Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (All Saints Day, Yr B)

EVEN NOW
(John 11: 32-44)

Even now,
in the shadowed
tomb of hopelessness,

even now
in the darkness
of the grave of grief,

even now
in the echoing
cave of loneliness,

even now
when pain
knows little relief,

even now
you can bring
light to the darkness,

even now
you can set free
the bound,

even now
you can roll stones
from the entrances

of all that
keeps joy
underground;

even now
you are Creator
of new tomorrows,

even now
you are Redeemer
of lost todays,

even now
Lord, bring
healing to our sorrows,

even now
Lord, let your love
win the day.

See also “Love That Has No Limits” (A Poem For The Sunday Lectionary, Lent 5)

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Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Pentecost +22, Yr B)

BARTIMAEUS
(Mark 10: 46-52)

Where have you been today, Bartimaeus?
“I’ve been in a world of hunger and fear and darkness.
I’ve been by the side of the road I name despair.
I’ve been cast off, like something beyond repair.”

What have you heard today, Bartimaeus?
“I’ve heard the pain of those who cry for justice.
I’ve heard the pain of those who cry for peace.
I’ve heard someone is near who brings release.”

What do you need today, Bartimaeus?
“I need to know that joy can rise from ashes.
I need to know that hope can rise from grief.
I need to see the sun touch the lifted leaf.”

What did you do today, Bartimaeus?
“I called to the Son of David who comes to save us.
I called to the One who mercy freely gives.
I called to the One whose power opened my grave.”

Where are you going today, Bartimaeus?
“To be with Christ as he brings new days to others.
To follow the One who’s brought me this new sight.
To share with all God’s people this new life.”

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Pentecost +21, Yr B)

NOT TO BE SERVED BUT TO SERVE
(Mark 10: 35-45)

Is that you, Lord,
changing the diaper in the nursing home,
holding the spoon for the woman in her wheelchair,
wiping down the toilet and the floor;

is that you
serving the dinner at the homeless shelter,
sorting the cans at the food bank,
mowing the aged neighbour’s lawn;

is that you, Lord,
bandaging the wounds of the bomb victim,
erecting the tent for the refugees,
handing out the water and the food;

is that you
driving the patient to the treatment center,
sitting through the night with the family,
making the call to the forgotten friend;

is that you, Lord,
lighting the candle in the darkness,
keeping vigil for compassion and justice,
loving in us and through us and with us

until the world that you love has been changed?

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Pentecost +20, Yr B)

THE QUESTIONING
(Mark 10: 17-31)

The day breaks gray,
the light uncertain
as if unsure of its purpose,
as if making up its mind
about morning; it eases
to a window where a weary
man is leaning, wakeful, eyes
restless, scanning an inner
horizon where thoughts
that will not sleep
cluster, diverge, repeat
their incessant questioning.

The light wanders his rooms,
collects glints from the filigree,
the fine silken fabrics,
the ornaments of wealth,
but his eyes do not follow
its path. With clear memory’s vision
what he sees are other eyes:
the pair that beheld him
yesterday on the road.

“One thing you lack,” Jesus said,
to him who lacked for nothing.
“Sell what you own and follow me.”
And there was warmth in Jesus’ eyes,
there was love for him who questioned
about inheriting eternal life.
But then
such sadness in their depths
as he turned away.
Now today his thoughts, unsettled,
gray as dull daybreak,
interrogate the hollow
in his soul.

Behind him in his rooms
stretch the trophies of the years,
the gathered costly trinkets
that once so warmed his heart.
But their colours seem now cold
and today he is uncertain
about what is and is not “treasure”.
And he cannot turn his face
from the window.
He cannot
turn his gaze from the road.