You Are My Beloved

(Baptism of the Lord, Year C; click here for the biblical texts)

In the name of the Father and the Son
and Holy Spirit I claim you
for Christ the priest intoned
as the drops of water rolled down
the chubby infant cheeks
recalling in that moment as in all other
moments at the font how God claimed
Jesus for God’s Own rising from River
Jordan amidst the heavenly chorus
booming voice no applause
then but today the pews
resound with joy as proud parents
and godparents and grandparents
and siblings crowd around grinning
hugging awaiting the cake and coffee
downstairs thinking not that moment
perhaps of what this means belonging not
just to your family and friends
but to God to be God’s cherished
walk the earth build a life of hope
prayer joy truth love peace sadness
too all marked by this moment of
holy inauguration into the journey
of faith the steps in years to come
the newly baptized will take that
none can foretell except
God the love and nurture and nudging
that give life shape and meaning when
if we pay attention—can we will we
help this new one listen and learn—  
will we ourselves listen and learn
what it means to be chosen for
special responsibility in the
eternal global family setting
our face toward Jerusalem
going into our own wildernesses
emerging no limits on love
bearing crosses speaking our truth
beloved beginning to end.

©RobinGorsline2015 lectionarypoetics.org
Please use this credit whenever this poem is published in any form

Something Is Up

(Epiphany, Year C; click here for the biblical texts)

When rich men pay homage
bear extravagant gifts to honor a baby
something is up
almost as if missing
the baby shower they know more
is needed by new parents funds
for diapers blankets socks
but when their limousine
pulls up in front neighbors
authorities sense more at stake
than needs of an infant and his parents.
What is going on what do they know that
we do not Who is this child Who
are his parents Is he a local boy?
Where do they come from perhaps they
are illegal should we call police
at least demand answers.
Shabby shepherds came last
week now richly dressed men
from away he they must be
something special. We have to know
the secret ask the rabbis priests imams
they have to know but will they tell
danger seems to lurk around him
even as a bright light shines over the
rude birthing bed like a spotlight
protecting the door to a laden barn
calling attention to it too.
Is this Messiah is it time?
But in a cave with cattle straw
how can that be?
Shh! Don’t tell might get them
in trouble with Homeland Security
let them leave quietly
let the baby grow up and then
we’ll know why angels sang
shepherds and rich men came.
©RobinGorsline2015 lectionarypoetics.org
Please use the credit line above when publishing this poem in any form

What If . . . .

(2nd Sunday after Christmas, Year C; click here for the biblical texts)
 

The body of Christ wondrous to behold
paintings in museums chapels
Rembrandt daVinci El Greco
cathedral sculptures Michelangelo glory
beyond mere majesty beyond mortality
showing the historical One
no longer with us no multi-dimensional
breathing flesh blood figure
memory beloved spirit revered
central to living though not incarnate.
But what of God’s body you inhabit
I inhabit each of us living with
all the others offspring of God
family of the Divine a clear resemblance
to the parent who is both female and
male—do you think God is one or
the other—intersexed accounting
for each?
What if Jesus came not to be
the only one but hoping we would all
claim our godly bodies souls lives
disciples bonding on the road
to our own Emmauses where we see
in the mirrors of God who we are called
to be leading serving hanging on our
cross when needed rising always rising
into life beyond what the world gives and
takes refusing rules intended to
tame denying dogma that tamps
down spirit holy at our core–
What if – I’m just sayin’–
we you me here now are
the actual body of Christ?
©RobinGorsline2015 lectionarypoetics.org
Please use the credit line above when publishing this poem in any form

The Temple of Never Ending Love

(1st Sunday after Christmas, Year C; click here for lectionary texts)

Belief takes us familiar places
Passover at table Christmas midnight
mass Easter at sunrise weekly worship
choir practice Bible study groups
but sometimes we wander off caught up
in new understanding or led in a direction we
do not know maybe even want finding ourselves
like pre-teen Jesus in the temple listening asking questions
speaking words beyond what we and others
thought we knew.  Then we see the hand of God
caressing our lives touching intimately our
souls to awaken the true potential
we are blessed to become not God
but one with God born of God one
of God and one in God. What Jesus tells
us is that it could be us at temple
speaking wisdom way beyond we
are told we can know.  We must free
ourselves.  God is ready to loose the chains
of convention and rules when we say yes.
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us
dwells among us Christ is not just coming
again Christ is here now inviting us
to sit with him grow in him to become
not him but our full selves in the beauty
of holiness wholeness shalom passing
all understanding going beyond all human
knowledge to the holy of holies
within us the temple of never ending love.
©RobinGorsline2015 lectionarypoetics.org
Please use the credit line above when publishing this poem in any form

Shall We Sing to God a New Song?

(Christmas, Year C; click here for the biblical texts)

Shall we sing to God a new song
becoming angels making joyful noise
listening to hear those high above
hearts ears open to hear
divine music in our souls to tumble
from our holy lips heralds of new birth
in Bethlehem yes but closer to home
our very own manger in which to lay
gifts of ourselves to share hope peace
joy love by which we are marked as
God’s beloved not just one night but
for life giving ourselves away feeding
the world with the symphonic melody
beating coursing in sacred veins
cherub chorus that never ends
divine energy flowing in through around us
touching hardened ones opening once
closed minds making shepherds of all
to proclaim yet again God’s love
for a world too frightened to receive
without shame and preconditions
what is freely given in delirious joy
pondering in our hearts
the gift vibrating still in Holy Land
war zones where mothers continue
to ponder in their hearts the blood
of birth as the sign of heaven’s favor
and fathers look on awed to see
what wildest dreams cannot conceive
hope rising peace born yet again
singing a new song in God’s key
heaven’s harmonics heralding
the chance to start again
where all was lost and yet
is never gone when we listen
watch wait pray hope give thanks
trusting the One we cannot see
right in front of our eyes.
©RobinGorsline2015 lectionarypoetics.org
Please use the credit line above when publishing this poem in any form