Date added: 29/05/2020
Turning the world upside down,
is the charge against Silas and Paul:
Turning its values the right way up,
is the kingdom’s promise and call.
Invitations to a glorious feast
mean more to the hungry and poor,
and to others who have the least,
than to the rich, well known and well fed,
who prefer their own company instead.
Cathedral sermons attack terrorism,
but are preached under
fading regimental flags of
former colonial glory.
This kingdom sermon counters violence with love,
and is preached under
the regimental rule of
Revenge surrenders to evil,
by reflecting violence:
But, like a bad coin kept,
and not passed on;
like lightning conducted
safely to earth,
Love neutralises evil,
by absorbing violence.
Love for those who like you is
Love for those who are like you,
Love for those who are unlike you,
Love for those who dislike you,
Pray for the rival who threatens you;
Pray for the adversary blocking you;
Pray for the opponent who slanders you;
Pray for the antagonist provoking you.
You only love the Father
as much as you love
your worst enemy.
For your love is to be
merciful and free,
When all is said and done -
like Father, like Son.
© 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),