An Advent Tapestry–Arise, Shine, For Your Light Has Come

Isaiah 60:1
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you.”

Light and dark are part of the interwoven tapestry of advent.  We stumble in the dark, groping for a foot and hand hold to keep ourselves from falling off the abyss.

The glory lifts us, illuminates, covers and surrounds us so we can find our path and walk with confidence.

Your light has come, unexpected, shining from the depths of darkness within a manger.

An Advent Tapestry–My Soul Waits

Psalm 130:6
My soul waits for the LORD more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning.

As a child, it seemed like the wait for Christmas Day took forever.  December 25 was the focal point for everything.

Now in my middle age, the wait itself is the point, as we watch Zechariah, Elizabeth, Mary, Joseph, Anna, Simeon, even Herod wait.  In our community of believers, we wait together, encouraging each other through the hard times.  And there are plenty of hard times.

More significantly, there is someone else who we know is waiting. 

“I stand at the door and knock.”  Revelation 3:20

When are we ready to end His wait and open the door?

An Advent Tapestry: In the Beginning Was the Word

And so it starts with the Word.  There is nothing more powerful, more sustaining, more everlasting, more connecting than the Word that is spoken and written, heard and read, taken in and understood, forever becoming part of our vocabulary to be passed on again and again.  It not only dwells among us but lives within us.

When all else falls away, there will always be the Word that became flesh–foretold, forewarned, forsaken, forgiving.

If the beginning was the Word, then it makes perfect sense: we were created to listen.  This is the season for listening as if we are hearing it all for the first time.

ZuZu’s Petals (on watching “It’s A Wonderful Life”)

Our sons were always skeptical
of movies filmed in black and white
until they saw the classic tale
where steadfast George fights Potter’s might.

Amusing most was their clear view
that Mary, George’s gentle wife
was“hot” and it was very true
that she would love him all her life.

I want to be like her for you
when times are hard and uncontrolled.
I won’t forget what we’ve been through
to be your shelter in the cold.

I’m ZuZu’s petals tucked in close
whenever you are lost in storm.
Your pocket full of scent of rose
to bring you home to where it’s warm.


I needed to revise this to a metered, rhyming format for a poetry class I’m taking–my original version is here

A Little November Sunshine

Ben and his mom on his birthday

It was a gray drizzly day very much like this one.  November is often like this–there are times during this darkening month when we’re never really certain we’ll see the sun again.  The sky is gray, the mountain is all but invisible behind the clouds, the air hangs heavy with mist, woods and fields are all shadowy.  The morning light starts late and the evening takes over early.

You changed November that day.  You brought sunshine to our lives.  You smiled almost from the first day, always responding, always watching, ready to engage with your new family.  You were a delight from that first moment we saw you and have been a light in our lives ever since.

I know this is your favorite kind of weather because you were born to it–you’ve always loved the misty fog, the drizzle, the chill winds, the hunkering down and waiting for brighter days to come.

November 15 was, and every year it still is, that brighter day.



Ben dressing up before Christmas 1988
Ben on his first trip to Point No Point 1989
Ben packaged in a paper bag by Grandpa Hank