Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Christmas +1, Yr A)

THE SHADOW FALLS PAST CHRISTMAS
Matthew 2: 13-23

Hear the broken-hearted weeping
in the blooded streets, see
the frightened family fleeing
the night so gouged and torn
with loss. We cannot forget
the shadow that falls past Christmas.

Sometimes the tree falls down and the lights
are crushed. The car goes off the road
driving home from the party. Storm
sets in, shutting down festive celebration.

Shadow falls past Christmas:
the Herod dark of hatred, shattered
lives and homes, cruelty
and the killing power of greed;
dreams of joy chased down by fear and grief.

Infants dying of neglect and malnutrition,
oppression claiming victims every day,
and so frequently corruption unabated:
the songs of hope that came like dreams
seem easily defeated.

But see the infant Christ
not among the murdered.
Untrapped by hatred’s reach, by
greed’s cold grasp, by the power
of death so constantly pursuing,
infant Love lives on, the hope
and will for justice and peace
persisting.

Shadow falls past Christmas. But
see the light still shining;
faith and hope still singing; the contest
for the human heart goes on.

May we, as Joseph did, keep
listening to the words of dreams.
Keep moving the feet
toward morning’s hope,
free as a gift of love,
however distant the dawn.

And may the darkness fail to chase us down.

Copyright © by Andrew King
Reprinted from First Sunday After Christmas, 2013

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A Poem For Christmas Eve/Day

THE FLIGHT OF THE HEAVENLY HOST
(Luke 2: 1-14)

They flew over cities of a thousand old sorrows,
they flew over hills of a hundred hard griefs,
they flew over fields of love fallen in ruins,
and over dim hovels long haunted with yearning,
and over bright palaces of the powerful feasting,

and in their old graves the prophets
looked up to see them,
and the brown grasses bent to the rush of their passing,
and the wild seas lifted their waves in adulation,
and the pilgrim wind wept with the joy of their singing,

and the angels flew on to the pivot of history,
they flew upon wings made of messages of light,
and the prayers of the ages rose up to enwrap them,
and they stopped over stones of moss-covered memory
where hope’s moldered bones had lain down to die,

and the night held its breath and the dark knelt to listen,
and the trees brought the stars close with trembling hands
as a baby’s first cries cut the air in a stable
and shivering stunned shepherds
heard praises fill the Bethlehem sky.

Copyright ©2016 by Andrew King

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Advent 4, Yr A)

DREAM
(Matthew 1: 18-25)

O Joseph, dream for us:
In this world of so much darkness,
dream God-with-us to be our light.

In this world of so much sorrow,
dream God-with-us to be our joy.

In this world of so much fearing,
dream God-with-us to be our courage.

In this world of so much selfishness,
dream God-with-us to teach compassion.

In this world of so much hating,
dream God-with-us to teach us love.

In this world of so much violence,
dream God-with-us to lead us to peace.

In this world of many, many voices
dream God-with-us to be God’s Word.

In this world of so much confusion,
dream God-with-us to be our guide.

In this world of so much despairing,
dream God-with-us to be our hope.

In this world of so much emptiness,
dream God-with-us to bring fullness of life.

O Joseph, dream for us.

And may we awake
to discover the dream
has truly come into the world.

Copyright ©2016 by Andrew King