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).
*** Narrative Lectionary ***
St. Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch
’TWAS silent all and dead
Beside the barren sea,
Where Philip’s steps were led,
Led by a voice from Thee—
He rose and went, nor ask’d Thee why,
Nor stay’d to heave one faithless sigh:
Upon his lonely way
The high-born traveller came,
Reading a mournful lay
Of “One who bore our shame,
Silent Himself, His name untold,
And yet His glories were of old.”
To muse what Heaven might mean
His wandering brow he rais’d,
And met an eye serene
That on him watchful gaz’d.
No hermit e’er so welcome cross’d
A child’s lone path in woodland lost.
Now wonder turns to love;
The scrolls of sacred lore
No darksome mazes prove;
The desert tires no more:
They bathe where holy waters flow,
Then on their way rejoicing go.
They part to meet in heaven;
But of the joy they share,
Absolving and forgiven,
The sweet remembrance bear.
Yes—mark him well, ye cold and proud,
Bewilder’d in a heartless crowd,
Starting and turning pale
At Rumour’s angry din—
No storm can now assail
The charm he wears within,
Rejoicing still, and doing good,
And with the thought of God imbu’d.
No glare of high estate,
No gloom of woe or want,
The radiance can abate
Where Heaven delights to haunt.
Sin only hides the genial ray,
And, round the Cross, makes night of day.
Then weep it from thy heart;
So may’st thou duly learn
The intercessor’s part,
Thy prayers and tears may earn
For fallen souls some healing breath,
Ere they have died th’ Apostate’s death.
*** This poem is in the public domain,
and may be read in a live-streamed worship service.