Note to My Readers: from mid-June to mid-August (6/18 - 8/20), I will be taking a summer break from posting new articles for my Thursday and Friday slots. This will only affect my Thursday series on the global growth of Christianity, and my Friday series, the "Theological Bestiary" of birds, both of which will resume in late August. During the summer, I'll be dusting off some of my best essays from the first few years of this blog (a decade ago), as well as my verse play "Thus Ends the World," and re-posting them in the Thursday and Friday slots. All other weekdays will continue to feature new material throughout the summer.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Let Us Attend

The poem below is based on a repeated refrain in the Divine Liturgy of the early church father John Chrysostom, still in weekly use in Eastern Orthodox churches around the world.

Let Us Attend

Wisdom! Let us attend.

When we hear the holy Name

      Whispered in ancient prayers,

When the sacred texts reveal to us

      The image of the reigning Christ,

When, in loaf and cup,

      The all-present Presence is manifest to us,

            Let us attend.

When we watch a silent dawn

      With steaming tea in hand,

When a well-worn, clothbound book

      Leads us to new reflections,

When the mighty eagle’s wings

      Cleave the azure sky o’erhead,

            Let us attend.

When we are called to walk the path

      Of stumbling ‘neath a heavy cross,

When we must listen beyond our strength

      To a broken, breaking friend,

When suffering speaks its chast’ning word

      Into our unsubmissive lives,

            Let us attend.

When the Lord speaks,

      There is Wisdom—

            Then let us attend.

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