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, 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.

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Christmas +1, Yr A)

THE SHADOW FALLS PAST CHRISTMAS
Matthew 2: 13-23

Hear the broken-hearted weeping
in the blooded streets, see
the frightened family fleeing
the night so gouged and torn
with loss. We cannot forget
the shadow that falls past Christmas.

Sometimes the tree falls down and the lights
are crushed. The car goes off the road
driving home from the party. Storm
sets in, shutting down festive celebration.

Shadow falls past Christmas:
the Herod dark of hatred, shattered
lives and homes, cruelty
and the killing power of greed;
dreams of joy chased down by fear and grief.

Infants dying of neglect and malnutrition,
oppression claiming victims every day,
and so frequently corruption unabated:
the songs of hope that came like dreams
seem easily defeated.

But see the infant Christ
not among the murdered.
Untrapped by hatred’s reach, by
greed’s cold grasp, by the power
of death so constantly pursuing,
infant Love lives on, the hope
and will for justice and peace
persisting.

Shadow falls past Christmas. But
see the light still shining;
faith and hope still singing; the contest
for the human heart goes on.

May we, as Joseph did, keep
listening to the words of dreams.
Keep moving the feet
toward morning’s hope,
free as a gift of love,
however distant the dawn.

And may the darkness fail to chase us down.

Copyright © by Andrew King
Reprinted from First Sunday After Christmas, 2013

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

DREAM
(Matthew 1: 18-25)

O Joseph, dream for us:
In this world of so much darkness,
dream God-with-us to be our light.

In this world of so much sorrow,
dream God-with-us to be our joy.

In this world of so much fearing,
dream God-with-us to be our courage.

In this world of so much selfishness,
dream God-with-us to teach compassion.

In this world of so much hating,
dream God-with-us to teach us love.

In this world of so much violence,
dream God-with-us to lead us to peace.

In this world of many, many voices
dream God-with-us to be God’s Word.

In this world of so much confusion,
dream God-with-us to be our guide.

In this world of so much despairing,
dream God-with-us to be our hope.

In this world of so much emptiness,
dream God-with-us to bring fullness of life.

O Joseph, dream for us.

And may we awake
to discover the dream
has truly come into the world.

Copyright ©2016 by Andrew King

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

STILL HUNGRY FOR THE DREAM
(Isaiah 11: 1-10, Matthew 3: 1-12, Romans 15: 4-13)

See the vision, hear the message:
wolf and lamb lying down in peace,
nothing hurting, nothing wronging,
war and violence all ceased.

Jesse’s stump shall grow new blossom,
from that root new branch and leaf,
come to judge the world with justice,
come to heal the needy’s grief.

          Prophet, can you help our hearts,
          so hungry for the dream we’re waiting for?
          Prophet, can you help us turn
          toward that dawn, toward the open door?

In the wilderness a preacher
burns our souls like desert sand,
calling for fruit of repentance,
says the kingdom is at hand.

There is One, says John, who’s coming,
who’s the One that we desire.
He will bathe you, not in Jordan,
but in the Holy Spirit’s fire.

          Prophet, can you help our hearts,
          so hungry for the dream we’re waiting for?
          Prophet, can you help us turn
          toward that dawn, toward the open door?

Open up the heart to hoping:
Christ the light that leads to day.
Hear the message, see the vision,
as the prophets point the way.

          Saviour, can you help our hearts,
          still hungry for the dream we’re waiting for?
          Saviour, help us now to turn
          toward that dawn, toward the open door.

Copyright ©2016 by Andrew King

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

NOW IS THE MOMENT
(Romans 13: 11-14)

I thought I heard a noise just now
like a wind rising, like a sea rolling

I thought I heard a note just now
like metal beaten, like a hammer ringing

I thought I heard a sound just now
like a child laughing, like a woman singing

I thought I heard the world just now
and it was crying, it was pleading

I thought I heard a voice just now
and it was calling, it was summoning

then I knew what I heard was change just now
for night will be ending and day coming

and I knew what I heard was the Lord just now
saying “Now is the time for awaking.”

Copyright ©2016 by Andrew King

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Sunday of The Epiphany, Yr B)

THE STAR SIGNAL
(Matthew 2: 1-12)

Not every journey toward the Christ
starts like the magi’s in darkness,
but there might come
a time when, in the empty hours
of an otherwise unremarkable night,
you have happened to look up at the usual sky,
and noticed, almost by accident, between
passages of gray beasts of slow-moving cloud
the bright bloom of a strange star flowering,
and something begins to open a little
somewhere beneath your skin,
as if that new wedge of light in the sky
had inserted itself into your soul,
not enough to cause you any hurt, but just
enough that you feel a pang, the twinge
of something like longing, as if your eyes
in the silence have become ears
in the darkness, and you are hearing
a holy summons,
distant but ringing like a silver trumpet
in the chambers of your listening heart,
and you gaze at that star where it stands
in the sky dropping dust on the night horizon,
and you think it might be signalling
a holy Presence in the world
and a road you can take to meet it,
and that such a road, lit with such promise,
might lead to a great adventure,
where life becomes challenged
and changed and as new as the sky
above a better world.
And so you pack, and you leave
on this journey, this journey
where Christ is not only waiting
but walking your road at your side,
and you follow that light
as it closes the distance,
as it reaches deep within you,
touching gifts
you carry in your hand.