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

(Ephesians 1: 3-14; John 1: 1-18)

It’s the first Sunday of the starting year.
Once more we hear the usual news on
the radio: the deaths by gun and bomb,
the lives awash in pain, the anxious fears

of many an “expert” for tomorrow.
Hatreds rear their ugly heads, raging roars
in the mouths of the powerful, the doors
to chaos swing on oiled hinges. Sorrow

abounds. Where now, we ask, is the newness
of the turned page? Where the fresh beginning?
How may we know that goodness is winning
and that sunrise is rolling back darkness?

We may know by listening well: a song
from long ago is still being sung, ringing
like a bell in the shadows and bringing
hope, both old and fresh as dawn, to the long

patient march of the years toward God’s planned
healing of the human world and hurt earth.
That song is the Word made flesh, given birth
into time and into us; and in our hands

is placed Christ’s grace – grace upon grace – the light
that darkness has not overcome. Despair
may tempt still. But in us, through us, God’s care
for the world flows, song of God’s own delight,

and with the strength of that care always near
in our hearts, faith points our eyes toward joy:
seeing the turned page indeed as new day
for service that will create a new year.

Copyright © 2016 by Andrew King

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Sunday of the Epiphany)

MATTHEW 2: 1-12

Where will our journey take us this year,
we travellers?
Into what vistas of discovery, memory, euphoria, sorrow
will our breath exhale?
What textures of wisdom, sharp or smooth,
will touch our skin?
What light will draw our eyes through
each day’s doorway,
upward into the nighttime seeking beacons,
flashes of strange stars?

We have been searchers, felt yearnings,
felt the power and pull
of the unknown, sometimes fleeing, sometimes facing
its challenges and terrors.
We have travelled alone in hope and ambition,
joined caravans of curiosity and fad.
These have taken us to places
familiar and unexpected, to successes, disappointments,
victories, defeats.
We cannot see where the journey leads, but our yearnings
compel us, and we go.

Come into this tent, traveller. Come join
this caravan of pilgrims.
There are other travellers here, seekers like ourselves.
Called wise by some –
though they have known other titles –
they are the ancestors of all who journey
for wisdom,
for understanding, for experience of something
or someone
they might name God.

They have crossed deserts and rivers,
inhaled the scent of wild grasses,
the perfume of strange blossoms,
tasted the dust of roads of sorrow
upon their tongues.
Their minds are open to possibility, to discovery,
they have watched the fresh sky,
they have scanned the old Scriptures,
they dared the deep questions,
persevering in the journey
until they found One they believed was
their destination:
One for whom prophecies had been written,
for whom new stars had shined,
toward whom their roads had long been bending.

But let us listen to the message of the Magi,
fellow travellers:
The journey is not done. The Babe
will grow, will beckon to newer ways
and to lifelong following.
Finding this One is but a beginning, an awakening,
an opening up of greater doors,
an invitation to horizons, farther roads
that lead to greater understanding –
and to greater challenges,
fresher questions,
and quite possibly to the kind of joy
that outlasts dusty grief.

Come into this tent, traveller. Let us join
this caravan of pilgrims,
follow the One who has given us the journey,
grow on his paths as they lead through the year.

Copyright © 2014 by Andrew King