Saturday, December 6, 2008

Vespers: Advent

I've been expecting trumpets,
a jubilee trimmed in joy and triumph,
heralds and heralds.
I have come to expect Emmanuel
and Incarnation, but Advent—
Advent, where we wait,
when we watch the days grow darker,
and, my, how they have darkened.

And the dark only knows how to oppress,
Bound with cords of worry and frustration,
we are lashing out at everyone we bump into
as we fumble about.
And we find we can no longer stand it,
hearing news of light and joy and rest.
Elsewhere, as mere gossip.

I am most familiar with the darkness,
the wait.
Delay, again.
I admit to having kindled furnaces
from jealousy, applying pressure
like bellows, just to keep warm.
The fire scalds as harshly as the cold.

They say the birth of Christ was most likely
in June—obviously, so light and comfortable,
Incarnation as solstice.

But I understand why tradition dictates
Advent for the coldest, darkest days.
Because it reminds us
that the days get brighter ahead.
Because another, kinder thread
has stitched us together with Hope.
Because our binding Hope is His
arrival, with Heaven in hand and a gift:
Peace. A clean and gentle heat—
opulent—that does not scorch.

So we wait together,
as Israel waited, gravely hopeful.
Thus we bid: Emmanuel, come.


Ty said...

Thanks for writing and posting this, Dave.

Sarah said...

Ditto. :o)