Poetry

Lectionary Poetry – 4th Sunday in Lent (Year B)

Lectionary Poetry Trinity Sunday

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:
Numbers 24:4-9

 
 

CLASSIC POEM:

The Staff of Moses
John Dunmore Lang

THE STAFF OF MOSES
TRANSFORMED INTO A SERPENT

WHEN Moses wrought in Pharoah’s land
The wonders of the Lord, His staff
became at God’s command
A serpent on the sward.

But we behold just such a scene,
Oft as the power of God
Transforms the staff on which we lean
Into a scourge or rod.

Such transformations are designed
To teach us where to place
Our hopes and with a patient mind
To wait the hour of grace.

Thus where I cherished many a hope,
Full sadly have I quaffed,
From disappointment’s bitter cup,
The nauseating draught.

And where my every hope was gone
And all seemed cheerless night,
There suddenly around me shone
A heart reviving light.

So we may also see the rod
Its former shape attain,
Just as the snake transformed by God
Became a staff again.

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

The Black Snake
Mary Oliver

Snippet:

When the black snake
flashed onto the morning road,
and the truck could not swerve–
death, that is how it happens.

Now he lies looped and useless
as an old bicycle tire.
I stop the car
and carry him into the bushes.

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