I am presently working on a new collection of sonnets about the sayings of Jesus to be called ‘Parable and Paradox‘, which will come out with Canterbury Press next year. The sequence will consist on a series of reflections on, wrestlings with and responses to the sayings of Jesus, voicing, I hope, the wide range of our responses to his teaching from thrilling recognition to baffled amazement, from the urge to follow to the fear of challenge, from wary evasion to life-changing engagement. Parable and Paradox is also the title of a series of sermons I am giving in Girton College Chapel this term which introduce both some of the sayings and some of the sonnets. I am going to post both the sonnets and the sermons on this blog over the coming weeks and I begin with the opening sonnet/sermon which addresses the problem of how we open our ears to hear Jesus in the first place. First I will give you the sonnet which is a response to Matthew 13: verse 9: ‘He who has ears to hear, let hm hear’ and then I will give you a link to a recording of the sermon, along with the references for the Bible texts in that service. If you are in Cambridge you are welcome to come up to Girton and join us for the services and sermons which take place every Sunday evening at 5:30pm during term time. The full term card with all details cam be viewed, or downloaded as a PDF here
As usual you can hear the poem by clicking on the title or on the ‘play’ button
‘He who has ears to hear let him hear’
How hard to hear the things I think I know,
To peel aside the thin familiar film
That wraps and seals your secret just below:
An undiscovered good, a hidden realm,
A kingdom of reversal, where the poor
Are rich in blessing and the tragic rich
Still struggle, trapped in trappings at the door
They never opened, Life just out of reach…
Open the door for me and take me there.
Love, take my hand and lead me like the blind,
Unbandage me, unwrap me from my fear,
Open my eyes, my heart, my soul, my mind.
I struggle with these grave clothes, this dark earth,
But you are calling ‘Lazarus come forth!’
You can listen to the sermon that includes this sonnet from this page
The texts for the sermon and sonnet: Psalm: 49:1-12
Old Testament Reading: Ezekiel 12:1-12 New Testament Reading: Matthew 13:9-17
Next week we will look at Jesus’ saying ‘unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies it abides alone, but if it dies it bears much fruit (John 12:24)
3 responses to “Parable and Paradox: He who has ears to hear…”
Thanks for this what a blessing
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From:”Malcolm Guite” Date:Wed, 29 Apr, 2015 at 12:03 Subject:[New post] Parable and Paradox: He who has ears to hear…
malcolmguite posted: ” I am presently working on a new collection of sonnets about the sayings of Jesus to be called ‘Parable and Paradox’, which will come out with Canterbury Press next year. The sequence will consist on a series of reflections on, wrestlings with and resp”
Yes. He calls and calls and calls. Thank you for this beautiful sonnet Malcolm. So often he uses your work to “unwrap” me.
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