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
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