Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Advent 1, Yr B)

(Mark 13: 24-37)

From the fig tree learn this lesson:
budding leaves say summer’s near,
sign of joy in time of dryness,
sign of hope in time of fear.

Tree of joy bloom in our sorrow,
tree of hope bloom in despair,
tree of peace bloom from tomorrow;
show us that there’s new life there.

Show us those who wait for justice
will not have to wait in vain.
Show the hungering and thirsting
they will find release from pain.

Word of joy speak in our sorrow,
word of hope speak in despair,
word of peace speak from tomorrow;
point us to the new life there.

Help us stay awake and watching
till the weary night is o’er.
Help us be alert and faithful
to the One who’s at the door.

Lord of joy break through our sorrow,
Lord of hope break through despair,
Lord of peace come from tomorrow;
lead us to the new life there.

© Copyright 2014 by Andrew King

NOTE: If you have interest in this as an Advent song, allow me to suggest further verses for each week, each based on one of the lectionary readings, which could be substituted in turn for the final verse (“Help us stay awake”) above:

See the grass, how soon it withers;
see the flower quickly fade.
But God’s word will stand forever,
faithful to the promise made.
  (Isaiah 40: 1-11)

Wear the garland, not the ashes;
turn your mourning into joy;
clothe yourselves in robes of gladness
for salvation comes today.
  (Isaiah 61: 1-4, 8-11)

Hear the angel greet the virgin:
“You will bear a holy Son,
he will be a king eternal,
David’s heir, the promised One.”
  (Luke 1: 26-38)

4 thoughts on “Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Advent 1, Yr B)

  1. preacher1120 says:

    Some tune pairings (87.87 D): Abbot’s Leigh, Hyfrydol (my fave for this), Hymn to Joy, In Babilone, Beach Spring (2nd fave), and Deck the Halls (which is nice in a slightly slower tempo).

  2. Charis Varnadore says:

    As a poet myself, I was taken by your poem… that is. until I got to the third verse. What gave me pause is instead of waiting, the imperative that we, as followers of Jesus, must be agents in the pursuit of justice, especially at this time with the situation in Ferguson. Just as important is the fact that we as Christians must lead sacrificial lives that affords us to feed the hungered.

    • Andy King says:

      Well put, Charis. I would hope that being “faithful to the One who’s at the door” (4th verse) would in fact mean exactly, as you say, being Christ’s agents in pursuing justice, feeding the hungry, and more. I believe that is a fair interpretation of the gospel passage that my poem is based upon — that while we wait for the full consummation of God’s reign, we must remain active and alert and not be found asleep when the “Master of the house” returns.

  3. […] New Life There, © Copyright 2014 by Andrew King from a Poetic Kind of Place […]

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