Psalm 99 is a joyful acclamation that ‘The Lord is King’, enthroned between the cherubim, and that his kingdom, and its goodness and glory must come to earth at last. It also looks back through Israel’s history, to the great figures of the past, Moses, and Aaron, and Samuel and the psalmist takes comfort and encouragement that he stands in their succession and that God’s purposes will also be fulfilled through him.
I have taken up these themes in my response to the psalm, but I have asked myself ‘Who are the figures from the Church’s long story who have inspired me?’ and so in my poem I have delighted to name some of the other priest-poets who have inspired me in this work and in whose succession I too, in my poor way, stand and sing!
As always you can hear me read the poems by clicking on the play button or the title and you can find the other poems in this evolving series by putting the word ‘psalm’ into the search box on the right.
With every gift that grateful hearts can bring
We celebrate the glory of the one
Who sits between the cherubim. We sing
A song of love and judgement met in one;
Mercy meets righteousness, and truth meets grace
Made one in Christ, as in him we are one.
The world may waver, we’ll delight to trace
The long line of his loving, and to name
The holy ones who see him face to face:
Moses and Aaron, whom he has called home,
And Samuel. But I shall name each priest
Within my heritage, who looked to him:
John Donne and Herbert, Hopkins, each a priest
As much of language as of sacrament.
Love bids us welcome with them to the feast.
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