These poems for Year B are all in my new book by Wipf and Stock, Lectionary Poems, Year B: More Surprising Grace for Pulpit and Pew. It will give you not just all the poems for the year, including five new hymn texts, but also an index of all 128 biblical references, plus a title index. Just $12 now (check or Venmo)(and cheaper than Amazon) includes tax and mailing for a signed/inscribed copy for yourself or a giftee. Buying multiple quantities reduces the cost even more! Let me know what I can send you: Write to me at scott.l.barton["at" symbol]gmail.com.
And now, for our regularly scheduled program:
Corneille Michel I (c. 1601 – 1664): Baptism of a Centurion
What Will Be Is Odd
When those of us today who feel not blessed to have the gift
Consider how, back then, it gave the circumcised a lift
To hear in tongues the Gentiles speaking and extolling God,
We should not be surprised to hear that what will be—is odd!
Imagination's eyesight cannot see beyond its nose;
(Who would have thought the Jews would be the ones whom this God chose?)
So never doubt the future brings what we can ne'er conceive,
A God who loves means there is always more that's up God's sleeve.
Scott L. Barton
While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, for they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter said, “Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” So he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they invited him to stay for several days.
Perhaps the text appearing here in Eastertide
Forms a corrective to the solemnness oft tied
To Jesus' final discourse at this final meal—
Imagining he's sad, we think, so we should feel.
But I detect no sadness as he names his friends
To be the people who would love as he intends:
Not with reluctance, grimly, or with gritted teeth,
But here's the thing—it's joy to you that he's bequeathed!
He's chosen you! Oh, my; yes, you, to love like him!
The cup he offers you is filled right to the brim!
When taking on the love we see in Christ, we meet
O'erflowing, unadulterated joy. Complete!
Scott L. Barton
“As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another. ”