Poem For the Sunday Lectionary (Pentecost +10, Yr B)

PRESENCE
(John 6: 24-35)

We looked for him on the east side,
looked for him after eating
the loaves and fishes, after
they collected the leftovers, 12 baskets-full –

looked for him among the dreams
of a king of conquering power –

looked for him among the memories
of manna long ago –

dream-memories of a then,
of a when-God-was-with-us

      (the way we look for life in possessions,
      among belongings, career obsessions,
      our hearts sifting sand for hope and joy) –

and did not find him there;

so crossed the lake to find him
where he had left behind
the leftovers,
the once-upon-a-past

to share the life not found in heaping baskets,
not found in power or possessions,
yet satisfying the longing of the
searching, hungry heart –

the love, the grace, that
can best be known in now

being the bread from heaven
that is God with us today,
no matter the side of the lake
where we are found.

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Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Pentecost +9, Yr B)

FRAGMENTS
(John 6: 1-21)

Fragmentary our faith at times
and fragmentary our commitment;
fragmentary our hope at times
and fragmentary our prayers;
fragmentary our love at times
and fragmentary our sacrifice;
fragmentary our vision at times
and fragmented our lives.

Yet put into service for you, Lord,
nothing fragmentary is lost
and possibility abounds:

possibilities of faith
possibilities of commitment
possibilities of hope
possibilities of prayer
possibilities of love
possibilities of sacrifice
possibilities of vision
and possibilities of life.

Gather us up, possibility-making Lord.
Gather up all our fragments.

Let the abundance of all we can be
overflow.

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Pentecost +7, Yr B)

THE APPROACHING
(Mark 6: 14-29)

Lamp light catches the edge of the sword
just before its swing
and for an instant there is
a memory
of sunlight dancing on water
and droplets glittering in air
as his hands pour Jordan
over the bowed head of one
who, standing there,
has brought all hope
into one sharp focus,
and John smiles,
his heart already soaring
toward the approaching dove
as the blade begins to descend.

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Pentecost +6, Yr B)

“AND THEY TOOK OFFENSE AT HIM”
(Mark 6: 1-13)

Forgive us for being suspicious, son of Mary:
of change and new ideas we’re rather wary.
It’s not that you defy our expectations
(although it seems you do); our hesitation
comes from the fact that old ways fit so well
with our viewpoint on the world that to sell
us on a realm of grace will necessarily be tough.
Love must be earned – did you forget? – which may be rough,
but that’s always been our way in this old town.
Who knows where you got the notions that you’ve grown
to accept, this mercy you hand out like wealth
that’s free to all? Well, we happen to think our health
will be just fine, thank you all the same.
Visit us again some time. So glad you came.