Poems of the Week

Pentecost Sunday  31 May



O great gift

of wind and fire,

of word and action,

inspire us now

to share the Word

in new tongues

of love and compassion.

Heal our squabbling

over who did what, when, 

and why, that we may

be intent instead

on witnessing to

the life of Jesus

and his risen 

and ascended glory.

Show us how to speak

not so much

with our own voices

but in the tones

of the One who came

to share himself

with the world,

and reigns now

with the Father

and with you in heaven.

Aldersgate Sunday   24 May


I felt my heart strangely warmed.’

That was how John Wesley described his experience as he listened to a

reading on Romans at a meeting in Aldersgate Street.


That sparking of the Spirit

was the occasion

for his ultimate conversion

and gave rise to

a life spent sharing

the love of God with all.


For me, Romans shines with

the declaration that

nothing – nothing in all creation –

can separate us

from the love of God

in Christ Jesus our Lord.


This is true still today.

Nothing – not coronavirus

or any of the problems

that we face in the world

will be able to break

the bonds of love.


And so we can look forward

to Pentecost, when the

flame of the Holy Spirit

comes with power

to overcome all obstacles

and warm our hearts as well.

 Ascension Day, Thursday 21 May (Acts 1 vv 6-14)



Why do you stand looking up toward heaven?

ask the men in white.

‘His disappearing feet

have walked the walk

and he has talked the talk,

so it is up to you now

to keep calm and carry on.

The Holy Spirit is coming

and will be with you

in power, so that you

can be witnesses

throughout the earth.

Do not be afraid,

for you are one

in him, as he is one

in the Father,

and the Father

is one in all things.

Do not look up at the sky,

but see, the whole world

is spread out before you.

Return to Jerusalem

and await the Spirit.’


Sunday 17 May   (John 14  vv 15-18)

'I will not leave you desolate;

you are not alone.

The Holy Spirit surely comes

to help you all be one.’


But maybe it doesn’t feel like that,

maybe we feel distraught

and cannot find a hand to hold

or any positive thought.


Maybe we have loved and lost

the ones who were most dear

or simply feel abandoned

with our sore grief and fear.


See how community has grown

and neighbours come to know

that spirit of love and helpfulness

Christ said that we should show.


And so give thanks for life itself

and pray with gratitude

for we shall find that thankfulness

will bring a lighter mood.


‘I will not leave you desolate;

you are not alone.

The Holy Spirit surely comes

to help you all be one.'


Tuesday 12 May

For Florence Nightingale's Centenary 


The birds seem to sing louder

now that the traffic has abated,

and many of us have had

our ears reborn

to this balmy music.

Not the nightingales, here,

but many other birds

which often accompany

our evening meditations.

And someone sent a recording

of nightingales to the BBC

so that we all could hear

their ingenious song.


The word has taken on

a new definition

in the fight to control

the coronavirus, as eight

vast new hospitals

were built in days

and named for the nurse

who trod the wards of Crimea.

And so it is appropriate

that, as today we celebrate

two hundred years

since that great woman’s birth,

her very principles of care

are still being practised

in our new Nightingale wards,

the lamp is lit,

and the evening throbs

with an unearthly singing.


Joanna Tulloch

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