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.

Advertisements

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Passion Of Christ, Yr B)

THE HANDS OF THE PASSION
(Mark 14:1 – 15:47)

I tell of the hand, its suppleness, strength,
how it performs every wish of our thought:
subtlety to smooth and shape wood, clay, paint;

and by its powers great structures are wrought.
With the hand we salute, we show caring,
kindness; the hand undoes the tangled knot,

lifts the fallen and helps the ones bearing
the heavy load; the hand the instrument
of holding, releasing; keeping, sharing –

whatever it is that our hearts have meant
to accomplish. Consider then the hands
at work in this story. See the pair bent

to pour the perfume on Jesus. It lands
fragrant, filling the still air with rich breath,
gift of tenderness to one whose commands

had healed many, but for whom, she knows, death
looms. From hands flow love. But hands, too, clutch greed,
cruelty in their fists. See Judas, met

by the chief priests in the grip of their need
to be rid of Jesus. Judas’ hands reach
for the coins of betrayal. He will feed,

one of the twelve, at the table, where each
will protest steadfastness. See their hands dip
with Christ’s in the bowl. And what does it teach

when Christ’s hands break bread for us, when the sip
of the cup handed round is his blood? When
his hands wash our feet on their dusty trips

through the roughness of the world? Can we learn
forgiveness from his fingers? Or will ours
be the hands of injustice, those that spurn

mercy: swords waved in the garden, glowers
of fury on faces, hands tearing clothes,
hands striking, abusing him through the hours.

See the guards hang on him a purple robe.
The hands whipping. The ones placing the crown
of thorns. Words and hands conspiring as goads

as he stumbles on his way up the hill. Down
the long years we have seen what they did there,
the hands swinging hammers, nailing his own

to the cross. But see, with the curtain’s tear,
God’s hand at work too: the cross is the way
to salvation.
At last with Joseph’s care

hands are tender again, and thus display
again the heart’s power to love; and so
even a tomb, on this darkest of days,

becomes touched by the presence of grace. Go
to touch with that grace whatever you will.
Be Christ’s hands. Let the redeemed heart show,
that this crucifying world know his love still.

Copyright © 2015 by Andrew King

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Palm Sunday)

THE STORY OF PALM SUNDAY (As Told For The Young)
(Matthew 21: 1-11, Mark 11: 1-11, John 12: 12-16)

Jerusalem’s past had been quite a blast
when David was monarch and splendid.
But centuries had gone since David passed on,
and God’s blessing seemed to have ended.

Jerusalem’s streets had seen happy feet
taking people to great holy places.
A place it was now of deep-furrowed brows,
on saddened and wearisome faces.

Rome, you recall, had control of it all,
and its soldiers could be pretty scary.
A grumbling noise might upset Caesar’s boys
so the people had learned to be wary.

How Jerusalem longed to sing happy songs
that would celebrate their story;
They dreamed and they prayed to give a parade
for a new David marching in glory.

Then came a year when they got some cheer:
there was a man to whom people pointed.
Of him it was said he could raise the dead –
he just might be God’s anointed!

A carpenter’s son, he’d become someone
with words that could set hearts singing;
His caring stand for woman and man
had the title “Messiah” now ringing.

“He’s coming straight to Jerusalem’s gate,”
the folks were excitedly saying;
“Let’s get out there in the open air
and show the Romans for what we’ve been praying.”

They cut branches down and handed them round,
a symbol of joy and praising.
And they lined the way for Jesus that day,
palms and voices ready for raising.

Jesus, meantime, had his followers find
a young donkey on which he could ride.
He’d come to that place to show God’s saving grace,
that God’s on the sufferer’s side.

Loving and meek, no power would he seek,
as he sat on the donkey so humble.
Soon enough on that road he’d be bearing a load:
a cross that would cause him to stumble.

So in Jesus came, and the strong and the lame
tossed their palm leaves and shouted their praise.
“Hosanna!” they cried. “The King has come by!
Hosanna! God grant us new days!”

Hosanna’s like “God save us”, and what Jesus gave
was the way that God’s love makes that happen.
So lift your up your palms, get your happy smile on,
and be ready for singin’ and clappin’,

Because every day can be Palm Sunday
when you know that Jesus is near you:
Give praise to God, from the sky to the sod;
shout “God saves!” so all folks can hear you!

Hosanna!

Copyright © 2014 by Andrew King