Poem For the Sunday Lectionary – The Transfiguration (Yr. C)

(Luke 9: 28-36)

The cloud lifts. The sky revealed
again is the usual blue.
Your eyes blink against the sun,
but the vision is gone and
all is as before it was
to the dullness of everyday sight.

The figure that shone
is Jesus again: the sun-browned skin
and the carpenter hands
and the feet, like yours, grimed with earth.
Gone the others you thought you saw.
Silent now the voice, the words
a memory like the calm
that follows strong wind.

And already Jesus has turned
and is leading back down the hill,
down to the stone and the dust
and the sorrow and sighs
of the needy and ordinary world.

But you turn once more
as you leave the hill
because you know
that something is different,
that nothing can be quite the same,
for your eyes remember
and your ears recall
and your knees
will never forget

the kneeling in awe
and the lift of your heart
and the flight of something within you
whose wings this once unfolded
will never rest the same again.

Copyright ©2019 by Andrew King

Last Sunday of Epiphany – The Transfiguration (Yr A)

(Matthew 17: 1-9)

The mind would build its shelters,
its walls, its solid boundaries,

its holding pens for those mysteries
that challenge the edges of thought;

would seek to grasp, to domesticate
the God beyond comprehension;

would seek with dogma’s fences
to keep wonder dulled and distant,

the heart thus safely protected
from the love that burns like fire.

See it consuming Moses on his mountain,
see it sweeping Elijah into heaven,

see it shining like the sun from Jesus’ face,
this love that moves God, unsheltered,

down the mountain, to the road to the cross.

Copyright ©2017 by Andrew King

Last Sunday Of Epiphany – The Transfiguration (Yr C)

(Luke 9: 28-36)
“. . .but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory”

Awaken us.

Awaken us in the fall of the snow, the drop of the rain,
      the crash of the rolling thunder.
Awaken us in the song of the bird, the laugh of the child,
      the gentle hug from another.

Awaken us in the flick of the fish, the leap of the fox,
      the lean of the weeping willow.
Awaken us in the sift of the breeze, the lift of the hymn,
      the gift of a bed and pillow.

Awaken us in the peal of the bell, the coffee’s smell,
      the feel of running water.
Awaken us in the starlight’s gleam, the hot meal’s steam,
      the flash of the diving otter.

Awaken us in the eagle’s flight, the mountain’s height,
      the joy of the talk with a friend.
Awaken us in early morning calm, the medicine’s balm,
      the quiet of evening’s end.

Awaken us in the sip of wine, the warm sunshine,
      the colour of leaves in autumn.
Awaken us in the caring word, the truth that’s heard,
      the fragrance of spreading blossoms.

Awaken us far, awaken us near,
      awaken us with your story.
Awaken us from where we have come to be here,
      awakened to all your glory.

Copyright ©2016 by Andrew King

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary – The Transfiguration

(Mark 9: 2-10; 2 Corinthians 4: 3-6)

We think we know light’s movements –
the way sun’s rays can play across
the surface of the water, the way
it falls from candle flame, or
softly sifts through leaves to lift
the petals on their stems, opening up
each blossom like a blessing.

We think we know light’s gradients –
the way it can take the shade of rain
or break into the colours of the rainbow;
the way it burns a hole in blue
from the blazing summer sun;
or reddens clouds before it gives
night’s gift of stars and moon.

We think we know light’s stories –
like the glow that shone from Moses’ skin
as he brought the law in stone down
from the mountain; or the brilliance
of the fire of the chariot and riders
that swept to heaven the prophet named Elijah.

But today the light we thought we knew
has taken on new radiance, has made
an unexpected move, is telling a new story;
it dazzles the eyes but more our hearts,
for this is the light embodied: this
is the light of the knowledge of God
that shines in the face of Jesus.

Nor is this the final story
that the light in Christ will tell:
the veil that is lifted so briefly
upon his unseen glory drops again;
the tale to remain untold
until his rising from the dead – when
the light we’ve begun to know

makes its home in the church,
to reveal his glory in us,
and transfigured will be me and you.

Last Sunday Of Epiphany – The Transfiguration

(Matthew 17: 1-9)

The shadow fell six days before: he’d talked
of suffering death. His words so worried
Peter – the one just named by him the Rock
beneath the church – that Peter had hurried
to halt such ill-considered speech, bringing
a stiff (“You Satan!”) rebuke. He, the Christ
as Peter confessed, was just beginning
to teach them that to follow had a price:
a cross of their own, the sacrificial
love that was his way. If dreams of power
had spurred them, or other superficial
goals, they were soon to face with him the hour
of powerlessness and loss, of his pain
and death – and of a greater, lasting gain.

To lift them from shadow he has them climb
a mountain to a solitary place,
a peak where the wide air and slower time
could make for clearer views, an open space
for thought and prayer. Clouds draw near, sun grows
dimmed, but a stronger light begins to gleam:
Christ himself begins to shine, clothes to glow,
as if a veil has been raised on unseen
glory. Glazed in splendor, a stranger sight:
Moses, Elijah, speaking to Jesus
as to a friend. Amidst the blaze of light
a voice from the cloud that briefly freezes
the men with fear. They hear: “This is my son.
Listen to him.” – And the vision is done.

“Keep what you’ve seen”, Jesus says, “to yourselves
until after I’ve risen from the dead.”
And while it seems the case that no one tells
the tale – despite wonder filling their heads –
before his death and resurrection, we
have the story now. . . preparing to make
our own journey to the cross and empty
tomb. Darkness will fall again, but we take
the bright vision with us for strengthening
faith: the moments on mountain top a gift
to all we valley-bound, where lengthening
shadow can sometimes remind us to lift
our head:  To find the way that’s joy to live,
the light that leads us – within us – he gives.

Copyright © 2014 by Andrew King