A Sonnet for Petertide, and for my ordination anniversary


The 29th of June  this year is a Silver Jubilee for me: the 25th Anniversary of my ordination as Deacon. So next year will be the jubilee of my priesting. The 29th is of course also St. Peter’s day, when we remember the disciple who, for all his many mistakes, knew how to recover and hold on, who, for all his waverings was called by Jesus ‘the rock’, who learned the threefold lesson that every betrayal can ultimately be restored by love. It is fitting therefore that it is at Petertide that new priests and deacons are ordained, on the day they remember a man whose recovery from mistakes and openness to love can give them courage. So I post this poem not only for St. Peter but for all those being ordained this weekend and in memory of my own ordination on this day 25 years ago.

This poem comes from my collection Sounding the Seasons published by Canterbury Press. You can also buy it on Amazon Uk or US or order it in any bookshop. My Canadian readers can get it from Steve Bell.

As always you can her the poem by clicking on the ‘play’ button, or on the title of the poem.

St. Peter

Impulsive master of misunderstanding

You comfort me with all your big mistakes;

Jumping the ship before you make the landing,

Placing the bet before you know the stakes.

I love the way you step out without knowing,

The way you sometimes speak before you think,

The way your broken faith is always growing,

The way he holds you even when you sink.

Born to a world that always tried to shame you,

Your shaky ego vulnerable to shame,

I love the way that Jesus chose to name you,

Before you knew how to deserve that name.

And in the end your Saviour let you prove

That each denial is undone by love.


Filed under christianity

7 responses to “A Sonnet for Petertide, and for my ordination anniversary

  1. Pam Southam

    Blessings to you for the 25th Anniversary of your Ordination, Malcolm.
    My grateful thanks for this and all your sonnets, which are a great inspiration.

  2. Truly an inspiration to regular people trying and trying to do better through our Savior’s teachings.

  3. kathleenoverby

    Redos are the best. iLike the the way this strums hope.

  4. lovely meeting of sound and sense

  5. Placing the bet before knowing the stakes is the only honourable thing to do. Every blessing on you in your remembering of your ordination.

  6. richardk8245@yahoo.co.uk

    Malcolm thank you on this day when in my own quiet time I was asked to reflect on my own failures. It is through mistakes and failure that we learn. Thank for this fellowship that we share in Christ. God Bless Richard

    Sent from Windows Mail

  7. Peter is adjusted by a severe rebuke in Matthew 16, after adjustment by revelation, and before adjustment by the voice from the glory in chapter 17. In Luke 22 he’s adjusted by the look of love of Jesus, etc. Wonderful to see God work with him until he’s the living stone he’s meant to be – all his failures undone by love.
    God bless you.

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