Poem For the Sunday Lectionary, Epiphany 2, Yr. C

FOR THE JAR OF THE EMPTY HEART
(John 2: 1-11)

Sometimes, through no particular fault
of your own, the accumulated cares
of life build up and the storage vault
that holds your strength and hope goes bare.

Sometimes you gaze in longing east
to see the light of the dawn breaking
but clouds block the sun. And that feast,
that celebration you intended making

of life: sometimes the songs won’t come,
laughter fades, and like wine run dry
the jar of joy stands empty, a hollow drum.
But what if God knows this, and why

Jesus came to the wedding feast that day
was to show that God is with us in those
times of barren dryness, when what may
fill our heart’s jar are only tears, lid closed,

and lost the way to hope’s refreshing well. . .
What if Jesus comes that day expressly to spill
into that void his fresh and living water, telling
darkness to roll back for light, filling

the waiting jar of the empty heart
with Love’s own Presence: finest wine indeed.
Yes, Christ comes that life’s feast may truly start —
Love both source and goal, our deepest need.

So fill us to our brims, life-giving One;
may we be sharers in your earthly story.
May we spill love and joy ‘til that realm has come
that fills this precious world with all your glory.

Copyright ©2019 by Andrew King

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

THE JARS STAND EMPTY
(John 2: 1-11)

Can we agree, my fellow servants, that we
have let the jars stand empty far too long?

Perhaps it was because we carefully measured
their deep and yawning cavities
and the long distances to the wells
and the labour required
to carry the water to fill them,
and decided to postpone the arduous chore
for just a little longer;

or perhaps because there have been a few
notable individuals
whose heroic efforts to fill the jars
have been observed and praised,
but who
could not fill the jars completely,
and now we ourselves are wondering
what we can possibly do
that would make that much of a difference;

and after all,
that jar so low on justice,
that one so drained of compassion,
the one that rings so hollow where
we have hoped for peace –
we peered into their depths and determined
they’re not entirely dry:
surely there’s enough of water there
for some miracle to be made of it
without us having to bend our backs
to carry the heavy buckets;
surely God in Christ
can provide the needed wine,
the needed health for our hurting world,
without our full participation . . .

But no.
Christ has given us
tasks to do
and the festal joy will not
be complete without them.
I’m sure we agree, my fellow servants,
that the work to do is difficult.
But can we also agree
that we have let the jars
stand empty far too long?
The wedding guests
are waiting.

Copyright © 2016 by Andrew King