Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Epiphany 6, Yr A)

THE DISCIPLE SHIP
(Matthew 5: 21-37)

Built of the leaky wood of our imperfections,
nailed together with hopes and best intentions,
sails of prayer hoisted into baffling wind,
our ship small, but committed to begin

its journey of faith, we steer into the waves
toward goals of love and justice Jesus gave.
Misty as distant islands they might seem,
and though the waves and winds across our beam

sometimes toss us backward, and our tack
sometimes so wide we struggle to stay on track,
our little ship will sail on, held together
through all calm or stormy weather

by the merciful grace of God. For it’s Christ’s
work we’ve set ourselves to do, Christ’s
course of sacrificial love we sail –
our guiding compass the cross. It does not fail.

Copyright ©2017 by Andrew King

Poem For the Sunday Lectionary (Epiphany 5, Yr A)

CITY SET ON A HILL
(Matthew 5: 13-20)

The city set on a hill
is a sanctuary city,
is built of strong bricks
of compassion,
is grounded on the bedrock
of justice,
has opened its gates
toward mercy,
and its windows are wide
to the sunrise of love
that blesses the city
every morning.

The city set on a hill
is a shining city,
is ablaze with the fireflame
of kindness,
is lit with the radiance
of forgiveness,
lights up its nighttimes
with hopefulness,
and its rooftops reflect
the warm glow of love
that spills from the city
every morning.

The city set on a hill
is a populous city,
is as wide as God’s grace
in Christ Jesus,
is peopled with those led
by God’s Spirit,
has walls that are not walls
but God’s welcome,
and its tree-bowered streets
lead to peace, in the love
that is the city,
singing in the morning.

Copyright ©2017 by Andrew King

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Advent 1, Yr A)

NOW IS THE MOMENT
(Romans 13: 11-14)

I thought I heard a noise just now
like a wind rising, like a sea rolling

I thought I heard a note just now
like metal beaten, like a hammer ringing

I thought I heard a sound just now
like a child laughing, like a woman singing

I thought I heard the world just now
and it was crying, it was pleading

I thought I heard a voice just now
and it was calling, it was summoning

then I knew what I heard was change just now
for night will be ending and day coming

and I knew what I heard was the Lord just now
saying “Now is the time for awaking.”

Copyright ©2016 by Andrew King

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Pentecost +12, Yr C)

AT AN UNEXPECTED HOUR
(Luke 12: 32-40)

Not yet is that kingdom come upon us:
not yet the peace that is God’s loving will;
not yet the swords turned into plowshares;
not yet the wolves lying down with lambs;
not yet the lands where refugees
may dwell in joy and safety;
not yet the bellies of children
unswollen from their hunger;
not yet the world’s enslaved going free,
not yet the poor finding lives of fullness,
the cities where the gun no longer sounds.

Not yet.

And so not yet can we turn our eyes from duty,
not yet can we turn from service to others,
not yet can we cease from seeking justice,
nor cease from a wide compassion;
not yet can we rest from kindness, from mercy,
from pursuing peace, from lifting up
all those who are trodden down.

Not yet.

Not yet that banquet table,
not yet that feast of the kingdom’s
completion where all are guests of love.
Not yet the time to extinguish our lamps
in the rays of a new day’s sun.

Not yet.

And yet –
hear what unwearied hope says:

Maybe soon.

Copyright ©2016 by Andrew King

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Pentecost +8, Yr C)

THE TRAVELLERS GIVE THEIR SIDE OF THE STORY
(Luke 10: 25-37)

 THE PRIEST:
The sun was cruelly hot that day,
it lay like weight on the skin;
and yes, I saw where the body lay,
naked and bloody and thin.
But my robes are long, I might have tripped
if I had bent to lend a hand,
and so I passed by. But I said a prayer –
I’m sure God had a plan.

 THE LEVITE:
You know how rough the road is there;
the robbers could have been near.
His condition for certain delivered a scare –
there’s a lot of crime around here.
I lead an upright life, you know; it’s why
God has blessed me with being rich.
So I hurried past, giving thanks to God
that it’s not me in that ditch.

 THE PRIEST:
I’m a busy man, I’ve many tasks
that occupy my mind.
My day is full from first to last,
there’s never enough of time.
I might have stopped, but my schedule
has to keep me rushing on.
Since it’s God’s work that I do, you know,
I don’t think I was wrong.

 THE LEVITE:
Perhaps we should question why this man
was chosen for being robbed –
could it be that he was a sinner, and
that this was the will of God?
And if it was indeed the man
himself who was to blame,
then I do not think by passing by
I’ve cause to be ashamed.

 THE SAMARITAN:
The sun was cruelly hot that day,
lying like weight on the skin,
and yes, I saw where the body lay,
naked and bloody and thin.
My heart was moved within me;
I felt pity for his pain.
So I stopped on the road to help him,
what more need I explain?

I don’t think I was being heroic
when I offered merciful aid.
And I’m not just being stoic
when I say I’ve been repaid.
The humble thanks he’s given
for having his life restored
is the blessing of God’s own heaven.
And kindness is its own reward.

Copyright ©2016 by Andrew King

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Pentecost +7, Yr C)

THE DUST THAT CLINGS
(Luke 10: 1-11, 16-20)

Dust of a million miles of hurry,
dust of the wheels of a billion cars,
dust of the greed and the grasp and the worry,
dust of the age of unending exhaust,

dust of the pyramids, towers, cathedrals,
dust of the plowed and the killing fields,
dust of the sweat and the blood of the battles,
dust of the plastics, cosmetics, the pills,

dust of the hungry, dust of the thirsty,
dust of the cruel and the cruelly wronged,
dust of the grieving, the weeping, the weary,
dust of the run and the struggling on,

dust of the questions, dust of the mystery,
dust of the best and worst we’ve become,
dust of the ash of our anguished history,
dust of mortality’s beating drum —

shake off the grime of it, wrap it in rainbow;
shake off its hurting, heal it in light;
leave only hoping that helps us to let go
of all that would keep us from tasting new life.

Copyright ©2016 by Andrew King

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Pentecost +6, Yr C)

TO GO TO JERUSALEM
(Luke 9: 51-62)

There you go, Lord, setting your face for Jerusalem,
setting your face for the cross of self-giving love,
there you go down
the road of self-sacrifice,
giving up a place to lay your head

to sit through the night with the sick ones,
to sleep under bridges with the homeless,
to sort the cans at the food bank,
to talk in the tent with the refugee,
to keep vigil with the hurting and grieving,

speaking to the darkness with your candle of hope,
speaking to the darkness with your light of love,
stirring the uncaring into action,
calling us to follow you on the difficult road,
calling us even though we stumble,

even though we’re not sure of our direction,
looking backward as so often we do,
reluctant to leave the familiar,
reluctant to leave our routines and traditions,
reluctant to give up our comfort,

but still hearing you,
still longing to journey with you,
still turning toward the sound of your voice
as you disappear around another corner
on the way

to the cross that lies just ahead.

Copyright ©2016 by Andrew King