Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Easter 6, Yr C)

(John 14: 23-29)

First you make a small opening just above your heart
and then, with great delicacy, withdraw a small part

and hold it to the light for inspection. Are you dismayed
to observe its frailty, its flaws? Just now it made

a sound like the indrawn breath of a child right before
it cries, in that moment it discovers that the more

of the world you come to know, the more frightening
it becomes. And not just fear, but guilt, harsh as lightning,

worry, grief, regret – all add their aching; you want
to hold your heart tighter in its trouble, but can’t

with tighter grip calm down the trembling. Yet just when
you might despair, you recall Christ’s promise once again

that God’s Spirit is with you here, and that Christ’s peace
is yours to claim. It is there like two more hands, each

more gentle than your own, holding your heart with you;
comfort and strength unfold their flower, courage too,

and you feel your anxiety unravel at last.
In the warm embrace of Christ’s love, letting the past

be past, mindful of the present moment alone,
you rest your peace-filled heart in a safe place. You’re home.

Copyright ©2016 by Andrew King

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Easter 5, Yr C)

(Acts 11: 1-18; John 13: 31-35)

“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall. . .” – Robert Frost

Some One there is who ever loves us all,
whose grace declares none of us unclean,
in whose life and death barriers come down:
Jesus is one who doesn’t love a wall.

To love our neighbour, near and far, our call,
and more: to love as Jesus loved, for that,
he stated, truly marks his followers.
Jesus is one who doesn’t love a wall.

And this Peter discovered in the fall
of a rigid prejudice held so long
only the voice of God could shake it loose –
our Lord is one who doesn’t love a wall.

May this, too, be our vision, seeing all
as God sees, undivided by our fears,
resentments, our old sinful selfishness,
God-graced to share the gospel without walls.

Copyright ©2016 by Andrew King

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Easter 4, Yr C)

(John 10: 22-30)

Help us to hear your voice, gentle Shepherd,
when the wolves of hate howl and swarm.
Help us to hear your voice when the sounds
of our own anxious cries rise like storm.

Help us to listen to you, gentle Shepherd,
through our raging, our anguish, our grief.
Help us to hear your love’s invitation
as you bid us to dwell in your peace.

Help us to listen, as the high peaks listen for
the snow melt’s murmur of spring.
Help us to listen, as the deep woods listen for
the wind and the song it brings.

Help us to listen, as the still lake listens for
the kiss of the sun at dawn.
Help us to listen, as the low clouds listen for
the whisper of mist on the pond.

Help us to listen, as the soft earth listens for
the rain in the fronds of the fern.
Help us to listen, as the pale moon listens for
the day to make its return.

Help us to listen, as the longing heart listens for
the voice of the friend at the door.
Help us to listen, gentle Shepherd, and listening,
learn to hear you better, and more.

Copyright ©2016 by Andrew King

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Easter 3, Yr C)

(Acts 9: 1-20)

Is it only there, far away and then,
or could it be any place,
could it be this place,
could it be here and this hour?

Could it be you staring into truth as into
the sun, the searing shock of awareness
burning away what you thought you’d known,
until all you now can see is the fire of light?

Could it be your eyes trying to adjust
to truth’s reversal of shadow,
the inside-out reshuffle of all your certainty,
the upside-down disruption of rightness and way?

And there is the voice in which truth speaks
echoing in your mind like music
but whose words sting like hammers
against the stony surfaces of your soul.

Is it yours, the shiver of anxiety felt
as familiar walls of comfort begin to crumble?
The waiting in the darkened room of sorrow
for the guilt of previous prejudice to start to fade?

But now may your hands unclench, gentle;
the sea of your heart lie quiet, calm;
now may your mind become cup, open,
held in stillness like someone to be fed.

Now what you know is there is more truth
prepared for you. More insight, more
learnings to come. But now you are ready,
you are waiting, unblinking.

For God to visit as friend
to listening friend.

Copyright ©2016 by Andrew King