Advent 12/16/12

Will the dawn bring good news?

Will the birds with their morning song

bring an encouraging report to my ears?

Will the frost be found to have

serenely blanketed yesterday’s pain

so that, in fact, it is erased and undone?

Alas, no. See there:

the wounds of our souls

are still exposed beneath the frost;

the damage is too tender to touch,

too raw to even bandage.


Still: the dawn is coming

and the birds are caroling

and the frost has already drawn

its exquisite crystals

so we must ask,

“What delight

can they possibly

be witnessing today?”

And the dawn warms: “Faithfulness!”

And the birds praise: “Renewal!”

And the frost gleams: “Peace!”

But our hearts sigh, “We are not ready,

for we are overflowing with sadness and longing.”


Be merciful to our hearts, O Steadfast Love, for

we struggle to receive the dawn’s comfort and

our throats are too parched to sing.

We add our whispered prayers

to the frost’s profession

of peace prevailing,

of reconciliation coming,

of holy beauty abounding over all.

We lend our broken hearts to your work, O God,

for we are painfully aware that we cannot accomplish it.

Advent 12/13/12


No, Jesus.

I’m sorry, but your

coming is simply not enough.

We already have leaders and saviors

and people in our lives who come … and then go,

leaving us impacted — perhaps a little stronger or maybe

a little more wounded — but still leaving us alone and

bracing for the next one who will come, and go,

from our lives. Your coming, Mr. Jesus,

is not satisfactory good news.

You came once already,

left again, and we are

hardly at a loss for

people to come

and entertain.

We need

you to




Advent 12/12/12

Come quickly, O Creator,

to heal your broken trees.

The cedars of Palestine are

torn apart by rocket shrapnel.

The cottonwoods of Mississippi

are still grieving the mob lynchings,

their memories held deep in their roots.

The broad fig trees of Damascus are

recoiling their branches to hide

their eyes from the bloodshed.

The palms in Benghazi are still

scorched from the fires of

death & raging frustration.

Come, O Creator, to salve

the wounds of your creation

and bring new life to the trees.