Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Pentecost +8)

(Matthew 14: 13-21)

He came ashore into crowds:
the crowds with little peace
the crowds with little joy
the crowds with little hope

with hurts unnumbered
to bring to his caring

in a place like desert
a place like emptiness
a place of the aching heart

and the hour became late
and the shadows lengthened
and hunger was deeply felt.

Where shall crowds go
in this hour like emptiness,
in this time of warring,
in the gathering shadows of despair?

Where shall we buy
the hope that strengthens,
the love that nourishes,
the peace we so desperately need?

See how our baskets feel nearly empty,
how in our own hurting,
weariness and hunger
we believe we have little to give.

But hear, in the words
of the one who is kindness,
whose compassion reaches
beyond the setting sun,

the hope our hearts long for,
on which we can feed:

hear the invitation
to share even our weakness
for it contains the promise

that that there is no emptiness
where the Source of all life
does not flow;

that there is no place where
death’s shadows are falling
where the Redeemer of life
does not go.

We can feed upon that promise,
promise of sufficiency,
promise of despair overcome –
feed upon grace that is fullness of joy.
We can share, eat, and be full.

And there is plenty for the pilgrimage home.

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