spirit] out, but they could not.’ Jesus answered, ‘You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you and bear with you?'” – Luke 9:40-41

You left us, Jesus, you know you did.
You left us watching as you climbed the mount
with Peter, James, and John – that trio Andrew
calls “the Trinity” (and thinks he’s funny).

Now while you all were gone, I think it’s fair
to say, all hell broke loose down here.
I’m glad you got and took the time to pray –
you needed it for sure – but man! The crowds.

The crowds formed up and would not go away.
Some wanted bread, like when you fed so many.
Some wanted learning (or they said they did).
And many wanted healing from their pains and ills.

We couldn’t cope. We couldn’t manage. Or, at least,
we didn’t in the moment. We had done so well
before! Going through the villages
and curing diseases everywhere we went. But…

But not this time. This time our weariness prevailed.
This time our tiny mustard seeds of faith had failed.
This time our envy – why weren’t we a part
of Andrew’s Holy Trinity? – sat upon our souls.

I’m glad you’re back, you and the Trinity,
but secretly I wonder now if I am really one
of yours, or if you’ve left the nine abandoned
for the three. Your words imply you’ve borne us long enough.

So, Jesus, in the hope that you love more than three…
So, Jesus, in the hope that you love more than twelve…
So, Jesus, in the hope that you love me…
I follow still, and swallow bitter tears.

A poem/prayer based on Luke 9:28-43a, the Revised Common Lectionary Gospel Reading for Year C, Transfiguration Sunday. 

The illustration is Jesus Heals a Demon-possessed Boy from a manuscript of the Gospels penned by scribe Ilyas Basim Khuri Bazzi Rahib ca. 1684. Photo by Walters Art Museum: Home pageInfo about artwork. Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18850856.

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