Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Easter 5)

(John 14: 1-14)

We thought you wore the skin
of thunder, spoke in verbs of stormwind,
majestic and mighty as lightning
upon summits,
as the cold and silent fire
of distant stars; hidden behind
a curtain in the temple,
an untouchable invisibility approachable
by the highest priest only,
hands freshly blooded
from an altar.

And then somehow the veil was parted:
we gained glimpses of the glory
of the nearness of your love
as the hurting were healed,
the outcast befriended,
the lost restored,
and everywhere the powers of death
had their dominion challenged,
by the son of a Jewish carpenter
from Galilee.

If you have seen me,
said Jesus, you have seen the Father.

And we do see you there,
in the Gospels,
healing in synagogues
and in houses,
feeding the hungry on hillsides,
embracing the lepers and the sinners,
turning over the tables
in the temple,
nailed to a cross of injustice
but risen,
greeting women at
the graveside,
sharing bread with your friends,
the dominion of death
Approachable, reachable,
the accessible God,
visible in the skin of Jesus.

But you are not done,
not content to wear
such skin only in the pages
of the Gospels.
The many-coloured, multi-shaped
body of Christ ā€“ the Church
wide as the nations of the world ā€“
bears your image where it acts
in your love:
still feeding,
still healing,
still teaching mercy,
making you visible

not in great
structures nor
in high saints alone,
but in the ordinary
persons in the pews,
as here, on a day like any other,
a woman making dinner,
and packing it,
knocking on the door of a neighbour
newly home from surgery for cancer:
the face of the one receiving it
lit with thankfulness,
the face of the one freely giving
like the face
of God.

6 thoughts on “Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Easter 5)

  1. Sam Goodes says:

    Andrew – thanks for this poem. It spoke powerfully to me this week as I was wrestling with the text. Our Federal Government brought down a budget on Tuesday night which has left me wondering where any sense of compassion has gone – we can not, it seems, rely on public policy to care for those in need. It will become even more important that we, as the hands and feet of Christ on earth, be there for those who are in the greatest need. And that we might see the face of God in that other is my greatest prayer…

  2. Stacy says:

    Thank you, Andrew. Your poem was the missing piece of my sermon, and I gladly credit you for so beautifully showing us the Way of Jesus.

  3. mathilda georges says:

    I am preparing to preach a sermon for a funeral this morning. I came across your poem. It spoke volumes tome. I used it as the text for my sermon.

  4. Michelle S. says:

    I love the conclusion of your story…a woman making food for a sick neighbor. Jesus as real as it gets! Thank you.

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