Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Lent 5, Yr A)

COME FROM THE FOUR WINDS, O BREATH
(Ezekiel 37: 1-14, John 11: 1-45)

All across the valley, scattered like stones,
lie the remnants of life in dry piles of bones,
and the flesh that was joy is long, long gone.
Shall the bones live again?
Ask the wind for its song.

The bones are as white as the teeth of the sun;
the bones are reminders that hope is all done,
and the tears of our grief are flowing on and on.
Shall the bones live again?
Ask the wind for its song.

Tears flow in the valleys in the lands of death,
but the Spirit is coming with new life-giving breath:
flesh again will clothe bone where once there was none.
And we will stand again
to join the wind in its song.

See the Christ at the graveside, Christ with his tears;
hear the voice that speaks love to our pain and our fears,
and hear his command
to let the shroud be undone.
In Christ we live again,
sings the wind in its song.

Copyright ©2017 by Andrew King

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

HELP US TO SEE
(John 9: 1-41)

What would we see, Lord,
if you healed our blindness today?

Would we see you at work
in the ones we think to be sinful?

Would we see you at work
among the outcasts of the world?

Would we see your love
for the poor, the homeless, the hungry?

Would we see your compassion
for the weak, the helpless, the afraid?

Would we see you
in the stranger, the foreigner, the refugee?

Would we see your likeness – can we grasp it –
in each one of ourselves?

Help us to see, Lord. Heal our blindness today.

Copyright ©2017 by Andrew King

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

WAITING AT THE WELL
(John 4: 5-42)

How often have I come here,
Jesus, to this place of
old faith and fresh neediness,
bent down with the burden
of my failures, stumbling
in my thirsting for hopefulness,
the cracked vessel of my heart
leaking grief. . .

how often have I come here
not expecting you in the heat
of my pressures,
not expecting you in the stress
of my confusion,
yet meeting you
who offers water to the helpless,
who quenches the raw thirst
for acceptance,
who gives the deep sustenance
of kindness without payment,
the nourishment of love without limit. . .

how often have you met me,
refilling my heart, leaving me
astonished again in the depths of my being
that you waited here
for me, even me?

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 (Easter 7, Yr C)

THAT ALL MAY BE ONE
(John 17: 20-26)

May your people be one
as the seas are one
though salting a thousand shores.

May your people be one
as the wind is one
though whisper, though rush, though roar.

May your people be one
as the birds are one
though they sing a thousand songs.

May your people be one
as our prayers are one
though voiced in a thousand tongues.

May your people be one
as the light is one
though made of the colours of the rainbow.

May your people be one
as your love is one –
your love for all people, we know.

May your people be one
as you are one:
you in Christ, and Christ in you.

May your people be one
as the Spirit is one,
moving in us, moving through.

Copyright ©2016 by Andrew King

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

HOW TO NOT LET YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED
(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)

GOSPEL WITHOUT WALLS
(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 said, will truly mark 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