Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Epiphany 4, Yr A, 2020)

BLESSÉD ONE
(Matthew 5: 1-12)

Blesséd One, whose Spirit dwelling with and in us
is self-emptying, self-giving,
may we see in you the realm and reign of heaven.

Blesséd One, who with us mourns, grieving
for the brokenness of the world,
may we know with you the comfort of God’s healing care.

Blesséd One, whose meekness, whose gentleness
challenges the violence of domination,
may you grow in us the kindness that saves the world.

Blesséd One, who in and with us hungers and thirsts
for justice and righted life,
may you satisfy our longing for the new creation.

Blesséd One, so merciful, mending and restoring
our lonely and suffering souls,
through our own gifts may others come to know your mercy.

Blesséd One, in whose heart of pure and eternal love
we behold God’s living presence,
may shadows lift that hide God’s light from our eyes.

Blesséd One, bringer and giver of God’s shalom for
all oppressed and hurting,
may we too as God’s children create the peace of God.

Blesséd One, persecuted by powers of injustice
and whom the selfish opposed,
may we with you know the victory of God’s reign and realm.

Blesséd One, who was crucified, but who
has risen over evil and hatred,
we rejoice that you are in and with us, as blessings ourselves.

Copyright ©2020 by Andrew King

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Pentecost +19, Yr C 2019)

With apologies, I am re-posting this from three years ago)

OLD WOMAN
(Luke 18: 1-8)

Here you come again, old woman,
holding your hands out in pleading,
your worn hands, your wrinkled fingers

that have endured through such long holding,
holding the broken-hearted,
your back bent to carry their burdens,

your face so lined with compassion,
your eyes so calm yet piercing,
gazing steadily into our own

as again you plead your case to us,
asking us for justice for your little ones,
for the suffering and for the powerless,

for the hungry and hopeless and fearful,
pleading with us to enact the mercy
that fills your own heart forever,

while we in the robes of our self-importance
examine all our options,
consider our many excuses,

consider perhaps an adjournment
to get ourselves a coffee,
to look up the legal loopholes,

but unable to get you out of our minds,
you with your stubborn persistence,
your dogged determination,

your unwillingness to be silent or to let us go
until we, too,
have been saved.

Copyright ©2016 by Andrew King

POEM FOR THE SUNDAY LECTIONARY (PENTECOST +9, YR. C)

THIEF
(Luke 12:32-40)

“If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Human One is coming at an unexpected hour.”

Break in, O holy thief.

Break into our guarded home.
Defeat the locks we fasten
against your love.

We brick the gates against justice.
We slam the doors to loving.
Our window drapes are heavy and pulled
to block the light of your peace.

O thief, break into our fortress.
Come while we doze in complacency.
Come while we sleep in our negligence.
Come while our eyes are closed to the world
that so needs us to change behaviour.

Break in.
Break in, and bring the poor in with you.
Break in, and bring the stranger.
Break in, and bring the challenges we fear,
the ones we would rather ignore.

Break in, O thief, break open these hearts
that should have invited you
long ago.

Copyright ©2019 by Andrew King

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

BIRCH TREE AND CEDAR
(Luke 21: 25-36)

“Look at the fig tree and all the trees. . .”

The yellow leaves of the silver birch
gather in breeze-blown clusters.

Above, the naked branches bend
in late autumn’s chilling wind.

There is a prophecy in those branches:
winter’s near. Blasts of snow. Bitter

air and the frozen ground. The leafless
tree will mourn the loss of all

that was green in summer. Death
will seem to reign. But beside the birch

stands another tree: a still green
leafy cedar. Sparrows in its branches.

The dead birch leaves softly rustle
as the rake moves in their midst,

but the cedar’s branches whisper too,
and they too have a message. And it speaks

to the birch, and it speaks to me, of
the promise of a coming summer,

witness of something greater than death,
both now and beyond all winter.

O Loving One who knows our losses,
who knows the cold of our death;

O Coming One who brings new life,
renew your promises yet.

May we birch-tree people have an evergreen heart,
celebrate in winter your spring;

giving thanks for your presence, both here today
and in the future you yet will bring.

Copyright ©2018 by Andrew King

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Pentecost +25, Yr C)

ON DEATH AND RESURRECTION
(Luke 20: 27-38)

How shall we ask for explanation, for precision
when it is mystery opening into mystery
horizon opening to horizon
when it is silence dancing with shadow
a field holding secrets like snow

Shall we ask the river water of the sea to which it flows
the resting seed of the perfumed petal’s curl
shall we ask the whitened wood of the green leaf of springtime
the moonlit cloud of morning’s rising sun

Can understanding grasp that transcendent transformation
the clay of us breaking into blossom
the wings of us waking to the sky

What we have is the answer that Abraham heard
when he gave up trying to number the stars
what we have is the answer that Moses received
when he bowed before the bush that burned

And the answer will surface from a place deep within us
from the heart where hoping dwells in every beat
and the God of the living whose arms reach to hold us
speaks the answer, is the answer, and will be.

Copyright ©2016 by Andrew King

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Palm Sunday, Yr C)

CRY BLESSÉD
(Luke 19: 28-40; John 12: 12-16)

Now comes the giver of peace to the troubled,
now comes the bringer of hope to the weak;
now comes the healer with strength for the hurting;
rides on a donkey the king that we seek.

Now comes the hen to the den of the foxes,
now come the gentle wings open and wide
to comfort the fearful, gather the lost ones;
wings pierced with nails, a wound in the side.

Now comes the Word who is good news among us,
now comes the Shepherd who lays down his life;
behold him, the Lamb of God’s saving mercy;
the Light against whom the darkness will rise.

Blesséd the One who brings God’s love and justice;
blesséd the One who calls us to the same;
blesséd the One who can break death’s dominion;
blesséd the One who has come in God’s name.

Lift high the branches, the palm leaves of praising;
cover with garments of praise the hard ground;
soon comes betrayal, too soon the injustice;
too soon the grief and forgotten the song.

Cry “blesséd!” the One who goes through the trial,
cry “blesséd!” the One who suffers the pain;
cry “blesséd!” the One who bleeds God’s forgiveness.
Cry “blesséd!” the One who’s with us in God’s name.

Copyright ©2016 by Andrew King


For a slightly lighter treatment, may I suggest “The Story Of Palm Sunday (As Told For The Young)”, found here.

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