Jesus was a carpenter and he worked with a saw and a hammer
and his hands could form a table true enough to stand forever
and he might have spun his life out in the coolness of the mornings
but he put aside his tools and he walked the burning highways
to build a house from folks like you and me

and he found them as they wandered through the wild Judean mountains
and he found them as they pulled their nets upon the Sea of Galilee
and for a thousand evenings while the day behind him emptied
he walked among the poor and he stopped to touch the dying
and he built his house from people just like these

it was on a shining sunday when he rode to old Jerusalem
and the palms they cast before him were the crimes they laid against him
it was on a stormy friday when he climbed the streets of Calvary
and where he died today : why they're sellin' beads and postcards
and they tell us too that that was long ago

but would he stand today upon the sands of California?
or walk the sweating blacktop in New York and Mississippi?
where the mighty churches rise above the screaming cities
would he be a guest on sunday • a vagrant on a monday?
with the doors locked tight against his kind you know ...

come again now Jesus • be a carpenter among us
there are chapels in our discontent • cathedrals in our sorrows
and we dwell in golden mansions with the sand for our foundations
and the raging water's rising and the thunder's all around us
won't you come and build a house on rock again?

                                                  christopher wren