For the Pastor’s Page today I present two poems to nourish Advent faith, one by a former archbishop of Canterbury, and one (a hymn text) by a United Methodist pastor. I hope these poems each speak to us during this season of hope and expectation.
- Pastor Kristian
by Rowan Williams
He will come like last leaf’s fall.
One night when the November wind
has flayed the trees to bone, and earth
wakes choking on the mould,
the soft shroud’s folding.
He will come like frost.
One morning when the shrinking earth
opens on mist, to find itself
arrested in the net
of alien, sword-set beauty.
He will come like dark.
One evening when the bursting red
December sun draws up the sheet
and penny-masks its eye to yield
the star-snowed fields of sky.
He will come, will come,
will come like crying in the night,
like blood, like breaking,
as the earth writhes to toss him free.
He will come like child.
Rowan Williams is a Welsh Anglican bishop, theologian and poet. He was the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury, a position he held from December 2002 to December 2012.
Each Winter As the Year Grows Older
by William Gay
Each winter as the year grows older,
we each grow older, too.
The chill sets in a little colder;
the verities we knew
seem shaken and untrue.
When race and class cry out for treason,
when sirens call for war,
they overshout the voice of reason
and scream till we ignore
all we held dear before.
Yet I believe beyond believing
that life can spring from death,
that growth can flower from our grieving,
that we can catch our breath
and turn transfixed by faith.
So even as the sun is turning
to journey to the north,
the living flame, in secret burning,
can kindle on the earth
and bring God's love to birth.
O Child of ecstasy and sorrows,
O Prince of peace and pain,
brighten today's world by tomorrow's,
renew our lives again;
Lord Jesus, come and reign!
Text: William Gay, b. 1920, alt.
Text © 1971 United Church Press.
Photo by Sandra Frey on Unsplash