Poetry

Lectionary Poetry – Fourth Sunday of Epiphany (Year A)

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).

 
 

*** Revised Common Lectionary ***

Lectionary Reading: Matthew 5:1-12 

 
 

CLASSIC POEM:

The Pure in Heart
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

They shall see Him in the crimson flush
Of morning’s early light,
In the drapery of sunset,
Around the couch of night.

When the clouds drop down their fatness,
In late and early rain,
They shall see His glorious footprints
On valley, hill and plain.

They shall see Him when the cyclone
Breathes terror through the land;
They shall see Him ‘mid the murmurs
Of zephyrs soft and bland.

They shall see Him when the lips of health,
Breath vigor through each nerve,
When pestilence clasps hands with death,
His purposes to serve.

They shall see Him when the trembling earth
Is rocking to and fro;
They shall see Him in the order
The seasons come and go.

They shall see Him when the storms of war
Sweep wildly through the land;
When peace descends like gentle dew
They still shall see His hand.

They shall see Him in the city
Of gems and pearls of light,
They shall see Him in his beauty,
And walk with Him in white.

To living founts their feet shall tend,
And Christ shall be their guide,
Beloved of God, their rest shall be
In safety by His side.

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



 
 

CONTEMPORARY POEM:

Happiness
Jane Kenyon

Found in:
Otherwise: New and Selected Poems

SNIPPET:

There’s just no accounting for happiness,
or the way it turns up like a prodigal
who comes back to the dust at your feet
having squandered a fortune far away.

[ READ THE FULL POEM ]

 
 

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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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