Thursday, April 21, 2011

House of Prayer

The reading for Holy Communion today from the RCL is John 13.1-17, 31b-35

            wooded path
               ~warm air heavy
                with burnt gorse

Not surprisingly for a clergyman I've been spending a lot of time in church lately. I love the old buildings, witnesses to the faithfulness of generations past, sustained by the current generation, and held in trust for generations yet to come. Of course, the congregations over the last few nights have been small, which does make me wonder for the future.

Last night, the theme of the service was prayer. When I was lying in bed last night, thinking about prayer myself, I wrote this poem:

House of Prayer
Prayer has gathered like a thick dust
upon the high ledges and in the crannies
no hand can reach;
                             it has blackened
the old beams and darkened old pews
and warn their varnish thin; it has
seeped into the walls, causing plaster
to bubble and crumble and flake away;
it glints off much the polished brass
and shines dully from the faded tiles
of the chancel and sanctuary floor;
is has been trodden into the weave
of the carpet in the central aisle,
it has been moulded into the light
filtered through stained glass
                                          and hangs
in the air with the scent of old polish
and damp and wax.
                              Even when the people
are not there, the people of today,
the people of yesterday, the prayer remains
as the fabric of the place, more than a part,
it is this place for this place itself is prayer.

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