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

Advertisements

A Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (First Sunday After Christmas)

THE SHADOW FALLS PAST CHRISTMAS
Matthew 2: 13-23

Hear the broken-hearted weeping
in the blooded streets, see
the frightened family fleeing
the night so gouged and torn
with loss. We cannot forget
the shadow that falls past Christmas.

Sometimes the tree falls down and the lights
are crushed. The car goes off the road
driving home from the party. Storm
sets in, shutting down festive celebration.

Shadow falls past Christmas:
the Herod dark of hatred, shattered
lives and homes, cruelty
and the killing power of greed;
dreams of joy chased down by fear and grief.

Infants dying of neglect and malnutrition,
oppression claiming victims every day,
and so frequently corruption unabated:
the songs of hope that came like dreams
seem easily defeated.

But see the infant Christ
not among the murdered.
Untrapped by hatred’s reach, by
greed’s cold grasp, by the power
of death so constantly pursuing,
infant Love lives on, the hope
and will for justice and peace
persisting.

Shadow falls past Christmas. But
see the light still shining;
faith and hope still singing; the contest
for the human heart goes on.

May we, as Joseph did, keep
listening to the words of dreams.
Keep moving the feet
toward morning’s hope,
free as a gift of love,
however distant the dawn.

And may the darkness fail to chase us down.

Copyright © 2013 by Andrew King

A Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Advent 4)

CONSIDER JOSEPH

(MATTHEW 1: 18-25)

He considers wood,
its resistance to touch,
the nature of its rigidity
out of which timber becomes table,
becomes chair seat and leg,
yielding in their making only to axe blade
and nail point, but unbending to the pressure
of the leaning arm, the weight of the body at rest.
Too much pressure at a single point, though,
and even wood will give way, table buckling,
chair leg snapping, the body dropping, bruised.

He considers flesh,
its awareness of touch,
the nature of its flexibility
out of which tissue becomes muscle,
becomes eyes, lips and fingers,
bone joining bone, skin growing,
body moving, hands readying for work.

He considers spirit,
its lifts, its leaps,
its sometimes feathery touch,
its toughness sometimes
like wood or bone.
Too much pressure at a single point, though,
and spirit, like skin that bruises and splits,
can break like rigid wood.

He considers laws of nature
and the nature of laws
lying beyond his touch,
their seeming inflexibility,
coldness like that of wood,
pressure like that of hammers
on the slenderness of nails.

He considers the heart,
its many feelings; things like love,
the gentle power of its touch,
durable, strong like spirit and skin:
bendable, adaptable, able to grow,
yet something easily broken in unmendable wounds
for which he knows no nail exists.

He considers dreams.
Dreams of healing, of people saved,
dreams of being blessed with good.
And of all that he considers,
of brokenness and repair,
he considers the decision he makes
to resist the splintering of disgrace
as good as anything he’s ever made with wood.

Copyright © 2013 by Andrew King