Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Easter 7, Yr C)

THAT ALL MAY BE ONE
(John 17: 20-26)

May your people be one
as the seas are one
though salting a thousand shores.

May your people be one
as the wind is one
though whisper, though rush, though roar.

May your people be one
as the birds are one
though they sing a thousand songs.

May your people be one
as our prayers are one
though voiced in a thousand tongues.

May your people be one
as the light is one
though made of the colours of the rainbow.

May your people be one
as your love is one –
your love for all people, we know.

May your people be one
as you are one:
you in Christ, and Christ in you.

May your people be one
as the Spirit is one,
moving in us, moving through.

Copyright ©2016 by Andrew King

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Pentecost +13)

THE COMMUNITY THAT LIES BETWEEN
(Matthew 18: 15-20)

Somewhere between what is
and what will be,
between this present world
and a world redeemed,

somewhere between
the world of resentment and rage
and a world at peace, sharing fullness of life,

somewhere on the journey to
the yet-to-come
lies the community of love in Christ,

where brother and sister
meet one another
as equals in the sight of God,
where the joys of one
are the joys of all,
the concerns of one
are concerns of all,
where acceptance is given
and received –

yet also where
views will painfully diverge,
where desires will differ
and divide;
where our human faults
will hurt and harm,
where we fracture
along fault-lines of pride.

We are redeemed
yet remain imperfect,
united in Christ yet
individuals to the end.
And so we need a little help
in our community of hope:
we need the reminder that where
even two of us meet,
Christ is there,
our Saviour, in our midst.

And his are the words
that can lead to healing,
that guide us to seek reconciliation,
that nudge us toward
God’s peace.

Unity begins with acceptance,
builds on hope,
is nourished by caring,
grows stronger through celebration.
But unity also can require
hard work,
the work of listening
to one another’s story,
hearing one another’s pain,
granting one another forgiveness –
and for that we are given
God’s grace.

Therefore
somewhere between what is
and what will be,
between this present world
and a world redeemed,

somewhere on the journey
to the yet-to-come
lies our community of love in Christ.

May we model to the world, so fractured,
that community gathered at his table.

May we model to a world
so in need of healing
his presence among us to save.

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Easter 6)

AND WE IN YOU
(John 14: 15-21)

As the tree is in the earth
and the earth in the tree,
as the sea is in the fish
and the fish in the sea,

as the bird is in the air
and the air in the bird,
as word is in the breath
and breath in the word,

as rhyme is in the music
and music in rhyme,
as time is in the season
and the season in time,

as grief is in the loving
and loving in grief,
as belief is in the hope
and hope in the belief,

as desire is in the will
and the will in desire,
as fire is in the flame
and the flame in the fire,

as you, Christ, are in God
and God is in you,
so are you in us,
and we in you.

So are you in us and
we in you.

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Easter 5)

FACE OF GOD
(John 14: 1-14)

We thought you wore the skin
of thunder, spoke in verbs of stormwind,
majestic and mighty as lightning
upon summits,
unreachable
as the cold and silent fire
of distant stars; hidden behind
a curtain in the temple,
an untouchable invisibility approachable
by the highest priest only,
hands freshly blooded
from an altar.

And then somehow the veil was parted:
we gained glimpses of the glory
of the nearness of your love
as the hurting were healed,
the outcast befriended,
the lost restored,
and everywhere the powers of death
had their dominion challenged,
by the son of a Jewish carpenter
from Galilee.

If you have seen me,
said Jesus, you have seen the Father.

And we do see you there,
in the Gospels,
healing in synagogues
and in houses,
feeding the hungry on hillsides,
embracing the lepers and the sinners,
turning over the tables
in the temple,
nailed to a cross of injustice
but risen,
greeting women at
the graveside,
sharing bread with your friends,
the dominion of death
overturned.
Approachable, reachable,
the accessible God,
visible in the skin of Jesus.

But you are not done,
not content to wear
such skin only in the pages
of the Gospels.
The many-coloured, multi-shaped
body of Christ – the Church
wide as the nations of the world –
bears your image where it acts
in your love:
still feeding,
still healing,
still teaching mercy,
making you visible

not in great
structures nor
in high saints alone,
but in the ordinary
persons in the pews,
as here, on a day like any other,
a woman making dinner,
and packing it,
knocking on the door of a neighbour
newly home from surgery for cancer:
the face of the one receiving it
lit with thankfulness,
the face of the one freely giving
like the face
of God.