Advent Calendar (on Xmas Eve)
Andy Black

As we entered this year’s Advent season I came across a poem that stuck with me. (I admit that I was first drawn to it mainly because it provided an opportunity to use some photos from around Lake Nixon.)

This poem focuses on our current time and current posture of waiting for Christ to come again. It interweaves vivid scenes from the seasonal calendar (as winter takes hold in the Northern Hemisphere) and raw imagery associated with childbirth.

It’s not your typical sentimental Christmas fare.

But maybe, right on the eve of the big celebration, when we are just about to be immersed in all the warmth, all the feelings, all the—well, everything—that Christmas so often is (in the worst and the best of ways) . . . maybe we can pause one more time to recall, and to try to feel some of the grittiness as well as the grandeur involved when we sing, “Let earth receive her King.”

“We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now . . . “

—Romans 8:22

Advent Calendar - He will come like last leaf’s fall.One night when the November windhas flayed the trees to the bone, and earthwakes choking on the mould,the soft shroud’s folding.IMG_1881.jpg

Advent Calendar

He will come like last leaf’s fall.
One night when the November wind
has flayed the trees to the bone, and earth
wakes choking on the mould,
the soft shroud’s folding.

 - He will come like frost.One morning when the shrinking earthopens on mist, to find itselfarrested in the netof alien, sword-set beauty.IMG_1889.jpeg

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

(third photo credit: Terrance Neuzil:

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