Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Advent 1, Yr. C)

BIRCH TREE AND CEDAR
(Luke 21: 25-36)

“Look at the fig tree and all the trees. . .”

The yellow leaves of the silver birch
gather in breeze-blown clusters.

Above, the naked branches bend
in late autumn’s chilling wind.

There is a prophecy in those branches:
winter’s near. Blasts of snow. Bitter

air and the frozen ground. The leafless
tree will mourn the loss of all

that was green in summer. Death
will seem to reign. But beside the birch

stands another tree: a still green
leafy cedar. Sparrows in its branches.

The dead birch leaves softly rustle
as the rake moves in their midst,

but the cedar’s branches whisper too,
and they too have a message. And it speaks

to the birch, and it speaks to me, of
the promise of a coming summer,

witness of something greater than death,
both now and beyond all winter.

O Loving One who knows our losses,
who knows the cold of our death;

O Coming One who brings new life,
renew your promises yet.

May we birch-tree people have an evergreen heart,
celebrate in winter your spring;

giving thanks for your presence, both here today
and in the future you yet will bring.

Copyright ©2018 by Andrew King

Advertisements

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (The Reign Of Christ, Yr B)

PONTIUS PILATE POSTS TO HIS WEBLOG
(John 18: 33-37 (38a))

Had someone before me today
who some claimed
that he claimed
to be a king.
Some kind of Jewish messiah.

He did say he had a kingdom,
but one “not from this world”.

For a moment – a moment of weakness –
I wondered what that could mean, and if,
whatever it meant, it could be true.
Or partly true, or, of course, not true at all.

But then I remembered
I don’t care much about truth –
though lies can be a really useful tool.
But I don’t believe
that much truth really matters.

What matters is domination.
Power, however you keep it.
The legions I command.
The fear I can inspire.
The crosses I can nail my enemies to.

So who cares what kind of kingdom
this Jesus fellow has –
not I, unless
it comes backed up with swords.

He’s on a cross right now.
As I write this, he’s dying.
I doubt for him
any truth
could matter more.

Copyright ©2018 by Andrew King

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Pentecost +26, Yr B)

PRAY FOR US, HANNAH
(1 Samuel 1: 4-20)

Pray for us, Hannah, in our bleakness, our barrenness,
God’s realm in us slow in coming to birth.
Pray for us here in our struggles, our brokenness,
yearning for justice to come to the earth.

Pray for us, Hannah, in the world’s night of lovelessness,
around us the hurting so often unheard.
Pray that all those who cry out in their helplessness
receive for their cries an answering word.

Pray for us, Hannah: the foundations are shaking
that underlie hope for a new world to come.
Pray that we discover God’s will in us waking,
calling forth faithful response to love’s drum.

Copyright ©2018 by Andrew King

For a poem on the Gospel lesson for this Sunday,
may I suggest “With Painful Groans

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Pentecost +25, Yr B)

CHOICES OF GOD
(Ruth 3: 1-5, 4:13-17)

“But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise;
God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong” 1 Cor. 1:27

How foolish of you, God, to choose
these weak ones, these widows,

these powerless in their poverty,
these vulnerable, so needy,

migrants seeking refuge,
landless, needing shelter,
hungry and hurting for food.

What use can the weak ever possibly be
to your hope for an earth made new,
your will for a world transformed?

What use can they be, so often ignored
by the rich, abused by the strong?

But we see these seemingly
insignificant women
become agents of your power in the world,

agents of history, progenitors of change,
contributors to our hoped-for salvation.

How foolish your choices
may seem to us, Holy One.
Yet how wise and how mighty
in the end.

Copyright ©2018 by Andrew King

DECLARATION

in memory of the Tree Of Life synagogue victims
Oct. 27, 2018

Today let there be sounded one sorrow,
sorrow from the depths of all loving,
sorrow in the unity of all caring,
sorrow for the lost and for the hurting,
and may it sound as a summons and call.

Today let there be constructed one city,
built of the bricks of compassion,
grounded on the bedrock of justice,
opening its doors toward kindness,
with welcome in place of a wall.

Today let there be united one people,
hearts beating one blood through all bodies,
hands holding hands in one commitment,
heads turned to the light of one horizon,
the horizon of wholeness and peace meant for all.

Copyright ©2018 by Andrew King