Saturday 25 January 2014

LECTIONARY EPIPHANY 3: Saying and Doing - A song for the Son (Matthew 4:12-23)

One lantern fades into the prison cell’s shadows and another lantern begins to burn bright,

Brighter than the sun,

And the message is spoken with hands as well as mouth,

The kingdom comes nearer with every step taken, with every outstretched hand embraced, with every fishing net laid aside,

And in the steps and words and moments of heaven’s treasure crystallizing in the experience of the broken and the poor and the withdrawn you bring glory as you are glorified,

These precious moments are the ones that clog synapses and stuff hearts to overflowing with wonder and delight, compassion and excitement,

You stepped out with those words of call,

And the forgotten followed,

You stepped out with those words of hope and healing,

And the wounded walked free,

You stepped out with those words of repentance,

And the lives of so many were transformed,

Conformed to a power beyond this world and its delicate delights,

Reducing sin to repackaged waste,

Ready to be laid to rest in vaults never to be found again,

And all this while the sermon you’d preach on that mountain gestated in your heart,

Liberation’s baby getting ready to draw breathe,

The world changed and changes still on the crest of these words and actions and moments,

This narrator speaks from experience, as one who heard the call with Simon and Andrew and James and John,

You bring revival,

You bring the embodied hope of the kingdom to bear,

And your bare life before the broken bore the kingdom with every breath,

From the first to the quaking last,

And beyond,

How precious were those uttering’s that called history to stop and refocus itself on the son at the centre,

Who walked the margins,

Who would welcome the meek and walk as one of them to Calvary’s skull,

Stepping out from sunlight into something beyond beautiful,

With every step and every word and every action and every motion and every intention and every breathe and every glance and every pause,

Life was brought into focus,

Filters and screens and scanners hidden in darkness blown to dust by the integral integrity of your word and deed,

From this moment, as words and actions spilled out of you like blood and water, eternity was erupting into some new phase, creation’s dance not an echo but an ongoing encapsulated moment,

Shards of light and life brought with every moment and the real became realer,

The hopeless were filled with hope,

The downtrodden could look up,

The lacking were filled,

The wayward were refocused,

And history couldn’t hold all this in place,

These words tear from the pages, in which they are bound,

They multiply into a million books,

And a billion good deeds and kind words,

Throughout history felt and heard,

This is it,

This is the spark,

This is the light that shines in the darkness,

And everything was altered,

Everything that had gone before was seen through this lens,

And countless billions slipped to their knees and knew.

The kingdom had come near. 

NOTE: Matthew 4:18-22 changed my life. These words brought new meaning to everything for me.
And since that time, Matthew 4:23-25 has become ever more important to me as I have grown in my understanding of the mission of God.
And verse 24 of this reading is utterly devastating given what is happening at this moment in history.

1 comment:

Autumn said...

Wow, that's really powerful, Tim!
Here's mine:
Cath x