Poetry

Lectionary Poetry – Twelfth Sunday After Pentecost (Year C)

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:
Luke 14:1, 7-14

 
 

CLASSIC POEM:

The Banquet
George Herbert

Welcome sweet and sacred cheer,
Welcome deare;
With me, in me, live and dwell:
For thy neatnesse passeth sight,
Thy delight
Passeth tongue to taste or tell.

O what sweetnesse from the bowl
Fills my soul,
Such as is, and makes divine!
Is some starre (fled from the sphere)
Melted there,
As we sugar melt in wine ?

Or hath sweetnesse in the bread
Made a head
To subdue the smell of sinne;
Flowers, and gummes, and powders giving
All their living,
Lest the Enemy should winne ?

Doubtlese, neither starre nor flower
Hath the power
Such a sweetnesse to impart:
Onely God, who gives perfumes,
Flesh assumes,
And with it perfumes my heart.

But as Pomanders and wood
Still are good,
Yet being bruis’d are better sented:
God, to show how farre his love
Could improve,
Here, as broken, is presented.

When I had forgot my birth,
And on earth
In delights of earth was drown’d;
God took bloud, and needs would be
Spilt with me,
And so found me on the ground.

Having rais’d me to look up,
In a cup
Sweetly he doth meet my taste.
But I still being low and short,
Farre from court,
Wine becomes a wing at last.

For with it alone I flie
To the skie:
Where I wipe mine eyes, and see
What I seek, for what I sue;
Him I view,
Who hath done so much for me

Let the wonder of his pitie
Be my dittie,
And take up my lines and life:
Hearken under pain of death,
Hands and breath;
Strive in this, and love the strife.

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

 
 
CONTEMPORARY POEM:

Luke 14, A Commentary
Kathleen Norris

SNIPPET:

He is there like Clouseau
at the odd moment,
just right: when he climbs
out of the fish pond

[ 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


2 Comments

  1. Lectionary Poetry is wonderful! Three cheers for those who are behind this project! How can I read this week by week? What is the link? Is there a book? An e-book? A web-site?