Poem For the Sunday Lectionary (Epiphany 5, Yr A)

CITY SET ON A HILL
(Matthew 5: 13-20)

The city set on a hill
is a sanctuary city,
is built of strong bricks
of compassion,
is grounded on the bedrock
of justice,
has opened its gates
toward mercy,
and its windows are wide
to the sunrise of love
that blesses the city
every morning.

The city set on a hill
is a shining city,
is ablaze with the fireflame
of kindness,
is lit with the radiance
of forgiveness,
lights up its nighttimes
with hopefulness,
and its rooftops reflect
the warm glow of love
that spills from the city
every morning.

The city set on a hill
is a populous city,
is as wide as God’s grace
in Christ Jesus,
is peopled with those led
by God’s Spirit,
has walls that are not walls
but God’s welcome,
and its tree-bowered streets
lead to peace, in the love
that is the city,
singing in the morning.

Copyright ©2017 by Andrew King

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Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Epiphany 4, Yr A)

BEATITUDES
(Matthew 5: 1-12)

These words a path
that winds to flowing streams
These words the stream
that grows to form a sea
the sea of kindness
in whose depths there gleams
becoming what we’re meant to be.

These words the soil
in which new life may root
These words the roots
from which grows a tree
a tree of peace
whose healing fruit
holds the seeds to set loving free.

These words the rays
that bring the newness of dawn
These words the dawn
that flames into day
the day of rejoicing
with the singer and song
whose words are life, and truth, and way.

Copyright ©2017 by Andrew King

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Epiphany 3, Yr A)

WHY YOU LEAVE YOUR NETS AND FOLLOW
(Matthew 4: 12-23)

Because your hope for that kingdom
has teased the edge of your thoughts
the way waters tease the edge of the shore

because his words stir that hope
in the depths of your soul
the way wind stirs the waves of the sea

because you sense that his love
like a sea without bounds
is as large as the needs of the world

and because he’s called you by name
and the heart in you swims
toward that love, toward joy, toward home

Copyright ©2017 by Andrew King

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Epiphany 2, Yr A)

LAMB, WE LONG TO KNOW YOU
(John 1: 29-42)

Rabbi, we wish to learn from you:
tell us, where are you staying?
Our spirits near exhaustion, bent beneath our trophies,
our car wheels spinning, phones and laptops flickering,
the earth below our houses reeling from our heat,
we think our wisdom great as soaring mountains, as suns,
yet we have learned so little of life’s gentle meaning,
our weapon-wielding words betray our souls’ deep neediness,
our grasping hands disclose only desperate emptiness,
listen as our hearts reach out for new beginnings:
Teacher, we wish to learn from you.
Tell us, where are you staying?

Messiah, we need to follow you:
Show us, where are you leading?
We have walked blind alleyways of selfishness and hatred,
we have fallen into pits of bitterness and anger,
the hungry cry out from the ditches we’ve created,
the powerful push the weak into smaller, smaller corners,
voices of pain are echoing in unhearing hallways,
the digital city leans over lives with thin foundations,
hear us as our hearts reach out for fresh direction:
Messiah, we need to follow you.
Show us, where are you leading?

Lamb of God, we long to know you:
Bring us as guests into your dwelling.
In you we see in human form the fullness of God’s caring,
in you we see the majesty of grace forever shining,
compassion’s face, mercy’s hands that bear the scars of loving,
your flesh a curtain opened that leads to God’s own presence,
sharing with us our struggles, embracing us in our brokenness,
your words and way a path that offers peace and wholeness,
hear us as our hearts reach out for transformation:
Lamb, we long to know you.
Bring us as guests into your dwelling.

Copyright ©2017 by Andrew King

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Epiphany, Yr A)

BRIGHT STAR
(Isaiah 60: 1-6; Matthew 2: 1-12)

And where have you gone, bright star,
you that shone like an invitation,

like a beckoning, like a summoning,
like a signal of something beginning;

where have you gone in the nighttime,
in the distances of murky darkness

that hides from our eyes the suffering,
the weeping, the praying, the struggling,

our eyes grown weary with watching
for signs of God coming to bless?

We have looked for you again in our hoping,
we have searched for you in our wandering. . .

Could it be, bright star, that we are looking
in wrong places, in the wrong direction,

that you are found no longer in the heavens,
no more in dark meadows of sky,

but instead you rise on horizons
of love’s possibilities within us –

and that we can be the shining signal
for which others are hoping and seeking,

that we can be the radiant beacon
that is sign of God’s presence and caring,

that we can invite the wanderers
toward a warm place of welcome,

as we share with them the journey
that leads to God’s joyful kingdom. . .

Love’s light, bright star within us,
will you rise in our hearts today?

Copyright ©2017 by Andrew King

For those who might be using the gospel lesson for the Baptism of Jesus, here are some previous posts.