The 29th of June is 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 as a priest on this day 27 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.
As always you can her the poem by clicking on the ‘play’ button, or on the title of the poem.
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.
17 responses to “A Sonnet for Petertide.”
Just love that last line
Brought me to tears.
As I prepare for Ordination as a Deacon this poem speaks volumes to me.
Great sonnet! Thank you! Just a thought: I always read that the ‘this rock’ declaration of Jesus was referring to Peter’s confession of Christ as ‘the Messiah, the Son of the living God’, rather than Peter himself, as God wouldn’t build his church on something as flimsy as one sinful person, but only on the Cornerstone Himself. The book of Acts sees this played out, with churches being established sometimes with (and often without) Peter’s help, but always on the confession of ‘the Messiah, the Son of the living God’.
I think there’s a lot of truth in that but we have still to reckon that the name was given to Peter himself and not just to the saying
I deal with bipolar disorder, and have often wondered if Peter may have had a germ of that as well. The poem aptly describes Peter, and offers comfort to all who fall short. Bbt
Thanks. I think you may be right there!
Reblogged this on Pastor Michael Moore's Blog and commented:
This Sonnet for Petertide was sent to me by a friend, a Thank You for a little something I sent to her as a share. Perhaps this is my favourite Malcolm sonnet, since he could be writing about me … and perhaps that is the point.
With loving thoughts,
Thanks. So glad you liked it and were able to share it M
My daughter, Deaconed four years ago used your inspirational Petertide sonnet in her sermon this morning, as she she welcomed a new Deacon; , much appreciated by the congregation, commented on, and copies requested. Thank you . Cindy
Thanks. That’s good to know!
I love all your work, but this one is my favorite. I memorized it as soon as I read it, years ago now, in Sounding the Seasons. Thank you!