Tonight I made a big bowl of kettle corn and two mugs of hot chocolate with two big marshmallows each, started the first fire of the year in the fireplace, and piled onto the couch with my three beautiful, marvelous, remarkable children who know nothing of senseless rage unloaded onto the spirits of their peers, to watch The Lorax, who speaks for the trees. The kids got up off the couch to dance when music came on, and then the trees, well, they grew from their tiny seeds into truffula saplings, hundreds of them with soft, pink tufts, blossoming happily ever afters to the tune of "Let It Grow."
"We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." (Rom 8:26)
We are seven days away from the turning of the solstice, seven days left of this gradual lengthening of nights and shortening of light. And then four days later we remember and celebrate the birth of the Light of the world, the Shepherd, the Prince of Peace, the Mighty One, the Lamb of God. Right now, we wait and wait and wait.
Words feel so weak and weightless in the presence of darkness, and yet the same Light, Shepherd, Prince, Lord, Lamb, God also called himself the Word. Truth. Good news. He delivered to us his word, gifted us his spirit, and the fruit of his spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These are not the fruits of the enemy (and darkness and evil are the enemy) who robs us of joy and pours out terror and grief, who lacks all control, who is violent, who takes matters into his own hands, wields his power over the helpless and tries to evade justice.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world
you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
Come, O come, Immanuel. Be with us. Come, God of Light and Life and Truth, and speak.
Reposting -- because I so badly want the darkness to pass away.
"Advent: The First Candle"
In November, our lips trembled
with the breath of winter etched
across the windows.
We gazed at dawn’s arrival
casting bands of icy
on brass and copper oak leaves
holding tight to frozen branches,
as if they could stop the turn
of seasons, suspend the spin
around the sun, but
nothing can slow this orbit
toward the solstice. Oh,
the prophets spoke about a day
when darkness would pass
Shadows broaden, days shorten.
We’ve waited the way I watched
my garden for the reddening
of tomatoes, the fleshing out
vegetables, how I’ve held
my swollen abdomen, the fullness
of time a
season, a month a week
a day an hour away. Now,
we unravel pine swag
and drape it on the mantle, melt
a candle, send a signal in a
flicker, hope hot enough to kill
the darkness. Here comes the
of the solstice, here comes the night,
the star, and then the
of a few more minutes to stand
in the slow burn of frost,
gradual stretching of the light.