With the dawn of Advent and a new church year, we’ve revamped our weekly post of poetry that resonates with the lectionary readings for that week (Narrative Lectionary and Revised Common Lectionary).
*** Narrative Lectionary ***
Lectionary Reading: Matthew 6:7-21
The Joys of Fasting
There’s a hidden sweetness
in the stomach’s emptiness.
We are lutes, no more, no less.
If the sound box is stuffed
full of anything, no music.
If the brain and the belly
are burning clean with fasting,
every moment a new song
comes out of the fire.
The fog clears, and a new energy
makes you run up the steps in front of you.
Be emptier and cry like reed instruments cry.
Emptier, write secrets with the reed pen.
When you’re full of food and drink,
Satan sits where your spirit should,
an ugly metal statue in place of the Kaaba.
When you fast, good habits gather
like friends who want to help.
Fasting is Solomon’s ring.
Don’t give it to some illusion and lose your power,
but even if you’ve lost all will and control,
they come back when you fast,
like soldiers appearing out of the ground,
pennants flying above them.
A table descends to your tent,
Expect to see it, when you fast,
this table spread with other food,
better than the broth of cabbages.
*** This poem is in the public domain,
and may be read in a live-streamed worship service.
I heard him call you his beloved son
And saw his Spirit lighten like a dove,