Sunday, December 2, 2018


Sunday evening, December 2, 2018.

My wife and I attended "An Advent Procession" at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Portland, Oregon. We arrived on time (but barely). The church was packed. We found two seats in the front row.

Following an anthem, a young man clothed in black began to sing his recently-composed poem. His title: "Surely." The poet-singer's name: Matthew David Morris.

Matthew sang  grandly. Was it a chant? A lament? A blues riff? He gestured, almost danced to the music. I wish I had a video. But I'm glad that I can post the poem below and STRONGLY INVITE you to read it. Sing it if you can invent a tune.


surely this world will be remade
surely the truth can be reclaimed
surely our suffering won't be in vain
surely the true King will come.

surely the tears won't burn for long
surely the weak can redeem the strong
surely them prophets were right all along
surely the true King will come

      woe to the shepherds who scatter their sheep
      woe to the liars and the secrets they keep
      God will attend to you--best you believe
      surely the true King will come

surely the tyrant will lose their sway
surely the migrant will find their way
surely the borders will all fade away
surely the true King will come.

surely the children will be uncaged
surely police folk will become enraged
surely the ester has stolen the stage
but surely the true King will come

       woe to the wealthy who profit from war
       woe to the church with a lock on the door
       you have forgotten what God made you for
       surely the true King will come

surely our God keeps each promise made
surely our God turns the night into day
surely we wait for God--surely we pray
surely the true King will come
       holy are they who make room for the Lord
       holy are we who believe what we heard
       God will bring justice through God's holy Word
       surely the true King will come

      surely the true King will come.

Now remember: we're in a cathedral, where decorum generally rules. But when David finished,  hundreds present immediately responded with loud, long applause. Obviously David had caught a shared mood and elicited a sense of HOPE. And what else is Advent than a sense of hope. At Advent, 2018, hope is stronger than despair.


Word to "Surely" posted with permission of Matthew David Morris,.  Visit Matthew's engaging website at

Matthew is Episcopal Chaplain for Portland, Oregon colleges and universities. He founded a new ministry, Beloved Community on Campus, which seeks to engage students in creation of an equitable, just, and liberative community on their campus.  

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