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

Christmas Eve (Yr C)

A PRAYER FOR CHRISTMAS EVE
(Luke 2: 1-20)

Here is the emptiness of my night
     may it be filled with your glory
Here are the silences of my heart
     may they be filled with your songs

Here is the watchfulness of my eyes
     may they be opened to wonder
Here is the listening of my soul
     may it hear the joy of your love

Here is the hopefulness of my journey
     may it lead me swift to your side
Here is the searching of my anxious mind
     may it find rest in your peace

Here is the wood and straw of my days
     may they be a bed for your presence
And here is the humble cave of my life
     may it be your home, gentle Saviour.

A Poem For Christmas Eve

STILL LIFTING US TO LEAN TOWARD PEACE

(LUKE 2: 1-20)

Enter it anywhere, this old tale so familiar:
enter where shepherds huddle around a tiny fire
to guard flocks on the echoing hills

     the deep cold midnight dark of it

or where Caesar choreographs
the captive masses’ moves, or where
the couple are turned away from the sold-out inn

     the impersonal imperial indifference of it

or where the shepherds search for a certain trough
of hay in a small town that might have had dozens,
this one holding a baby born in the cold

     the rich earthy animal smell of it

or where the startling messengers fill the dazzled skies

     the astounding earth-circling sound of it.

Enter it anywhere, this story so familiar:
where babies still hold on for their threatened lives
to the thin breasts of refugee mothers. Where
masses are still on the move from armed might;
where terror still holds people captive. Where
the poor cling to margins of civilized life
and we watch over reality shows by night.

Enter and feel midnight still pressing our world,
the fear, loneliness, hunger still aching.

But perhaps entering this tale deeply enough
we begin anew to recognize angels
(some with names like Theresa, or Nelson)
still startling us with challenging presence,

     the presence of the God of love in it

still announcing joy in the darkness.
Still, courageously, singing

     the enduring power of the hope of it.

Still lifting us to lean toward peace.

Copyright © 2013 by Andrew King