Profit and Loss

Date added: 29/05/2020


    Luke 3:2-18


John is just the right man for the job

which is, after all,

one of justice and righteousness.


Savile Row clothes aren’t suitable,

nor is after-shave;

the dust and smell of the desert

hang about him;

so do the people.


The word of the Lord,

silent for so long

at last is heard again:

'It’s time to change!'


Not a polite call, in this waste land,

of 'Time, gentlemen, please';

Not 'Time to leave

for tomorrow is another day'

- for it probably isn’t!


But 'The crisis has come.

This is it.  Here is he

who comes after me.'


Not 'You can’t change the world,

that’s just the way it is.'

But the specific question,

'Is it just, the way it is?'


The health of the poor in Britain rots

 - improve housing and benefits;

The hunger and debt of the world mounts

 - trade fairly and justly;

The inside of the stock market collapses

 - deal honestly and openly;

Stars Wars astronomically cost the earth

 - be content with present defence.


His shout demands, 'Time to change,

turn around, you can’t go on.

Not a casual "Take it or leave it"

But a crucial "Take it or be left"

 - like the chaff.


And don’t you try the old school tie;

Trees are judged by fruits, not roots.'


© Graham Kings, Nourishing Connections (Canterbury Press, 2020).

first published in Mission Theology Advisory Group, Anne Richards (ed.), Transparencies: Pictures of mission through prayer and reflection (Churches Together in Britain and Ireland and Church House Publishing, 2002),