Hannah’s Song

Though my soul is dry,
the stream is swollen with rain
because God’s goodness has not failed.

Though the bread crumbs are stale,
the doe and her fawn graze without worry
because God’s goodness has not failed.

Though death looms with certainty,
the sun sings a new song every morning
because God’s goodness has not failed.

Though soldiers sharpen their weapons for war,
the sidewalk yields to a stubborn dandelion
because God’s goodness has not failed.

Though arrogance shouts from its mountain,
the hummingbird continues to savor earth’s nectar
because God’s goodness has not failed.

on 1 Samuel 2:1-10

Psalm 130

I long for You, O Steadfast Love,
like the morning glory longs for dawn;
and yet if You turned Your gaze my way
how could I stand in Your sight?

I long for You, O Foolish Hope,
like the desert longs for the rain;
and yet if You flooded over me
how could I keep my footing?

I long for You, O Whispered Word,
like a parched tongue longs for a fountain;
and yet if You poured out in holy speech
how could I have courage to hear?

Religiosity

If I am zealous in faith
but do know not peace,
I am a dangerous firebrand.

If I kneel before the LORD
but cannot stand beside my neighbor,
I am a self-righteous Judas.

If I preach “Christ is near”
but shame those who cry to Jesus,
I am a false and jealous prophet.

If I shout out God’s praises
but refuse to resist injustice,
I am a faithless narcissist.

If I build glorious altars
but do not tear down dividing walls,
I am a godforsaken disciple.

Faith is not a solo experience or a self-serving endeavor. Faith cannot love God and hate a stranger. Faith is not simple or perfect or grandiose. Faith holds mystery, knows pain, and practices curiosity. Faith worships and welcomes, waits and works. Faith dwells in love, walks in peace, and joins in hope.

Reflecting on the lectionary texts for
the 10th Sunday after Pentecost (A),
patterned after 1 Corinthians 13

Forever (Lent 30)

Longer than the night,
more welcome than the dawn,

Your steadfast love endures forever.

Farther than the horizon,
more abundant than the ocean,

Your steadfast love endures forever.

More impressive than the stars,
truer than a plumbline,

Your steadfast love endures forever.

More intricate than woodgrain,
sweeter than a lullaby,

Your steadfast love endures forever.

Faster than a raindrop’s ripples,
more beautiful than an infant’s smile,

Your steadfast love endures forever.

on Psalm 118:1-2