Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Third Sunday in Lent (C), February 28, 2016 - Isaiah 55:1-9

The bicentennial logo
of the Port Hope, Ontario, United Church

Note: For a poem on the Luke 13:1-9 text for this Sunday, please see my poem from March 3, 2013, "I think, perhaps, we miss the point"  in the archives at the right or at

This Isaiah text below means a lot to me. It was the Original Testament text at my ordination to Presbyterian ministry in Sackets Harbor, New York, in 1976. My father read it. I like to think he would have liked this poem that's basically a retelling of Isaiah's.

For Heaven's Sake, I'll from You N'er Stray

Ho, everyone who thirsts, come drink,
Though you be poor, come now and eat!
With all your money, do you think
Your spending makes your life complete?

Just listen up, and you will see
The food that's good which I will give;
Incline your ear and come to me,
Filled with delight, so you will live!

My steadfast love for David shows
My love for you will never end,
And people everywhere will know
You're blessed, and run, and you befriend.

Now seek, so that the  LORD, you find,
Forsake the wrong in mind and deed,
Because the LORD is always kind,
And pardons all who come in need.

I'm not like you in thoughts and ways,
For heav'n's sake, I'll from you ne'er stray.

Scott L. Barton

Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; 
and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! 
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, 
and your labor for that which does not satisfy? 
Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, 
and delight yourselves in rich food. 
Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live. 
I will make with you an everlasting covenant, 
my steadfast, sure love for David. 
See, I made him a witness to the peoples, 
a leader and commander for the peoples. 
See, you shall call nations that you do not know, 
and nations that do not know you shall run to you, 
because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel,
for he has glorified you.
Seek the Lord while he may be found, 
call upon him while he is near; 
let the wicked forsake their way, 
and the unrighteous their thoughts; 
let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them, 
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, 
nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. 
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, 
so are my ways higher than your ways 
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

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