Poetry

Lectionary Poetry – 2nd Sunday After Epiphany (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 1:43-51

 
 

CLASSIC POEM:

Follow Me
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

And Him evermore I beheld
—Walking in Galilee;
Through the cornfield’s waving gold,
In hamlet, in wood, in wold,
—By the shores of the Beautiful Sea.
He toucheth the sightless eyes,
—Before Him the demons flee;
To the dead He sayeth, “Arise!”
—To the living, “Follow me!”
And that voice shall still sound on
From the centuries that are gone
—To the centuries that shall be.

And Him evermore I beheld
Walking in Galilee;
Through the cornfield’s waving gold,
In hamlet, in wood, in wold,
By the shores of the Beautiful Sea.
He toucheth the sightless eyes,
Before Him the demons flee;
To the dead He sayeth, “Arise!”
To the living, “Follow me!”
And that voice shall still sound on
From the centuries that are gone
To the centuries that shall be.

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

Farther Along
Josh Garrels

Farther along we’ll know all about it
Farther along we’ll understand why
So cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine
We’ll understand this, all by and by
Tempted and tried, I wondered why
The good man dies, the bad man thrives
And Jesus cries because he loves em’ both
We’re all cast-aways in need of ropes
Hangin’ on by the last threads of our hope
In a house of mirrors full of smoke
Confusing illusions I’ve seen
Where did I go wrong, I sang along
To every chorus of the song
That the devil wrote like a piper at the gates
Leading mice and men down to their fates
Some will courageously escape
The seductive voice with a heart of faith
While walkin’ that line back home
There’s so much more to life than we’ve been told
It’s full of beauty that will unfold
And shine like you struck gold my wayward son
That deadweight burden weighs a ton
I go down to the river and let it run
Wash away all the things you’ve done
Forgiveness alright
Farther along we’ll know all about it
Farther along we’ll understand why
So cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine
We’ll understand this, all by and by, oh yeah
Yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah
Yeah-yeah
But still I get hard pressed on every side
Between the rock and a compromise
Like truth and pack of lies fightin’ for my soul
I’ve got no place left go
‘Cause I got changed by what I’ve been shown
It’s more glory than the world has known
Keeps me ramblin’ on
Skipping like a calf loosed from its stall
I’m free to love once and for all
And even when I fall I’ll get back up
For the joy that overflows my cup
Heaven filled me with more than enough
Broke down my levees and my bluff
Let the flood wash me
And one day when the sky rolls back on us
Some rejoice and the others fuss
‘Cause every knee must bow and tongue confess
The son of God is forever blessed
This is the kingdom and we’re the guests
So put your voice up to the test
Sing Lord, come soon
Farther along we’ll know all about it
Farther along we’ll understand why
So cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine
We’ll understand this, all by and by.

LISTEN to this song:


 
 

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C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com


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