The Gospel Reading

The day had gone on long enough.
First the Pharisees and their questions,
then the intruding children,
then the camel and the needle's eye,

so that, when they cried out,
"Who then can be saved?" it was
as much from the weariness of the day's
debates as the thought that riches
could keep an earnest man from heaven.

And so, right when
all their careworn sandles seemed
not worth the effort, He looked
into eyes and said, "What's impossible
for man is possible for God."
What then? Could God lift
the labour-sick soul, and write
new possibility on its nature?

In the midst of the burden
and the striving, this truth:
Be small. Be like a child.
Be less so I may be more.

Christmas 3: Follow Me (For the Feast of St John the Evangelist)

Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who also had leaned back against him during the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?”
(John 21:20-21)

Some followed to the cross, some to their tombs,
some were stoned, some were flayed,
some beheld the lions’ roar…

And others followed into cells
with ageing eyes in the dying light.
Some grew old to the ring of words
more bounteous than all the world.

Some saw, some hoped
but never saw.
All were held, transformed by Life –
what was, what is, what ever is,
is still to be, what waits.

The day remains, and we remain,
yet nothing is the same.

“The chariots and horsemen of Israel” (For the end of Epiphany)

The heart seeks Tabernacle:
on mountain-top, by river-bank, it longs
to settle, to hold the Presence safe,
within arm’s reach,
just the length of an Elijah’s-staff away.

Yet the false Tabernacles we weave
as curtains against truth
turn Transfiguration to self-help session
and seek double portions to allay the moment’s loss.

Day turns to night.
The chariot leaves; the mountain calls us down.
Beneath the vision’s light, what will we know
when ecstasy fades and the presence evades
our attempts at tabernacles?

In the heart’s dwelling-place when the moment is past,
will we descend to today’s implications?
When the glow recedes but the portion remains,
will we tend to the horsemen of Israel?

Diakonos

Gather dust.
Run, speedy feet,
                                    and kick up dust.
Kick up, gather: dust we are.
O dust, return.  Be turned.

Gather, sheep.
Be gathered, sheep;
                                    make ready feet.
Unglamorous and matted, poor:
gather all. All dusty sheep, return.

Gather us.
You gather dust,
                                    reviving us,
and send us out, in cloud of dust.
For dust we are;
           O dust, return,
in-gathered, glorious.

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Lent 14: Tuesday of Second Week

No greater than our Master, but
like Him, walking in His steps, we

hear the snarls, the accusations,
watch the backs turn as we near,

see the rulers run to the trenches
and hear our names sworn in fear.

Walk: the Cross has its many stations
and the road is long and sore.

Look, look up: the nations turn their heartbeats
to the Son of Man in His glory.