Friday 3 December

On that day the deaf shall hear . . . the eyes of the blind shall see.

Advent Poem, by Enuma Okoro.

I want to find my place
amongst the people of Advent
but I can't quite decide who I am.
I want to be pregnant with God
but it takes such a toll on the body.
I have given birth to things before
And labor is hard and untimely.

I want to welcome angels and say yes,
to anything.
but if I saw an angel I would hold him
hostage and send a ransom note of questions
demanding answers, to God.

I want to cheer blessings from the sidelines
with a belly growing with prophecies,
and have friends and strangers take hope.
Because God has a season
for those whose seasons have passed.

I want to put my trust in dreams
and in the words of the ones I love,
to believe that God is as close as
the one who would share my bed.

But mostly I want a break from being
the one who mostly falls silent
in the presence of all that's holy,
who loses her words in disbelief,
terrified by claims of joy and gladness,
unable to believe that prayers are answered.

Isaiah 29:17-24

Shall not Lebanon in a very little while
   become a fruitful field,
   and the fruitful field be regarded as a forest?
On that day the deaf shall hear
   the words of a scroll,
and out of their gloom and darkness
   the eyes of the blind shall see.
The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the Lord,
   and the neediest people shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.
For the tyrant shall be no more,
   and the scoffer shall cease to be;
   all those alert to do evil shall be cut off—
those who cause a person to lose a lawsuit,
   who set a trap for the arbiter in the gate,
   and without grounds deny justice to the one in the right.

Therefore thus says the Lord, who redeemed Abraham,
   concerning the house of Jacob:
No longer shall Jacob be ashamed,
   no longer shall his face grow pale.
For when he sees his children,
   the work of my hands, in his midst,
   they will sanctify my name;
they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob,
   and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.
And those who err in spirit will come to understanding,
   and those who grumble will accept instruction.

Psalm 27.11-14

Teach me your way, O Lord,
   and lead me on a level path
   because of my enemies.
Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries,
   for false witnesses have risen against me,
   and they are breathing out violence.
I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord
   in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
   be strong, and let your heart take courage;
   wait for the Lord!


" 'According to your faith let it be done to you.'
And their eyes were opened."
Freedom from blindness, wastercolor by Dr Bhamidipati Bharati, Mumbai.


Organ of the Jacobuskerk Reformed Church, Jeerijp Netherlands. The organ was built in 1651 by Theodorus Faber. After several unfortunate "improvements" and "restorations", in 1977-1979 the organ was reconstructed by Edskes and Blank to be as it was when first built.

Matthew 9:27-31

As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, crying loudly, ‘Have mercy on us, Son of David!’ When he entered the house, the blind men came to him; and Jesus said to them, ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’ They said to him, ‘Yes, Lord.’ Then he touched their eyes and said, ‘According to your faith let it be done to you.’ And their eyes were opened. Then Jesus sternly ordered them, ‘See that no one knows of this.’ But they went away and spread the news about him throughout that district.

O Lord our God, make us watchful and keep us faithful as we await the coming of your Son our Lord; that, when he shall appear, he may not find us sleeping in sin but active in his service and joyful in his praise; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalm 27.1-8. Congregation of the Jacobuskerk Reformed Church, Jeerijp Netherlands. Organist: Dennis Wubbs.

(Your editor craves your indulgence: turn up the volume!)

1. Mijn licht, mijn heil is Hij, mijn God en Here!
Waar is het duister dat mij onheil baart?
Mijn hoge burcht is Hij, niets kan mij deren,
in zijn bescherming ben ik wel bewaard!
Of zich de boosheid tegen mij verbindt
en op mij loert opdat zij mij verslindt,
ik ken geen angst voor nood en overval:
het is de Heer die mij behouden zal!

2. Een ding slechts kan ik van den Heer verlangen,
dit ene: dat zijn gunst mij eenmaal geev'
Hem dagelijks te loven met gezangen,
te wonen in zijn huis zo lang ik leef!
Hoe lieflijk straalt zijn schoonheid van omhoog.
Hier weidt mijn ziel met een verwonderd oog,
aanschouwende hoe schoon en zuiver is
zijn licht, verlichtende de duisternis.

3. Hoe heeft Hij mij ten dage van het kwade
verborgen in het binnenst van zijn hut:
geen vijandschap ter wereld kon mij schaden,
de schaduw van zijn wolk heeft mij beschut.
Hij stelde mij als op een hoge rots,
het woelen van mijn vijanden ten trots;
daarom wil ik met vrolijk feestgerei
juichen voor Hem, want Hij bewaarde mij!

1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom then shall I fear?: the Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When the wicked, even my enemies and my foes, come upon me to devour me: they shall stumble and fall.
3 If an army encamp against me, my heart shall not be afraid: and if war should rise against me, yet will I trust.
4 One thing I have asked from the Lord, which I will require: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
5 To see the fair beauty of the Lord: and to seek his will in his temple.
6 For he will hide me under his shelter in the day of trouble: and conceal me in the shadow of his tent, and set me high upon a rock.
7 And now he will lift up my head: above my enemies round about me.
8 And I will offer sacrifices in his sanctuary with exultation: I will sing, I will sing praises to the Lord.

May the Lord, when he comes, find us watching and waiting. Amen.