Poem For The Sunday Lectionary – Advent 1, Year A (2019)

ABOUT THAT DAY AND HOUR NO ONE KNOWS
(Matthew 24: 36-44)

The ordinary morning, through the kitchen windows
the sun coming in, the sounds of the waking street.
Your daughter’s hands exploring
her neck, plaintive voice at the breakfast table:
“Mommy, what’s this lump right here?”

It’s the end of the shift, you’re thinking
of home, the softness of the waiting chair.
The foreman has called the entire line
to meet first here in the lunchroom.
His eyes go wet, there’s a quiet whisper.
“They’re shutting the plant,” he says.

The busy afternoon, an acre of papers
upon your desk, your eyes on the demanding
screen. The cell phone chimes,
words in your ear like a distant siren’s wail:
“You’d better come. Better make it quick.
There’s been a terrible accident.”

They’ve given you something for the immediate
pain, from the hall the sound of someone hurrying.
Somewhere a beeping machine.
The doctor stiff beside your bed, her face
as still as the wall. “I’m afraid,”
she begins, “the X-rays show. . .” and
your eyes trace the veins on your hands.

An ordinary day. An ordinary hour.
The earth in its usual turning.
The breath in your lungs,
the blood in your heart.
And suddenly the thief
breaking into your world.
Suddenly the cry. The bell.

Copyright ©2019 by Andrew King

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Lent 1, Yr A)

THE CROSS CASTS ITS SHADOW
(Matthew 4: 1-11)

Pressured by hunger’s insistent immediacy
the test is to resist mere expediency.
He tosses a stone from his dusty hand.

Urged to consider an evident mortality
the test is to embrace the human reality.
His feet stay firm upon the patient land.

Confronted by power’s alluring temptation
the test is to live out a servant’s station.
He chooses to reject an earthly command.

O needy ones, humble ones, mortal and frail,
consider the Saviour’s sacrificial scale.
See the cross cast its shadow on the desert sand.

Copyright ©2017 by Andrew King

Last Sunday of Epiphany – The Transfiguration (Yr A)

GOD UNSHELTERED
(Matthew 17: 1-9)

The mind would build its shelters,
its walls, its solid boundaries,

its holding pens for those mysteries
that challenge the edges of thought;

would seek to grasp, to domesticate
the God beyond comprehension;

would seek with dogma’s fences
to keep wonder dulled and distant,

the heart thus safely protected
from the love that burns like fire.

See it consuming Moses on his mountain,
see it sweeping Elijah into heaven,

see it shining like the sun from Jesus’ face,
this love that moves God, unsheltered,

down the mountain, to the road to the cross.

Copyright ©2017 by Andrew King

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Epiphany 7, Yr A)

TO SEE BEYOND DIVISION
(Matthew 5:38-48)

O Healer of all brokenness,
help us repent of vengefulness
and send your mercy as the sun and rain.
Giver of all gentleness,
lead us away from selfishness
that we may walk with all who dwell in pain.

Creator, grant us vision
to see beyond division,
seeing even enemies as beloved too.
May we with bold decision
bring forgiveness to fruition;
and by your gift of grace our selves renew,

that we, our own hearts mending,
to others your love lending,
embrace your kingdom coming into view.
Use us, and in our sending,
the seeds of peace thus tending,
we’ll lift a new world’s joyfulness to you.

Copyright ©2017 by Andrew King

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Epiphany 6, Yr A)

THE DISCIPLE SHIP
(Matthew 5: 21-37)

Built of the leaky wood of our imperfections,
nailed together with hopes and best intentions,
sails of prayer hoisted into baffling wind,
our ship small, but committed to begin

its journey of faith, we steer into the waves
toward goals of love and justice Jesus gave.
Misty as distant islands they might seem,
and though the waves and winds across our beam

sometimes toss us backward, and our tack
sometimes so wide we struggle to stay on track,
our little ship will sail on, held together
through all calm or stormy weather

by the merciful grace of God. For it’s Christ’s
work we’ve set ourselves to do, Christ’s
course of sacrificial love we sail –
our guiding compass the cross. It does not fail.

Copyright ©2017 by Andrew King

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

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