Sunday, December 18, 2011

Poems: Two Advent Poems

Fear Not
Fear Not, he says.
The mere words freeze your soul,
coming, as they dofrom someone with the power
to create, build up, or destroy
with a wave of his hand,

a power to change
your life, change
your future, wipe clean
your past,

or leave you utterly abandoned
to your flaws and failure.

Fear Not, he says

and every weakness is suddenly exposed
and you realize that control is not yours,
and your humbleness, once professed with pride,
evaporates in the reality
that there is much, so very much
to fear.


that beyond your imagining,
the words are spoken with impossible gentleness,
not with threat, but with promise,

with love that knows all of you,
even the darkest corners,
the hidden failures,

the lies you tell others and the lies
you tell yourself.

He knows them, and that is not all.
He knows the greatest secret,
that if you allow it,
there is no fear.

Fear Not, he says.


The Night Before Christmas

You Wait. 

You wait in the dark
hours of the night,
somehow believing that the sky,
brilliant with dancing stars and
a moon, nearly full,
bring you light.

You wait.

You wait in the silence
of fields and cities,
in those silent hours
after midnight
when sheep and men,
exhausted, sleep.

You wait.

You wait,
out of the habit of your life,
of your world
that prays empty prayers,
empty and unaware.
Unaware even, that

you wait.

That soon, to the most unlikely
of God's creations,
angels will sing;
a new light,
far brighter than dawn
will enter your life,
a gift, unexpected,
undeserved. A forever gift,
eternally new, powerful
and impossibly loving.

You wait. 

I was recently asked to write two poems for an advent service at Durkeetown Baptist Church.  As I thought about how to do it, I thought about (among other things), the advent wreath, and how each candle has a meaning. There's the Shepherd's candle, the Angel's candle and so on, culminating in the center Christ candle. The unique challenge of these poems were to take the experience of groups the shepherds, or Mary, and translate it into the experience of grace that Christmas really is for each of us. 

The painting is "The Annunciation" by Phillipe de Champaigne. You can click on it for a larger version to take in it's full richness and beauty. 


No comments: