Poem For World Wide Communion 2019

THE SURPRISE AT THE TABLE
(Luke 17: 5-10)

Underneath your nails: the dry brown earth,
and on your sweat-streaked brow.
The work in the fields was hard today,
the soil resisting the plow.

Your muscles ache as you approach the house,
thinking of food, a drink for your thirst.
In your weary hunger you long to dine,
but a slave does not eat first.

And the slave expects no thanks or praise
for doing only what must be done.
The master is served before the slave:
the slave’s the unworthy one.

But what is this? . . . From the dining table
the aroma of fresh baked bread.
And is that not the master himself
bidding you take his seat at the head?

Can those be the master’s hands, like yours,
still showing the stain of soil?
Was that the master next to you in the fields?
His sweat joining yours in toil?

Behold him pouring, now giving you the cup:
a drink of his finest wine.
Hear him say: I do this of my love for you.
For all hungry ones, and for all time.

Copyright ©2019 by Andrew King

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Pentecost +21, Yr B)

NOT TO BE SERVED BUT TO SERVE
(Mark 10: 35-45)

Is that you, Lord,
changing the diaper in the nursing home,
holding the spoon for the woman in her wheelchair,
wiping down the toilet and the floor;

is that you
serving the dinner at the homeless shelter,
sorting the cans at the food bank,
mowing the aged neighbour’s lawn;

is that you, Lord,
bandaging the wounds of the bomb victim,
erecting the tent for the refugees,
handing out the water and the food;

is that you
driving the patient to the treatment center,
sitting through the night with the family,
making the call to the forgotten friend;

is that you, Lord,
lighting the candle in the darkness,
keeping vigil for compassion and justice,
loving in us and through us and with us

until the world that you love has been changed?