Poetry

Lectionary Poetry – 10th Sunday After Pentecost ( Year B )

With the dawn of a new church year, we have launched a new feature on our website, a weekly post of poetry that resonates with the lectionary readings for that week (Revised Common Lectionary).

 
 

*** Revised Common Lectionary ***

Lectionary Reading:
John 6:24-35
 
 

 CLASSIC POEM:

The Feast
Henry Vaughan

O come away,
Make no delay,
Come while my heart is clean & steddy!
While Faith and Grace
Adorn the place,
Making dust and ashes ready.

No bliss here lent
Is permanent,
Such triumphs poor flesh cannot merit;
Short sips and sights
Endear delights,
Who seeks for more, he would inherit.

Come then true bread,
Quickning the dead,
Whose eater shall not, cannot dye,
Come, antedate
On me that state
Which brings poor dust the victory.

I victory
Which from thine eye
Breaks as the day doth from the east,
When the spilt dew,
Like tears doth shew
The sad world wept to be releast.

Spring up, O wine,
And springing shine
With some glad message from his heart,
Who did, when slain,
These means ordain
For me to have in him a part.

Such a sure part
In his blest heart,
The well, where living waters spring,
That with it fed
Poor dust though dead
Shall rise again, and live and sing.

O drink and bread
Which strikes death dead,
The food of mans immortal being!
Under veyls here
Thou art my chear,
Present and sure without my seeing.

How dost thou flye
And search and pry
Through all my parts, and like a quick
And knowing lamp
Hunt out each damp,
Whose shadow makes me sad or sick?

O what high joys
The Turtles voice
And songs I hear! O quickning showers
Of my Lords blood
You make rocks bud
And crown dry hils with wells & flowers!

For this true ease
This healing peace,
For this taste of living glory,
My soul and all,
Kneel down and fall
And sing his sad victorious story.

O thorny crown
More soft then down!
O painful Cross, my bed of rest!
O spear, the key
Opening the way!
O thy worst state, my onely best!

Oh! all thy griefs
Are my reliefs,
And all my sins, thy sorrows were!
And what can I,
To this reply;
What (O God!) but a silent tear?

Some toil and sow,
That wealth may flow,
And dress this earth for next years meat:
But let me heed,
Why thou didst bleed,
And what in the next world to eat.

*** This poem is in the public domain, 
  and may be read in a live-streamed worship service.

 
 

CONTEMPORARY POEM:

I Am the Bread of Life
Malcolm Guite

Snippet:

Where to get bread? An ever-pressing question
That trembles on the lips of anxious mothers,
Bread for their families, bread for all these others;
A whole world on the margin of exhaustion.

READ THE FULL POEM ]

 
 

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Katie Selby is Associate Editor of The Englewood Review of Books. Prior to her family‘s recent transition to the Englewood Christian Church community, Katie served various churches and organizations in Nebraska, East Tennessee, India, and Ethiopia. She is an M.Div. graduate of Emmanuel Christian Seminary at Milligan University.

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