Poem For The Sunday Lectionary — The Baptism Of Jesus (First Sunday of Epiphany, Yr. C)

THE WATERS
(Luke 3: 15-17, 21-22)

They’re nearby, those waters,
the waters that bathed
the feet of John, the feet of Jesus.

Those waters long ago
went down to the Dead Sea.
And left there,
caught up by the sun’s hands
to the wide and warm welcome of sky.
And left there,
moving on wind’s wings, carried
like a ship seeking haven in the
bays of an undiscovered world.

And dropped again, those waters,
from vast jars of gray cloud
onto the iced slopes of tall mountains,
the green grasses of deep valleys,
dampening the brown dusts of dry plains.

And they left there
to travel the silver streams of high mountain highways,
to hurl the white spray from the teeth of wild rapids,
to draw gentle curves under bent branches of willows,
to rest in blue lakes or to join at last
the oceans’ long shore-washing songs.

And the waters leave there
on their journey unending, these
holy waters that bathed Eve,
that Adam drank in Eden,
that stood back from Moses
and the slaves fleeing Egypt,
these waters
that ran down the face of Jesus, that
washed over his skin, that glittered
in the bounced light from the Jordan
while torn open heavens declared
how beloved is this blessed Child.

So come, let us seek the same waters.
We find them in the places that are holy,
all the places God made to receive them —
the brown pond where the geese gather their numbers,
the quick river where the trout flashes its fins,
the quiet lake where the crying gulls circle,
the hands you cup under the faucet
to splash cool wetness to your face —
every place
where to all who have ears to hear it
a voice on behalf of heaven still proclaims
how beloved, how beloved forever we are.

Copyright ©2019 by Andrew King

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Baptism of Jesus, Yr C)

RIVER OF GRACE
(Luke 3: 15-17, 21-22)

River of God’s grace,
       where will you touch us this morning?
Through whom, river of grace,
       will you pour out today?
May all God’s children know
       your gift of acceptance.
And may all who seek that strength
       taste the fullness of joy.

Dove of the Spirit,
       where are you flying this morning?
On whom, Spirit Dove,
       will you rest today?
May all God’s children know
       the peace of your presence.
And may all who bow in prayer
       feel the wingbeats of joy.

God who is love,
       where will you speak this morning?
In whom, God of love,
       will your voice ring today?
May all your children know
       their call to be loving.
And may all who respond in faith
       share the good news of joy.

Jesus our Lord,
       where will you lead us this morning?
As whom, Christ our Lord,
       will we leave here today?
May all God’s children know
       the new life of the river.
And celebrate its blessings
       on our way toward joy.

Copyright © 2016 by Andrew King

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Baptism Of Jesus, Yr. B)

AND THE HEAVENS WERE OPENED
(Mark 1: 4-11)

See the wings shine.

The wings are the bright colour
of the morning of that first day
when light burst out of darkness,
the darkness of the void that was
the emptiness of the world
before God gave to it life;
that first day that was born
as God’s Spirit moved
and chaos was transformed by love.
The wings shine with the radiance of joy.

See the dove descend.

It is gentle as the touch
of the hand of love
that embraces a newborn child.
It is vibrant with the power
of the breath of the Spirit that
moved over the waters of creation.
In its breast beats the heart
that pulses with the grace
that is life from God eternal.
The dove descends with the fullness of joy.

Hear the voice of the heavens.

Hear the voice that spoke
from time’s beginning
declaring the goodness of creation.
Hear the word proclaimed
that speaks to all of time
the goodness of God’s Beloved.
Hear the voice as it sings
to all hearts that listen
God’s intention to bless the world.
It resounds with the exuberance of joy.

Attend.
Attend to the wings that shine upon us,
to the dove that descends here among us,
to the voice that sings to our hearts.
Then follow, by grace
to a future that is joy.

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Epiphany 1; The Baptism of Jesus)

JOHN BAPTIZES JESUS

(MATTHEW 3: 13-17)

He takes the light that dances on the flowing surface of the water.
He takes the dancing water that is filled with the flowing light.
He has waded into the river that is umbilical with life.
He is waist deep in the life that flows umbilical through the river.

He stands with the man whose words are pitchers of grace and light.
Stands with the man whose grace is like life, like a flowing river.
He fills his pitcher with the water, with the light, with the flow of life.
He pours it over the man waist deep with him in the water.

Grace descends, glittering, like wings unfurling in the air.
The air shimmers, it dances with sound, sounds of the river
flowing, the water pouring, the men breathing; the light glittering,
grace flooding, the wings beating, words surfacing: God’s son.

He hears, he sees, he is soaked in the sound and the light and the water.
He rejoices in the gift of it, he rejoices in the grace, in the one
who is standing there with him in the water.
For he knows that all of it is goodness. That all is a new beginning.
That all of it is part of God’s river.

Copyright © 2014 by Andrew King