Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Blogging toward Sunday

The Lectionary texts for Sunday, March 18th, include Numbers 21:4-9 and John 3:14-21.

The Old Testament reading from Numbers is quite an intriguing story. You may wish to read it this week and reflect on it a bit before turning to the New Testament reading. In case you need a little extra motivation, the sermon title for Sunday is "Death on a Pole." Yes, you will likely want to read both passages in preparation for worship.

We are in the middle of the Lenten season, and these days just before Easter tend to pass so quickly.  As we journey along, trying to find moments for quiet meditation in the midst of rushing to and fro, isn't it good to be reminded of God's love that is all around us, in the cracks and crevices of all of life. When I feel the urge to slow down, keep time in a different way, I tend to go to the poets. They have a way of putting things differently; often times shining rays of light just where it's most needed. Having said that, I hope you enjoy the following poem taken from A Timbered Choir: The Sabbath Poems 1979-1997 by Wendell Berry.

1992: VIII
I have again come home
through miles of sky
from hours of abstract talk
in the way of modern times
when humans live in their minds
and the world, forgotten, dies
into explanations. Weary
with absence, I return to earth.
"Good to see you back down
on the creek!" Martin Rowanberry
would say if he were here
to say it, as he'll not be again.
I have departed and returned 
too many times to forget
that after all returns
one departure will remain.
I bring the horses down
off the hillside, harness them,
and start the morning's work,
the team quick to the load
along the narrow road.
I am weary with days
of travel, with poor sleep,
with time and error,
with every summer's heat
and blood-drinking flies.
And yet I sink into
the ancient happiness
of slow work in unhastenable
days and years. Horse and cow,
plow and hoe, grass to graze
and hay to mow have brought me
here, and taught me where I am.
I work in absence not yet mine
that will be mine. In time
this place has come to signify
the absence of many, and always
more, who once were here.
Day by day their voices
come to me, as from the air.
I remember them in what I do.
So I am not a modern man.
In my work I would be known
by forebears of a thousand years
if they were here to see it.
So it has been. So be it.

May the Lord pour blessings upon you and those you love this week. I look forward to seeing you in worship on Sunday.

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