Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Pentecost +21)

INTO THE RIVER
(Joshua 3: 7-17)

Take the covenant with you into the river –
the boundary river, the risky river between
future and past, between fear and hope,
whose swirling depths can dislodge your feet –

take the covenant with you into the river –
the river that is all that is out of control,
restless and relentless and gnawing its banks,
whose wild floods can drown field and home –

take the covenant with you into the river –
chilling and destructive, peaceful and refreshing,
the river that is world, full of mystery and song,
whose waters can bless like renewal of life –

take the covenant with you into all of your rivers –
let it rest on your shoulders when you take
your steps, let it remind you of a promise,
let it remind of God’s presence,

that you do not cross the boundaries alone,
that you are not abandoned in the raging floods,
that in the depths that would knock you
off your careful feet, God’s love is anchor

to hold and to guide, and waters of danger
shall not overwhelm, and waters of chaos
may bring newness of life, and out of the noise
of rushing waters may rise a beautiful song.

Take the covenant with you.
Watch even the river become
servant of love.

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