Sunday, April 15, 2018

A Poem a Sunday
Easter IV – B
April 22, 2018

Good Shepherd

Psalm 23 - Now

(For Penny L. – Grand-dog)

God is my Master.
I will not be abused.
She walks me
in forest preserves.
She slakes my thirst
with cool waters.
God adopts me
and leads me
on safe pathways.
Even if I enter
the waste ridden alleys
I am unafraid
for God is with me.
God’s leash and reach
remain my comfort.
God prepares my daily dish
in front of those
who would hurt me.
God baths me with lavish love.
Compassion and kindness
flow over me every single day
and I will live
in my Master’s house

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

Sunday, April 8, 2018

A Poem a Sunday
Easter III – B
April 15, 2018

St. Luke 24:13-49 - NRSV

Scroll below text for poem.

The Walk to Emmaus
13 Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles[a] from Jerusalem, 14 and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, 16 but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They stood still, looking sad.[b] 18 Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?” 19 He asked them, “What things?” They replied, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth,[c] who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. 21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel.[d] Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. 22 Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, 23 and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.” 25 Then he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! 26 Was it not necessary that the Messiah[e] should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures. 28 As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. 29 But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us[f] while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” 33 That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. 34 They were saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!” 35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

Jesus Appears to His Disciples
36 While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”[g] 37 They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.[h] 41 While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate in their presence. 44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46 and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah[i] is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses[j] of these things. 49 And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

  1. Luke 24:13 Gk sixty stadia; other ancient authorities read a hundred sixty stadia
  2. Luke 24:17 Other ancient authorities read walk along, looking sad?”
  3. Luke 24:19 Other ancient authorities read Jesus the Nazorean
  4. Luke 24:21 Or to set Israel free
  5. Luke 24:26 Or the Christ
  6. Luke 24:32 Other ancient authorities lack within us
  7. Luke 24:36 Other ancient authorities lack and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
  8. Luke 24:40 Other ancient authorities lack verse 40
  9. Luke 24:46 Or the Christ
  10. Luke 24:48 Or nations. Beginning from Jerusalem 48 you are witnesses
 A Poem a Sunday
Easter III – B

Fracture Rite

Fissures at their feet
on the road of despair
of the splintered branches
in the olive trees
and cracks in the wall
of the empty well;

until a stranger
comes and breaks
the silence;
cracks open
the Scripture;
their resistance.

And as the stranger
is about to break away
the despairing pair
ask him to stay.

The door is open.
They enter in
for a humble meal
at the dusty inn

and the crumbs
tumble from
the broken bread
emerging from the fissure
one raised from the dead.

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

Sunday, April 1, 2018

A Poem a Sunday
Easter II – B
April 8, 2018

 St. John 20:19-31 - NRSV

Jesus Appears to the Disciples

19 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors
of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

Jesus and Thomas

24 But Thomas (who was called the Twin[a]), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”

The Purpose of This Book

30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may come to believe[b] that Jesus is the Messiah,[c] the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

  1. John 20:24 Gk Didymus
  2. John 20:31 Other ancient authorities read may continue to believe
  3. John 20:31 Or the Christ
 A Poem a Sunday
Easter II – B


Fraternal or identical –
who is his twin?

Thomas, it is rumored,
looked like Jesus –
was twin to Jesus.
Imagine being
Jesus’ twin.

Identical or fraternal?

No wonder he hid.
No wonder he cried
and sighed and denied
For all he had to do
was look into something shining,
a Roman shield,
and view not just
his own face
but the visage
of the Crucified One.

"...risen? Hmm!  Indeed!
How frightening…

Not a mere likeness,
but identity.
So Thomas, the Twin,

And what about us –
are we not
a twin of Christ?
Dare we carry
more than his likeness
but rather Divine DNA:
the Body of Christ?

Are we not
to be Christ’s twin:
the Body of Christ
broken for the world;
our lives poured out
like rich wine?

Copyright @2018 by Kenn Storck
May be used with permission

Monday, March 26, 2018

A Poem a Sunday
Easter Day
April 1, 2018

Mark 16:1-8 - NRSV

The Resurrection of Jesus

16 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3 They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” 4 When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 6 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” 8 So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid. [a]

The Shorter Ending of Mark

[[And all that had been commanded them they told briefly to those around Peter. And afterward Jesus himself sent out through them, from east to west, the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation. [b]]]

  1. Mark 16:8 Some of the most ancient authorities bring the book to a close at the end of verse 8. One authority concludes the book with the shorter ending; others include the shorter ending and then continue with verses 9–20. In most authorities verses 9–20 follow immediately after verse 8, though in some of these authorities the passage is marked as being doubtful.
  2. Mark 16:8 Other ancient authorities add Amen
A Poem a Sunday
Easter Day - B

Easter Quest

Jesus, is faith

§  more than cognitive assent
o   to a set of 4th Century propositions about you?

§  more about what you taught
o   than who you are?

§  more than praise songs
o   and pious hymns?

§  more than stained glass
o   and pipe organs?

§  more than God’s wrath
o   and substitutionary atonement?

§  more than miracles
o   and a resuscitated body?

I wonder, Jesus,
have we trapped you
in boxes of our own creation
while you burst from the tomb
raising more questions?

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

Monday, March 19, 2018

A Poem a Sunday
Palm/Passion - B
March 25, 2018

Wholly Weak

v  children crucified
on the cross of gun violence
v  Syrian refugees
only get silence
v  hunger murders
20,000 a day
v  since climate change
recess is never the same

Yet out of the weak
        the wholly is born.

v  Parkland teens
stand against gun violence
v  Syrians cross borders
with hope unfurled
v  women create micro-businesses
        and hunger is relieved
v  recess is renewable
with windmill landscapes

and from the cross
        once again the Christ speaks.

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

Monday, March 12, 2018

A Poem a Sunday
Lent V – B
March 18, 2018

 St. John 12:20-36 - NRSV

Some Greeks Wish to See Jesus
20 Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.

Jesus Speaks about His Death
27 “Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people[a] to myself.” 33 He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die. 34 The crowd answered him, “We have heard from the law that the Messiah[b] remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” 35 Jesus said to them, “The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.”

The Unbelief of the People
After Jesus had said this, he departed and hid from them.

[a] John 12:32 Other ancient authorities read all things
[b] John 12:34 Or the Christ

A Poem a Sunday
Lent V - B


“We shall not cease from exploration,
and the end of all our exploring will be
to arrive where we started
and know the place for the first time.”  T. S. Eliot


We’ve seen this movie before:
“The Greatest Story Ever Told.”
Yet is it true?  Was not Jesus a Jew,
olive skinned, not our white Anglo-kin?

We’ve layered this Mystic from the East
with Greek philosophy to say the least.
Confining the Rabbi with creeds
and ignoring his teachings and deeds.

Our pulpits often pour out pabulum.
Dare not disturb the faithful with the One
who will disrupt
and champion revolution.

To the Greeks he meets it is amazing.
He does not give them a fraternity hazing,
but with one thought
leaves them gazing:

“Very truly, I tell you,
unless a grain of wheat falls
into the earth and dies,
it remains just a single grain;
but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”

No - altar call for a decision

No – “….believe in me as your personal Lord  & Savior”

No - “I built the Church, come and join!”

No – “I was born of the Virgin Mary”

But a simple:  “Unless…”

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

Sunday, March 4, 2018

A Poem a Sunday
Lent IV – B
March 11, 2018

St. John 3:14-21 - NRSV

14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.[a]

16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
17 “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. 20 For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. 21 But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.”[b]

  1. John 3:15 Some interpreters hold that the quotation concludes with verse 15
  2. John 3:21 Some interpreters hold that the quotation concludes with verse 15
A Poem a Sunday
Lent IV – B

Serpent on a Tree

East of Eden we raise our eyes
to the one lifted up
and to our surprise
the serpent that bites
and poisons our lives
we look toward for healing
amidst our cries.

Like Adam, like Eve,
serpent bitten are we
and have taken the fruit
of the forbidden tree.

Like Israel, God’s chosen,
the Church succumbs to temptation
for survival and self-preservation.

But the Divine uses
the serpent on the tree
and lifts up the Christ
on Calvary
so that all
can see
and be lifted
from their misery.

Such a godly irony:
the very thing
that does us in
is what sets us free.

At the Gate of Eden
stands Calvary’s tree
eat of its fruit
and live eternally.

May be reprinted with the following attribution:
Copyright 2018 @ A Poem a Sunday
by Pastor Kenn Storck