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 ***
The Pathways of the Holy Land
The pathways of Thy land are little changed
Since Thou wert there;
The busy world through other ways has ranged,
And left these bare.
The rooky path still climbs the glowing steep
Though rains of two millenniums wear it deep,
Men tread it yet.
Still to the gardens o’er the brook it leads,
Quiet and low;
Before his sheep the shepherd on it treads,
His voice they know
The wild fig throws broad shadows o’er it still,
As once o’er Thee;
Peasants go home at evening up that hill
And as when gazing Thou didst weep o’er them,
From height to height
The white roofs of discrowned Jerusalem
Burst on our sight.
These ways were strewed with garments once and palm,
Which we tread thus;
Here through Thy triumph on Thou passedst, calm,
To death;—for us!
The waves have washed fresh sands upon the shore
But chiselled in the hill-sides evermore
Thy paths we see.
Man has not changed them in that slumbering land,
Nor Time effaced:
Where Thou hast stood to heal, we still may stand;
All can be traced.
Yet we have traces of Thy footsteps far
Truer than these;—
Where’er the poor, and tried, and suffering are,
Thy steps faith sees.
Nor with fond sad regrets Thy steps we trace;
Thou art not dead!
Our path is onward, till we see Thy face,
And hear Thy tread.
And now, wherever meets Thy lowliest band
In praise and prayer,
There is Thy presence, there Thy Holy Land,—
Thou, Thou art there!
*** This poem is in the public domain,
and may be read in a live-streamed worship service.
The Good Shepherd
Because he would not abandon the flock for a lost sheep
after the others had bedded down for the night,
he turned back, searched the thickets and gullies.
Sleepless, while the flock dozed in the morning mist