Poem For the Sunday Lectionary (Pentecost +18, Yr C)

ONE PERSON’S THANKSGIVING
(Luke 17: 11-19)

I have never been blighted by leprosy,
nor lived in a place called Samaria.
I have not known the rejection, the hate
that some people have known
because of the colour of their skin
or because of the way they pray
or the gender of the person that they love.
And for that I am thankful, thankful.

I have never been homeless because of war,
or afraid of my government’s soldiers.
I have never had to carry my possessions
on my back as, desperate, I flee from terror.
I have never been so poor I could not pay rent
nor find food for tomorrow’s small meal.
I have never gotten sick because of bad water,
nor suffered in inadequate shelter.
And for that I am thankful, thankful.

I drink coffee whose ripened beans
were picked by somebody else;
I wear a shirt sewn by hands overseas.
The grain for my bread did not grow
where I live. This keyboard was not made by me.
I am enriched by the labours
of countless, nameless others,
and for that I am thankful, thankful.

Holy One, when I pass by you
in the glory-coloured autumns,
miss you on city sidewalks, the crowds
hurrying past; when I fail to notice
your presence in the day and world I take for granted:
have mercy on my selfish coarsened soul,
and prod me once again to be conscious,
caring. And thus show I’m thankful, thankful.

Copyright ©2019 by Andrew King

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Epiphany, Yr A)

BRIGHT STAR
(Isaiah 60: 1-6; Matthew 2: 1-12)

And where have you gone, bright star,
you that shone like an invitation,

like a beckoning, like a summoning,
like a signal of something beginning;

where have you gone in the nighttime,
in the distances of murky darkness

that hides from our eyes the suffering,
the weeping, the praying, the struggling,

our eyes grown weary with watching
for signs of God coming to bless?

We have looked for you again in our hoping,
we have searched for you in our wandering. . .

Could it be, bright star, that we are looking
in wrong places, in the wrong direction,

that you are found no longer in the heavens,
no more in dark meadows of sky,

but instead you rise on horizons
of love’s possibilities within us –

and that we can be the shining signal
for which others are hoping and seeking,

that we can be the radiant beacon
that is sign of God’s presence and caring,

that we can invite the wanderers
toward a warm place of welcome,

as we share with them the journey
that leads to God’s joyful kingdom. . .

Love’s light, bright star within us,
will you rise in our hearts today?

Copyright ©2017 by Andrew King

For those who might be using the gospel lesson for the Baptism of Jesus, here are some previous posts.