Lent: Enough 5

What warmth I hide in will soon grow cold.
All Peter’s false fires, Adam’s cloak of leaves,
will burn out, fade, and leave nakedness in ash.
Clothe me. My shame is always before me.
Nothing hides from Your sight
what should be white, yet’s stained like blood.
O God. I stand –
naked, dust.
You are enough. You are enough.

Lent: New Song 6

Newness declares itself in broken hearts:
old ruts are vast and carry dust
yet penitence cleans fathoms deep
     and always makes anew.

What yesterday made shame your song
today is fading into silence.
Listen: polyphonic hope arises,
      gentle, soft, yet sure.

The old has passed, yet still can yell;
The new has come, and comes each day.
In humble ways and hopeful praise,
sing to the Lord new songs.

Lent: New Song 3

Sing to the Lord a new song –
The old song is tired; it has no breath.
Love and faithfulness have kissed;
      sing their song and live.

Make way a path for righteousness –
a level path where knees won’t strain.
Sing body parts into new joy;
      watch new steps form for feet.

O search my heart. O listen, song –
the old is dead. The new must come.
Before your feet, set righteousness;
       let bodies learn His hymn.

Lent: New Song 2

When morning bright awakens eyes:
     awaken tongue; awaken mind.
When birdsong sounds the new of day:
     sing, soul and heart; sing new pathways.
When yesterday creeps back to minds:
     awaken, spirit; transform flesh.
When patterns threaten, dead songs groan:
     listen, heart, to Spirit’s song.
Turn the sounds of self to silence;
     lift up selfless praise.

Lent: New Song 1

Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord all the earth!…Tell of his salvation from day to day.
(Psalm 96:1, 2b)

Old songs rot in dead ears;
Old ruts of thought declare:
That was not me       I will try harder
         I had no choice
                That’s just the person that I am…

To fudge is human; to change is divine.
The former things are dying;
Listen to this newest song,
The freshest song to sound in years:
All your dead deeds will crumble, fade,
yet there’s a God who gladly saves
and in the stars’ ancient dust He calls forth light…

Turn; sing to Him from your dust heap
      and praise
your morning Son,
your great Ancient of Days…

J.S. Bach: Motet BWV 225 ‘Singet dem Herrn’ – Vocalconsort Berlin

Lent: Emmaus 2

The heavens are telling the glory of God –
    (tweet tweet, like like, instant message)
His voice goes out to the ends of the earth –
    (I fast, I tithe, I pray twice a day)
Heaven and earth will pass away –
    (Lord, let me sit at your right hand)
Before His law will fade.

In wilderness, make straight the way –
     (I thank you, Lord, I’m not like him)
The Son of Man must suffer and die –
    (O surely Lord not I?)
Heaven and earth will pass away –
     (Anti-ageing cream for sale)
His promises remain.

Burnt-out Prayer: For Ash Wednesday

King: I cannot come to You however I choose
yet all I am is a bundle
hurriedly put together,
no sack cloth, no ashes,
hair still mussed from slumber,
limbs dragging,
soul flat,
feet not yet expecting to walk…

Can I come to You as a stowaway,
scarcely awake, found among cargo,
hiding like Jonah while the waves ravage?
I bring no grand promise,
no sufficiency,
only the startled eyes of one caught unawares
and the knowledge that, when before kings, I must bow,
and, when cast in oceans, to swim.

Though forty days are hardly enough
for the numbness of limbs to distribute itself
and for fingers to learn, once again, how to pray –
I come to you, King, in dishevelled dismay
and declare my all dross at Your feet.
If my Amen burns faint now
or my wick dwindles, short,
may You be my prayer’s substance,
its fire,
its fuel.