Written by: Rachael Keefe

For the Common Good: Thoughts on 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 and John 2:1-11

we are meant to sing the song of Creation
join our voices with the river, the soil, the trees

For the Common Good: Thoughts on 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 and John 2:1-11

an owl, an antlered deer, and a fox
cross my path while I walk the dog
through winter woods
not all at once
first the owl calls from a snow-laden tree
and I turn to notice
further on there is a movement near the frozen lake
and one deer, then another, leap through the snow
and I stop, mesmerized by grace
around the corner a streak of red-brown fur
darts for cover in frozen brush
awakening gratitude

eagles fly over the river,
the Mississippi, and I am surprised anew
that I live here, near this famous river
where the land sings with beauty and blood
shed for everything other than the common good
and the song of the river carries ancient memories
with a melody of future hopes

these trees remember days of freedom
and humans living gently on the earth
with their roots intertwined as they reach
for the river to drink water flowing toward
the ocean, carrying so much life
and loss, dreams and heartbreak,
showing us what unity,
interdependence, and community 
could be if we stretched ourselves away
from destruction, violence, hatred, division
and embraced the common good

the miracle of water into wine
is replicated in these woods
and the history they hold
alongside the ever-flowing waters
seed into tree, rain into river
deer, owls, fox,
hawks, eagles, rabbits
fish, fowl, and four-legged ones
sharing, sustaining, contributing to beauty,
wonder, awe, and grace

these winter woods growing as they always have
with the river flowing on and on
ultimately sing of unity and dependence 
of one on the other
the music of land incomplete without 
the harmony of the water
their song echoes through the universe,
repeated by wind and rain, snow and sun,
stars and clouds – again and again

when will we listen?
every time we spill more blood on the streets,
on the soil beneath our feet
the melody fades and we forget
that we are one with our neighbors
one with Creation
caretakers of all that is
we were never meant to be destroyers,
blood-spillers, users and dividers

be still and breathe--
breathe in the wind off the water, the plains, the mountains
feel the song of Creation deep within
the vibrations of unity, goodness, grace
the possibility of healing
the dreams of blood-free tomorrows
where the whole of Creation no longer groans
under the weight of indifference, apathy,
anxiety, despair in the wake of so much
blood spilled, not poured out for the common good

we are meant to sing the song of Creation
join our voices with the river, the soil, the trees
and all the inhabitants hiding in sight
nothing good will come of sustaining a history
of destruction and division
now is a good time to join with others 
allow ourselves to be filled with notes of love,
harmony, grace enough to lift voices seldom heard

join me in the winter woods
witness the miracles
and listen to the wind
it’s not too late to live for the common good
yet

RCL – Epiphany 2C – January 16, 2022 – Isaiah 62:1-5  • Psalm 36:5-10  • 1 Corinthians 12:1-11  • John 2:1-11

Online home of the Rev. Dr. Rachael Keefe.
Image courtesy of Jörg Vieli  via pixabay
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About Rachael Keefe

Rachael is an author, a pastor, a teacher, and a poet. Her latest book (The Lifesaving Church - Chalice Press) is on faith and suicide prevention. She is currently the pastor of Living Table UCC in Minneapolis, and has launched a spiritual direction practice.

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