the tentmaker

daily thoughts on the common lectionary

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Location: Sharpsburg, Georgia, United States

"...because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them, and they worked together — by trade they were tentmakers." Acts 18:3. Tentmaker is a title taken by bi-vocational pastors. As such, I am both a pastor and a project manager. I am a pastor of a local congregation of moderate, accepting and affirming people who worship in the Baptist tradition. We call our church "Hope Memorial Baptist" and we are about 40 in number. I am also a project manager of major construction projects for the State of Georgia. My home and church is in rural Coweta County, between Peachtree City and Newnan, with a mailing address of Sharpsburg, Georgia.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Ascent of Mount Carmel

by St. John of the Cross*
I brought you into the land of Carmel to eat
its fruit and its good things,
Jeremiah 2:7

1.  One dark night,
fired with love's urgent longings
—ah, the sheer grace!—
I went out unseen,
my house being now all stilled.

2.  In darkness and secure,
by the secret ladder, disguised,
—ah, the sheer grace!—
in darkness and concealment,
my house being now all stilled.

3.  On that glad night,
in secret, for no one saw me,
nor did I look at anything,
with no other light or guide
than the one that burned in my heart.

4.  This guided me
more surely than the light of noon
to where he was awaiting me
—him I knew so well—
there in a place where no one appeared.

5.  O guiding night!
O night that has united
the Lover with his beloved,
transforming the beloved in her Lover.

6.  Upon my flowering breast
which I kept wholly for him alone,
there he lay sleeping,
and I caressing him
there in a breeze from the fanning cedars.

7.  When the breeze blew from the turret,
as I parted his hair,
it wounded my neck
with its gentle hand,
suspending all my senses.

8.  I abandoned and forgot myself,
laying my face on my Beloved;
all things ceased; I went out from myself,
leaving my cares
forgotten among the lilies.

* The Collected Works of Saint John of the Cross, revised edition, translated by: Kavanaugh, Kieran, O. C. D. and Rodriguez, Otilio, O. C. D.; ICS Publications; 1991.


Blogger Bad Alice said...

Oh I love this poem. Have you heard the song by Loreena McKinnit (can't recall the spelling of her last name), in which she sets this poem to music?

11/03/2005 9:34 AM  
Anonymous l. said...


11/04/2005 6:02 PM  
Blogger the tentmaker said...

No, Alice, I haven't. Any idea where I could find it online?

11/04/2005 8:11 PM  
Blogger the tentmaker said...

I found it. I like her version.

11/04/2005 8:23 PM  

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