Poems of the Week

Sunday 9 August

Matthew 14: 30 as in The Message 

'But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, "Master, save me!" '

Don’t look down   

 

Going out at the moment

is rather like Peter

walking on water – 

you’re all right as long as

you don’t look down.

 

Like a tightrope walker

you negotiate the narrow rope

between getting too close

and feeling safe

because of your mask and distancing.

 

Public confidence is still

quite low among 

the vulnerable – 

why throw away all that

has been won by staying at home?

 

But for Peter it was a matter

of continuing to trust (or not)

in the miraculous powers

of Jesus. Maybe we too

could learn something from this.

 

Sunday 2 August

Taking the next step  based on Psalm 17: 5

 

Go forward into the day, my soul

and do not fear,

though the night-time be tormenting

or the morning mournful.

Go forward 

with courage and conviction,

carrying your cross

and knowing that Christ has gone before you.

Go forward – 

even a single step of faith

will take you further

than any amount of wandering

among worldly cares.

Go forward

though the earth seem to melt away

before you,

for as you place your feet there

the bridge will be built and buttressed

beneath you.

No ifs, no buts, no chasing after shadows – 

simply go forward

to where the Master waits to greet you.

 

Sunday 26 July based on Romans 8: 38-9


Nothing but love  

However much our lives may be disrupted,

there’s one thing that can keep us firm, secure:

nothing at all can come between us

for God’s love is dependable and sure.

 

Even death shall not be a disaster,

for there’s no power greater than this love.

Everlasting life is ours in Jesus,

and this is our crowning joy to prove:

 

he came to be our true companion,

he was born as a human full of life;

he overcame the death that he would suffer

and he rose to triumph over strife


Sunday 19 July    based on Psalm 139: 1–12, 23–24

You do not pursue

even when I try to hide

in the very deepest dodge-holes. 

Rather you wait patiently

knowing I must come back out

eventually.

 

You do not condemn

even when I blame myself

or listen to my inner critic.

Rather you wait patiently

knowing I must feel your grace

eventually.

 

You do not command

even when I face a choice

to follow you or have my way.

Rather you wait patiently

knowing I must hear your call

eventually.

 

You do not give up

even when I fail to turn

to you for everything I need.

Rather you wait patiently

knowing I must learn to pray

eventually.


Sunday July 12    Matthew 13: 1-9 and 18-23 

Van Gogh and the Sower 

Van Gogh painted the Sower

over and over again

as though he needed to remind

himself constantly of the message.

 

As a young man, before art

he professed the ambition

to be a ‘sower of the word’,

following in the footsteps of his father.

 

He became a trainee preacher

in London, and later tried to study

theology, but the seed fell by the wayside

and he turned to art instead.

 

His first images of the Sower

were copies of Millet’s prints,

but Van Gogh needed his own roots

and he sought depth of earth elsewhere.

 

Soon he branched out into paint,

but his pictures were dark and dreary,

choked by the thorns of the hard

life he had chosen for himself.

 

In Arles he sowed light and colour – 

glorious violet and yellow fields –

but although the conditions were right

no one wanted to buy his pictures.

 

Still he repeated his practice,

the Sower haloed by an orange sun,

but it wasn’t till long after he died

that we realized what great fruit he had borne.


Sunday 5 July    Matthew 11: 28-29 

'Come unto me’   

Wearying of all the uncertainty

and heavy-laden with grief,

it can seem logical to turn away

into our own darkness.

 

But there is one strong enough

and compassionate enough

to walk beside us, to lead us

back into the light.

 

‘Come,’ he says, ‘and share my yoke.’

Coupled with him we too are strong;

so do not turn away into despair,

but let him lead you into peace.


Sunday 28 June  Theme of water

As the deer       Psalm 42  

Parched and tired, the muntjac

creeps toward the waterhole,

tempted to run, but shy

of other animals there.

 

This is the clear stream,

the crystal fountain

for which she has longed

and searched for days.

 

Like her, we seek out

sustenance and moisture

in a dry land, but our need

is to find the fount of grace.

 

And when we do, sometimes

in the unlikeliest of places,

we can only praise you,

our living God, source of all joy.

 

A sip of your water is enough

to turn our dry brown edges

back to green again, enough

to satisfy our thirst forever.

                                    Selah!


Imagine      Romans 6: 14 

 

Imagine the new day

as the first day of creation,

when the chaos lifts

and the Spirit drifts

across the deep.

 

Imagine the shower

as a sprinkling of God’s love

that finds the dark, dry places

and enlivens them.

 

Imagine the clean water

blessing the whole earth

as we learn to share

and give each other sustenance.

 

Imagine that today

a house of justice will be built

and all peoples will be welcome there

for all eternity.

 

Imagine – and realize the dream.

 

 

 Joanna Tulloch


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