Don’t Ask The Snow

Don’t ask the snow “Where is God?”

as though the snow can respond to

your cries echoing over its white crust.

The snow has done its best to disguise

the traces of your violence and hatred;

its job is not to soothe your conscience.

 

Don’t ask the flying geese “Where is God’s goodness?”

for their nearness to heaven has not revealed to them

why God has not yet cast the rainbow covenant aside

and let the earth drown in its own sorrows and blood.

The geese cannot answer your crisis of humanity; they

only attest to faith in God’s calling to life amidst chaos.

 

Don’t ask the sun in its feeble winter course

“Where is God’s salvation now?” for the sun

has already blessed you with the new dawn

for making peace and naming injustice, but

you brazenly invent your own redemption and

carelessly institutionalize your worst iniquities.

Christmas Day: Peace on Earth

“Peace on earth!” sings the angel choir.

“Peace on earth, and glory to God!”

But there has not been peace,

not on earth,

not for a long time.

Peace is as distant as the stars

while war and fear are familiar landscape.

We are so accustomed to the raging of the world

that it is barely news anymore. Only destructions

of enormous magnitude catch our attention

and rend our spirits with sadness.

But not war or malice:

war is for the movies and

malice is for television shows.

The angels sing “Peace,”

and we gladly echo their song,

but in truth we are not familiar with peace

and we doubt that it’s coming to earth anytime soon.

.

Peace on earth … but our hearts are troubled.

A great shining of light … but the darkness is pervasive.

An increase of joy … but we have settled for just getting by.

.

And that is not enough.

It is not enough to just get by.

It is not a fulfillment of the promises of God

just to eke through, not a fulfillment of the hope of Christmas

merely to long for the light while we make ourselves

comfortable with the darkness. It is not

the purpose of Christ’s birth

to give us an annual winter holiday that

does nothing to redeem the earth during the rest of the year.

“Peace on earth!” announces the heavenly host in glory.

Peace & justice & compassion among all people,

and a ceasing of war so to render

the soldier’s boots and

the triage supplies

useful only

as

fuel

for a fire

that blazes in comfort

and draws people together.

“Peace on earth!” not for the moment

of a holiday, but for all time and for all people.

Peace like we have never encountered.

Peace like we have never dared

to believe in.

Peace,

because a birth this day

announces God’s ability to do it.

A birth this day proclaims the fulfillment of it:

peace and justice realized, love and compassion established

by the zeal of God, now and forever! Now! And forever!

Not tomorrow and someday —

peace now and always!

Not justice delayed,

not reconciliation when we’re ready,

not peace after we’ve killed every enemy & secured every border.

A child is born this day, now, who is the Prince of Peace.

Emmanuel has come today, now.

The presence of God

is with us

now,

and in the light

of such glorious good news

we cannot hide away & live as though peace is beyond us.

Peace is here! Christ has come! God is with us,

and the full zeal of the LORD

has inaugurated peace

this day.

Peace!

And even if, with Mary,

we are perplexed, our puzzlement does not

delay the angels’ pronouncement of peace on earth.

“Peace!” the angels sing. “Peace!” proclaim the mountains.

“Peace!” the shepherds rejoice together in their fields.

“Peace!” Mary whispers to her infant son.

.

Peace — no longer an Advent yearning, no longer

a faint dream for a chaotic world.

Peace this day.

Peace —

not for us

to understand.

Peace for us to live.

Peace for us to live now

and forevermore.

Amen!

Christmas Eve 12/24/12

Hush. Hush.

Give your silence

in tribute to the One in labor.

Pay your respects to Her pain, Her effort.

Fast in solidarity with Her, for She will not replenish or satisfy

Her own needs until the laboring is complete.

.

Hush. Come.

Lend Her your strength,

your encouragement, your gratitude,

for She who set the cosmos in order now needs

all of its energies to birth a Reconciliation that will be peace

to the mountains and the people alike.

.

Hush. Watch.

Stay awake in the night.

Keep Her company through long hours,

for Her pain multiplies as the time of birth approaches.

Comfort Her when she cries; plead with Her not to give up Her laboring.

Wait … Wait … Wait.

Advent 12/22/12

Did you hesitate, O Holy One,

when you looked at the state of things

and imagined the pain of immersing yourself in it?

Did you debate with yourself

when you saw across the expense of time

and realized that we wouldn’t change much in the long run?

Did you despair for a moment

and reconsider previously abandoned options

(like starting over, as you did through the Great Flood)?

And are you hesitating again now,

shaking your head over our wars and glitz, and

remarking to the heavenly host: “Let’s give them more time”?