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 (Advent 3, Yr C)

I THE STONE
(Luke 3: 7-18)

I am stone, hard, unpolished, rough,
trying to claim special favour and place.
O Lord, can you change my flint heart enough
that it become a fertile field for grace?

I am the tree whose raw fruit often proves
to be unsweet to others. Can you take
your love’s blade to my selfish roots, move
me, graft your grace into all that I make?

I the grain shell-bound; any useful seed
hidden in me, Lord, requires your sifting.
Will you remove my chaff that I might feed
your hungry, any whose heart needs lifting?

Yes, bathe me, flame me with your love, I pray,
that, by your Spirit given life anew,
I may light bright fires of your sacred praise
and live to serve your will in all I do.

Copyright © 2015 by Andrew King

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

HERE WE COME, JOHN
(Luke 3: 1-6, Luke 1: 68-79, Malachi 3: 1-4)

Here we come, John, to you in the wilderness
walking hot sands in the empire of death

carrying our hope like a child in its weakness
carrying our need like a babe seeking breath

our souls weeping tears of the griefs of the ages
our hearts bleeding pain of the stress of our years

yearning like birds seeking freedom from cages
for newness and fullness of life free from fear

and facing the mountains that tower with injustice
and dreading the valleys grown deep with despair

and craving the dawn of a new day upon us
and wondering how current God’s promise of care

we come to you, John, and you preach repentance
and wash us in Jordan in refreshment’s release

that we might experience the joy of forgiveness
and on the world’s roads walk a pathway of peace

so speak to us, here, in or out of wild places
that our lives like gold or silver refined

mirror God’s goodness as we lift up our faces
to follow the Coming One with new heart and mind.

Copyright © 2015 by Andrew King

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

ON A STORMY SHORE
(Luke 21: 25-36)
  with some words of W.B. Yeats

In a dream I walked on a stormy shore
where the nations were ships caught in wild waves,
tossed in the heave and the dark curling roar

of a blood-dimmed tide while frantic crews, brave
but confused, fought the loosed anarchy, scanned
the gyrating needles. But though the grave

loomed hungry and the violence at hand
filled many with foreboding, on each ship
some lifted heads in hope, as if the planned

harbour were near, safety waiting at trip’s
end, storms overcome and peace unfolding.
On land they’d seen the trees, the brown leaves slipped

off as if in death, naked limbs holding
only air, life seemingly departed.
But the leaves budded again, strength growing

green as summer, life and joy re-started,
winter past. Thus these hopeful ones grasped
lines on each ship, held sail firm, strong hearted,

grounded in faith, sure of One whose arms clasped
theirs in love: love greater than fear, than death;
in whom and by whom they would stand at last.

Copyright © 2015 by Andrew King

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

BEHOLD THE MOMENT
(Luke 1: 26-38)

Behold the moment that is not of time’s evolving,
nor of history’s wandering choice of destinations,
placing as it had into memory’s darkened pockets
the shadows cast by years of loss and pain,
the endlessly cycling wars, the many defeats,
hope itself a distant memory from a time before
nostalgia, before the longing for a fallen line
of kings, the promises made by prophets seeming
porous, fragile, fragmented as a broken wall
that crumbles to the relentless press of time.

Behold the moment that is not of human making,
not a product of political manipulation
nor of the powerful’s careful calculations,
coming as it does to a woman on the margins
of a society and a world where oppression
was a fact much like the night: implacable,
unassailable, and surely as eternal as the hills.
Behold the moment that is not of human choosing,
selecting no one who would offer any power
to shake the rulers, mighty, secure upon their thrones.

Behold the moment that is a doorway, a threshold
upon which history itself has paused its stride,
poised to take a new unguessed direction, sensing,
like someone whose eyes have seen dawn coming
on a different horizon, that this moment is God’s creation,
the earth turning as it did before but light appearing
where it did not, sounds of a distant song of joy
beginning where song had not; and from beyond the rim
of the shadows of grief there rises like the first day’s sun
a new day’s gleam, new life’s birth, a new way, new world.

Copyright ©2014 by Andrew King