Don’t stop now

We set out on our journey
when the words of life were spoken.
We knew we had to travel;
we knew the world was broken

We knew we had a message
that would breathe a new-found hope,
we knew it would not be easy,
we trusted we would cope.

We left behind our cares,
our fortune and desire.
We gathered up our courage;
we would set the world on fire.

Or so we hoped and so we prayed,
we studied and we plodded.
We collected our resources
while the Spirit pushed and prodded.

We saw our destination
unfold just like a vision;
we knew we had a calling,
we knew we had a mission.

Good news for the poor, we cry;
good news of love and grace!
The light is coming, now it’s here,
it shines upon each face.

We journey in the darkness,
we journey in the night,
we dine upon the wine, the bread
set at the table, white.

Injustice casts its shadow,
we feel its dreadful threat;
we know that love will triumph,
that love’s not finished yet.

So we confront the cruelty
the oppression and the greed;
dig deep into our calling
and find the strength we need.

But bitterness won’t go away
and fearfulness persists;
we weaken and grow weary,
and still the call insists.

“Let us go,” with worn-out cry
we make our loud request.
“The journey is too difficult
we need a place to rest.”

“All these years we’ve journeyed
we’ve struggled on and on,
but no-one seems to notice
and no-one sings our song.

“And no-one seems to care,
the world has not been righted;
this kingdom’s too elusive,
it is so seldom sighted.

“All people should be saved by now,
and dwell in heavenly bliss!
There are not many left of us,
we can’t go on like this!

We cannot help but question,
we have to voice our doubt;
where is the gospel power,
where’s that hallelujah shout?

We didn’t really plan for this;
Ha, we didn’t plan at all.
No planning but a simple “yes,”
when caught inside love’s thrall.

We stand within the silence,
we wait for a reply.
The road ahead seems unconcerned,
the road behind asks, “Why?”

“Why?” and “What?” and “Can it be?”
“How can we know the way?”
We search inside the stillness
for a reason not to stay.

“Don’t stop now!” the call responds,
“Keep on the road, my friend!
You know that once you’ve started
you must see it to the end.

“You think you’ve made a sacrifice,
perhaps you have, that’s fine.
Your gifts of love are noted;
all gifts of love are mine.

“There’s beauty in your weariness,
there’s beauty in persistence.
There’s glory in defiant acts,
in grace, and truth’s resistance.

“The destination’s guaranteed,
don’t worry you can’t see it.
The journey is the place of truth
for those who choose to be it.

“This broken world’s still waiting
for my children to arrive,
to build the peace and bring the love;
to make it come alive.

“So don’t forsake the journey,
no, don’t give up the fight;
and don’t forget my Spirit’s yours;
walk in the Spirit’s light.

And though the way be painful,
and though the night be strong,
remember that you’re not alone;
come join the angels’ song

© Ken Rookes

I shared this poem at my final Presbytery meeting on Tuesday. As I reflected on it it seemed to have some relevance to this Sunday’s Gospel reading.

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