Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Easter 4, Yr C)

MY SHEEP HEAR MY VOICE
(John 10: 22-30)

Help us to hear your voice, gentle Shepherd,
when the wolves of hate howl and swarm.
Help us to hear your voice when the sounds
of our own anxious cries rise like storm.

Help us to listen to you, gentle Shepherd,
through our raging, our anguish, our grief.
Help us to hear your love’s invitation
as you bid us to dwell in your peace.

Help us to listen, as the high peaks listen for
the snow melt’s murmur of spring.
Help us to listen, as the deep woods listen for
the wind and the song it brings.

Help us to listen, as the still lake listens for
the kiss of the sun at dawn.
Help us to listen, as the low clouds listen for
the whisper of mist on the pond.

Help us to listen, as the soft earth listens for
the rain in the fronds of the fern.
Help us to listen, as the pale moon listens for
the day to make its return.

Help us to listen, as the longing heart listens for
the voice of the friend at the door.
Help us to listen, gentle Shepherd, and listening,
learn to hear you better, and more.

Copyright ©2016 by Andrew King

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Poem For the Sunday Lectionary (Easter 4, Yr B)

A PRAYER TO THE SHEPHERD
(Psalm 23, John 10: 11-18)

O Lord our Shepherd,
may your flock not want
in the refugee camps
of Yarmouk, of Darfur, of Dadaab.

May life-giving pastures of nourishment be theirs
in Sudan, in Niger, in Chad.

May waters of peacefulness and healing flow
in Somalia, in Syria, in Ukraine.

And may souls be restored in our own cities and towns
where violence and hunger still live.

O Lord our Shepherd,
death shadows the valleys
and the houses and hills of our lands.

May the strength of your grace and
the assurance of your love
ever with us and ever embracing,
bring comfort to the grieving and alone.

May there be a table of reconciliation prepared
where enemies may sit down in peace

and may the cup of joy overflow for those
whose suffering has been their drink.

Let your goodness and mercy attend your flock,
O Shepherd, our Lord,
and may all your flock dwell
in the unity of your love
as long as life endures.

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Easter 4)

PASTURE
(John 10: 1-10)

There is a place we can find, a good place
like quiet meadows where flowers spread,
like green grasses by gentle streams;
a place where the heart feels nourished,
where the mind is hopeful, unhurried,
where the spirit is glad and at peace.
We’ll name this place fulfillment,
we’ll name it healing and thankfulness,
we’ll name this good place pasture
for there we seek to feed.

And there is a voice we can hear that calls us,
a gentle voice, melodious,
a voice like songbirds and laughter,
like a mother comforting her children,
like a shepherd calling his sheep.
We’ll name this voice acceptance,
we’ll name it mercy and forgiveness,
we’ll name it the voice of God’s love,
inviting us gently to feed.

It invites us to enter pasture
when we think we’re too hurting to listen,
too angry or grieving or fearful
to hear the voice that calls us to peace.

It invites us to enter pasture
when we’re sure we’re too busy to listen,
too burdened or worried or pressured
to hear the voice that calls us to peace.

It says: Come in and go out and find pasture.
It says: We are safe with the shepherd of all sheep.
It says: Meadows await us, in this moment.
It says: Rest in love. Where you are. Joyfully feed.