6-22 Prayer for Preachers

Prayer for Preachers


The syllabus read:


“HERMENEUTICS: interpretation, analysis, investigation of Scripture

EXEGESIS: an exposé, “exposing,” exposition and explanation of the text

HOMILETICS: the art of preaching, delivery”


This morning after mixing

1/3 granola, 1/3 oatmeal and 1/3 maple-favored instant,


it churns in my full belly like the sermons heard over my lifetime

and I admit I cannot remember any except my uncle’s

in Victory Home chapel, decades ago. It whirred like

a clothes-pinned card to the front wheel of my bicycle.


“It’s all about Jesus!” he thundered but Woodstock

clouded my mind and I hunted for the goddess,

a rose of Sharon, my lily growing in the valley.


Christ poked a Mustard-seed between the lilies

by the dead goddess, and a green blade rose.


.           .


Jesus passed out bowls and plates and cups as they reclined

Tonight’s supper, in candlelit room

blossomed with baked bread. He poured wine.

“Everyone who has will be given more until he has enough and to spare;

everyone who has nothing, will forfeit even what he has.”


They ate and sipped in silence heavy as nightfall.

Heavy as the prophecy “One of you will betray me.”

Heavy as the cup when He said, “Drink from it, all of you.

This is My blood, the blood of the covenant, shed for many.”


My empty bowl has bits of oatmeal hardened on the edge

and in the sacristy of my heart. My cup is porcelain,

dishwasher polished yet blood-stained on its bottom.

Bleach cannot cleanse it. Nor my drill’s polishing pad.


When I stand behind a podium, I am in my cup.