Charm with your stainlessness these winter nights,
Skies, and be perfect! Fly, vivider in the fiery dark, you quiet meteors,
You moon, be slow to go down,
This is your full!
The four white roads make off in silence
Towards the four parts of the starry universe.
Time falls like manna at the corners of the wintry earth.
We have become more humble than the rocks,
More wakeful than the patient hills.
Charm with your stainlessness these nights in Advent,
While minds, as meek as beasts,
Stay close at home in the sweet hay;
And intellects are quieter than the flocks that feed by starlight.
Oh pour your darkness and your brightness over all our
You skies: and travel like the gentle Virgin,
Toward the planets' stately setting,
Oh white full moon as quiet as Bethlehem!
how clearly we see you at Christmas-time,
cradled by Mary,
protected by Joseph,
worshipped by shepherds,
honoured by kings,
enshrined on the altar,
and loved by the world.
But, oh Lord,
help us look for you, too,
among the taxes of life,
and the wanderings of rootless travellers.
In the world's smelly stables,
and in makeshift mangers.
In sweat-like drops of blood
and rough-hewn crosses, humanly fashioned.
Help us look, Lord —
and help us find!
Not only at Christmas,
but throughout a new year that it might become indeed
'the year of our Lord.
— Mary Sue H Rosenberger, Sacraments in a refrigerator, Brethren Press, 1979.
"An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, 'Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit'." (Matthew 1.20).
Johan Sebastian Bach. Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, (Sleepers Awake, BWV 645). Rodney Gehrke, Flentrop 1969 organ, All Saints Episcopal Church, Palo Alto, CA.
May the Lord, when he comes, find us watching and waiting. Amen.