Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Sunday of The Epiphany, Yr B)

(Matthew 2: 1-12)

Not every journey toward the Christ
starts like the magi’s in darkness,
but there might come
a time when, in the empty hours
of an otherwise unremarkable night,
you have happened to look up at the usual sky,
and noticed, almost by accident, between
passages of gray beasts of slow-moving cloud
the bright bloom of a strange star flowering,
and something begins to open a little
somewhere beneath your skin,
as if that new wedge of light in the sky
had inserted itself into your soul,
not enough to cause you any hurt, but just
enough that you feel a pang, the twinge
of something like longing, as if your eyes
in the silence have become ears
in the darkness, and you are hearing
a holy summons,
distant but ringing like a silver trumpet
in the chambers of your listening heart,
and you gaze at that star where it stands
in the sky dropping dust on the night horizon,
and you think it might be signalling
a holy Presence in the world
and a road you can take to meet it,
and that such a road, lit with such promise,
might lead to a great adventure,
where life becomes challenged
and changed and as new as the sky
above a better world.
And so you pack, and you leave
on this journey, this journey
where Christ is not only waiting
but walking your road at your side,
and you follow that light
as it closes the distance,
as it reaches deep within you,
touching gifts
you carry in your hand.

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Advent 4, Yr B)

(Luke 1: 26-38)

Behold the moment that is not of time’s evolving,
nor of history’s wandering choice of destinations,
placing as it had into memory’s darkened pockets
the shadows cast by years of loss and pain,
the endlessly cycling wars, the many defeats,
hope itself a distant memory from a time before
nostalgia, before the longing for a fallen line
of kings, the promises made by prophets seeming
porous, fragile, fragmented as a broken wall
that crumbles to the relentless press of time.

Behold the moment that is not of human making,
not a product of political manipulation
nor of the powerful’s careful calculations,
coming as it does to a woman on the margins
of a society and a world where oppression
was a fact much like the night: implacable,
unassailable, and surely as eternal as the hills.
Behold the moment that is not of human choosing,
selecting no one who would offer any power
to shake the rulers, mighty, secure upon their thrones.

Behold the moment that is a doorway, a threshold
upon which history itself has paused its stride,
poised to take a new unguessed direction, sensing,
like someone whose eyes have seen dawn coming
on a different horizon, that this moment is God’s creation,
the earth turning as it did before but light appearing
where it did not, sounds of a distant song of joy
beginning where song had not; and from beyond the rim
of the shadows of grief there rises like the first day’s sun
a new day’s gleam, new life’s birth, a new way, new world.

Copyright ©2014 by Andrew King

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Advent 3, Yr B)

(John 1: 6-8, 19-28)

Voice of John,
die not away.

Among us stands one
we do not know:

still point the way.

In our world of dread,
in our world of death,
in our longing lives

still point the way.

Where love is lost,
where anger soars,
to tear-stung eyes

still point the way.

Where peace is not,
where joys are few,
in our broken cries

still point the way.

In our search for truth,
in our search for hope,
amid the world’s lies

still point the way.

Among us stands one
we need to know;
our questions rise.

Still point the way.

Voice of John,
die not away.
Be heard today.