O King of our desire whom we despise,
King of the nations never on the throne,
Unfound foundation, cast-off cornerstone,
Rejected joiner, making many one,
You have no form or beauty for our eyes,
A King who comes to give away his crown,
A King within our rags of flesh and bone.
We pierce the flesh that pierces our disguise,
For we ourselves are found in you alone.
Come to us now and find in us your throne,
O King within the child within the clay,
O hidden King who shapes us in the play
Of all creation. Shape us for the day
Your coming Kingdom comes into its own.
— Waiting on the Word: A Poem a Day for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany. Canterbury Press, 2015
we yearn for the light of your coming
and the warmth of your embrace;
focus our hearts on the truly important
and keep us centred on that still point, Jesus our Emmanuel,
who is alive with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God now and for ever. Amen.
— Bosco Peters
"And Mary remained with her for about three months and then returned to her home." Luke 1.56
Romare Bearden. The Visitation, 1941. National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.
Max Stern. Hannah's song of thanksgiving (1 Samuel 2.2-10). Collegium Music Sacra, dir. Vitezslav Podrazil, with Kristyna Valouskova (soprano) and Yuri Likin (oboe), Maisel Synagogue, Prague (3 September 1995).
May the Lord, when he comes, find us watching and waiting. Amen.