The Second Sunday After Pentecost

Today’s poem takes the form of a liturgy, using each of the set Bible readings for the day. I hope it can be helpful to some.

I. The Collect
First we start upon our knees
Before You, from whom all good proceeds,
Knowing we can never please
Save that we go where Your Spirit leads.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord who lives
And reigns in us, King of all things,
Our God from whom all good proceeds,
We fall before You on our knees.
II. The Reading
The thing displeased Samuel when
The people said, “Give us a king.”
And we have asked too for a king:
Kings made of silver and of gold,
Kings from among men who stand tall
And catch our eyes, enthral our souls.
Such kings appeal to us; we fall
Before them on our knees each day,
And make them kings, along with things
Which we have made; before them we
Bow with hearts unbowed and sing
Praise with hearts which do not praise.
He said to Samuel, “It is not
You they have rejected; it is me.
Give them kings to rule them with
Chariots and their harsh rods.
Let them taste the bitter taste
Of the reign of their own kings.”
And so these kings then ruled us with
Their chariots and heavy yokes,
Put us to work in their vineyards
And took our pay. We watched our kings,
Our idols fall and saw our hopes
Fall with them too. It was what we deserved.
III. The Response
And so we bow our proud hearts low:
Bow toward Your holy temple,
Bow toward Your throne.
We praise Your name, Your faithfulness;
We praise You for Your love:
For You have glorified Your Name,
Your Name and Word above all things.
When we called, proud low ones called:
You answered us, increased our strength,
Increased our strength within us.
All the kings of earth will praise;
With humble hearts the kings will praise:
When they hear the words that come
Forth from Your mouth, then they will praise.
They will sing, Lord, they will sing:
They cannot hide, cannot deny
The greatness of Your glory, Lord.
And though You are almighty, high:
You care for lowly ones like us.
You stoop down when we are brought low.
The haughty ones You see as well:
You see the haughty from afar.
You see the kings; You bring down kings
For great You are, in glory: Great.
And though we walk in trouble, walk
Amidst all dangers, we are safe:
You stretch Your hand, Your sceptre, out
Against our foes; Your hand shall save.
You will make good Your purpose for
Us all, though we are broken, low:
Do not forsake us, Lord; we are
Though broken, the works of Your hands.
IV. The Epistle
Lift up your heads.
The same Spirit which
Bore with His poor, afflicted ones,
Is now within us.
They who, by the Spirit, said
“I believed and so I spoke,”
Is now within us; so we say:
We believe too and we speak.
So we, like they, do not lose heart
Though outwardly we waste away,
Inward made new day by day.
For this passing, dying phase
Is making for us a great weight
Of glory which will far surpass
All our measures of all things.
So we believe and hope all things.
For what is seen now soon will die
And what is not seen soon will reign;
God who is unseen will reign
In His kingdom, now unseen,
Soon to take us in to live
In the house of God our King.
So we believe and we will speak
Of our belief and we will hope.
We will not lose heart;
We will hope.
V. The Gospel
Christ’s brothers, sisters, we all are,
We who do His will, who bow
Before Him, as our humble King.
Holy and Anointed One,
You have made us clean and crowned us
With Your love. We crown You now.
You are our only, rightful king.
Reign in us and over us.
Our king who makes us brothers, sisters:
We do not deserve to live
Before You, God, our holy King.
VI. The Sending Out
You fallen ones upon your knees,
Arise now – rise and go and in peace.
Christ has paid for all your sins.
You may now rise and live to please.

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