Tuesday, June 19, 2018

A Poem a Sunday
John the Baptizer
June 24, 2018
St. Luke 1:57-66 - NRSV

The Birth of John the Baptist

57 Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. 58 Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.

59 On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him Zechariah after his father. 60 But his mother said, “No; he is to be called John.” 61 They said to her, “None of your relatives has this name.”

62 Then they began motioning to his father to find out what name he wanted to give him. 63 He asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And all of them were amazed. 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began to speak, praising God. 65 Fear came over all their neighbors, and all these things were talked about throughout the entire hill country of Judea. 66 All who heard them pondered them and said, “What then will this child become?” For, indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him.

A Poem a Sunday
John the Baptizer

Name Calling

Abram to Abraham,
Sarai to Sarah,
Jacob to Israel,
Paul to Saul,
Zechariah to John.

The call is
a birth
into God’s claim
and a new name.
(And after that
one is 
never the same).

The comfortable pew
no longer gives comfort
as the desert beckons
and the re-named discover:
the Kingdom disrupts
and tumbles the status quo
and those who are called
have nowhere to go.

But that is the point:
When God gives the word
exile becomes home
even after the return.
No longer at ease
in these, our kingdoms
longing for another birth
and the call 
that goes deeper.

Thank you, dear John,
for your witness,
prophet keeper.

Copyright 2018 by Kenn Storck
@A Poem a Sunday
May be used with permission

Sunday, June 10, 2018

A Poem a Sunday
Proper 6B/Ordinary 11B/Pentecost 4
June 17, 2015

St. Mark 4:26-34 - NRSV

The Parable of the Growing Seed
26 He also said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, 27 and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. 28 The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. 29 But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.”

The Parable of the Mustard Seed
30 He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; 32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”

The Use of Parables
33 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; 34 he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.

A Poem a Sunday
Pentecost 4 – B

“Even if the life of a person has been a disaster, God is in this person’s life. You can, you must try to seek God in every human life. Although the life of a person is a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. ”
 ― Pope Francis

This seed,
a mere speck
tossed into
the abyss
held the

This seed,
a womb
a Divine Promise.

This seed,
into a weed
a refuge
for birds.

This seed,
the farmer sleeps
becomes wheat
and bread
for 5,000.

This seed,
holds the
ready to blossom
into a tree
from Eden
with leaves
for the healing
of the nations.

Copyright @ 2018 by Kenn Storck
May be used with permission

Saturday, June 2, 2018

A Poem a Sunday
Proper 5B/Ordinary 10B/Pentecost 3
June 10, 2018

 St. Mark 3:20-35 - NRSV

…20 and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. 21 When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, “He has gone out of his mind.” 22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons.” 23 And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26 And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. 27 But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered.
28 “Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— 30 for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

The True Kindred of Jesus
31 Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers and sisters[a] are outside, asking for you.” 33 And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 34 And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”


[a]Mark 3:32 Other ancient authorities lack and sisters

A Poem a Sunday
Pentecost 3 - B

Family Ties

He is crazy, of course.
He has a mystifying Spirit:
Deep from the canyons
of the Divine
a gale
that takes
our breath away
and leaves us
gasping in wonder.

He needs
to be contained
and so
call his family.
Get him out
of the way
so he can
no longer
alarm us
with wayward

But then
he spoke again
from the Spirit
deep within
and declared
a new family
where everyone
is kin
who act
in insane
the Divine will.

He is crazy, of course
and we crucify him again
but harebrained love
is never overcome
and haunts
our hollow hearts.

Copyright 2018 by Kenn Storck
May be used with permission

Sunday, May 27, 2018

A Poem a Sunday
Pentecost 2 – B
June 3, 2018

 St. Mark 2:23-3:6 - NRSV

Pronouncement about the Sabbath

23 One Sabbath he was going through the grain fields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. 24 The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” 25 And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need of food? 26 He entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and he gave some to his companions.” 27 Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the Sabbath; 28 so the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”

The Man with a Withered Hand

3 Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. 2 They watched him to see whether he would cure him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. 3 And he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Come forward.” 4 Then he said to them, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. 5 He looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. 6 The Pharisees went out and immediately conspired with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.

A Poem a Sunday
Pentecost 2 – B

Beyond the Rubicon

Passing the Sabbath
shriveled hands healed
reveal shriveled hearts.

No turning back
once the river
is crossed
forever broken
lines fencing in
the lost.

No longer
‘Yours’ & ‘Mine.’

No longer
with walls
that define.

No, now
we’re drawn
to meet
the Other

and washed
in the Rubicon
we begin to
see one another.

Beyond shriveled hands
and healed hearts
we begin to be woven
into a Divine tapestry of art.

There is no return,
no turning back
once in that ancient Synagogue
Christ began to act.

Copyright 2018 @ A Poem a Sunday by Kenn Storck
May be used with permission

Saturday, May 19, 2018

A Poem a Sunday
Holy Trinity - B
May 27, 2018

 I’m Just Saying…

“Here is the shadow of truth,
for only the shadow is true.”
‘A Way to Love God’ by Robert Penn Warren

Reciting a creed
Sunday after Sunday
is like rehearsing
the Myth of Sisyphus;
perpetually pushing
the theological rock
up the mountain
only to have it roll
back for another week.

propositions of assent
never calls to discipleship.

1500 years
we’ve had these litmus tests
while overlooking
complicity to evil.

‘Believe in the Virgin Birth,’
but ignore the rights of women.
‘Confess Jesus as God's only Son’
while God’s children go hungry.
Affirm the Trinity
while overlooking,
want, war, and poverty.

New creeds, please,
that call us to loving deeds
and to share a
communal commitment
to the teachings of Christ.

Copyright 2018 @ A Poem a Sunday
May be used with permission

Sunday, May 13, 2018

A Poem a Sunday
Pentecost - B
May 20, 2018

St. John 15:26-16:15 - NRSV

26 “When the Advocate[a] comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. 27 You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning.

16 “I have said these things to you to keep you from stumbling. 2 They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, an hour is coming when those who kill you will think that by doing so they are offering worship to God. 3 And they will do this because they have not known the Father or me. 4 But I have said these things to you so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you about them.

The Work of the Spirit

“I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. 5 But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate[b] will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about[c] sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; 11 about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.
12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

  1. John 15:26 Or Helper
  2. John 16:7 Or Helper
  3. John 16:8 Or convict the world of
 Spirit Rant

Silence kills as tyrants rise
the powerful are deaf
to the powerless cries
and lies are told upon lies

and the center
can no longer hold
when truth is for sale
and sold

and stones are shouting
out from Beth-el
echoing Amos’s
ancient words
giving voice now
to the voiceless

breaking the silence
in the absurd
of the wealthy 1%
deaf to justice’s

Vaulted ceilings
shelter pews
comforted by
complicit preachers'

Tear the curtains,
rip the pew pads
expose the gods
and idols now.

Burn the churches
bare their apathy
shout from the ashes
as you bow.

No longer worship
the illusion
of the sacred
golden cow.

Give voice!
Give Voice!
to all in Congress
so they can behold
the naked,
the hungry,
the refugee.
Now is the time
to set Congress free
from bondage to the buck.

The Spirit is blowing
where it wills
and breathing compassion
into those who still
are on fire for the least
and invite all
to the Divine Feast.

Copyright 2018 @A Poem a Sunday
May be used with permission

Monday, May 7, 2018

A Poem a Sunday
Easter VII – B
May 13, 2018

St. John 17:6-19 - NRSV

6 “I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; 8 for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 9 I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. 

11 And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them in your name that[a] you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost,[b] so that the scripture might be fulfilled. 

13 But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves.[c]14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15 I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one.[d

16 They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.

  1. John 17:12 Other ancient authorities read protected in your name those whom
  2. John 17:12 Gk except the son of destruction
  3. John 17:13 Or among themselves
  4. John 17:15 Or from evil
A Poem a Sunday
Easter VII - B

In the beginning


but then
the great divide:

after division
over time
could not

Alpha Point
in all

It is in
to the
the Gift,
that the
will become
a union of
vast diversity
evolving into
a new
drawn to the
Omega Point

*“In the beginning, nearly fourteen billion years ago, all the space and all the matter and all the energy of the known universe was contained in a volume less than one-trillionth the size of the period that ends this sentence.
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Copyright 2018 @ A Poem a Sunday
May be used with permission