THE TABLE WITH NO EDGES
We will sit down where feet tire from the journey.
We will sit down where grief bends the back.
We will sit down under roofs wrecked by artillery.
We will sit down where cries sound from cracked walls.
We will sit down where heat beats like hammers.
We will sit down where flesh shivers in cold.
We will sit down where bread bakes on thin charcoal.
We will sit down where there is no grain in baked fields.
We will sit down with those who dwell in ashes.
We will sit down in shadow and in light.
We will sit down, making friends out of strangers.
We will sit down, our cup filled with new wine.
We will sit down and let love flow like language.
We will sit down where speech needs no words.
We will sit together at the table with no edges.
We will sit to share one loaf, in Christ’s name, in one world.
© Copyright 2015 by Andrew King
IF YOUR FOOT CAUSES YOU TO STUMBLE. . .
(Mark 9: 38-50)
These words of seeming mutilation:
how strange to us, the exaggeration
for heightened effect. The need for change
is what they’re about – to rearrange
one’s attitudes, actions, use of speech,
habitual ways. If what we reach
for is not to serve someone in love
but to serve ourselves (choosing to shove
aside another’s dignity or need),
then it’s our selfishness and greed
that cause us from the path to fall
(forgive the feet); it is the stubborn call
of pride that just won’t bend
(and not the hand) that most offends.
If our path from God’s has swerved,
look well inside, to that which serves
the will. There seek healing. And maybe start
with where most hurting dwells – the heart.
THE LOVE THAT EMBRACES ALL OF US
(Mark 9: 30-37)
The light is passed from face to face
as if from flower to flower
as children, hand in hand, race
to greet the one in whose embrace
the smallest finds acceptance. Power
is not so often used to serve the weak,
the under-valued vulnerable,
the helpless. But Jesus seeks
his followers to bend to serve, speaks
of being welcomed among the little
and the least; welcoming the very One
who sent him. Have we yearned
for greatness? Here it is, among
these shining faces; and in Christ’s gentle song,
the love that embraces all of us, unearned.
Image: JESUS MAFA. Jesus welcomes the children, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN.
AND THOSE WHO LOSE THEIR LIFE WILL SAVE IT
(Mark 8: 27-38)
I opened the curtain this morning:
the sun was giving itself away
with a brilliant smile.
I walked by a stream this morning:
the water was giving itself away
with a gentle song.
I greeted a friend this morning:
joy was giving itself away
with the warmth of touch.
I thought of your cross this morning:
how you gave yourself away
in holy love.
May I become such grain this morning:
living in what is given away
for another’s bread.