Advent 2019- Joy

Angels of Childhood
Joy leapt up
Like a hare in the meadow
Like a quail on the wing
Like a fish in the sea.

Joy leapt up
And ran and jumped and skipped
And fell into my lap.

Joy said
Did you see it?
A song bright as a candle.
A light sweet as a song.
A star strong as a heartbeat.

Joy leapt up
And twirled about the room
About the earth
About the sky

Joy leapt up
From a promise
From a Word
From a womb.

Joy leapt up!

— This is a poem written many years ago and I love to share it each Christmas season – may you and yours be surrounded by joy every day. K

Advent 2019 – angel of long marriages and star crossed lovers

Victorian Angels

Better with every telling,
the story of the night we met,
our creation mythology filled with revelry and beer.
My gemini to your cancer,
constellations sharing stars
aligned just so
with the conjunction of planets
perfectly formed in the cataclysm of desire.

Our saga continued with heroic deeds
and herculean tasks,
all spilling across pages of years. Tattooed on our faces,
deeds fair and foul,
most forgotten and some forgiven,
all returning to that original sin. Our garden
created and cultivated with four hands,
and, on occasion,
nurtured by an angel or two.

Willingly we return to that first moment,
revisiting past lore, embellished
golden with retelling.
The myth of our own making,
epic, comic, tragic-
the end will be as the beginning,
a story better
for the telling
and perfectly formed in the stars.

*** Written several years ago for Twelve Days of Angels, Day Seven

Advent 2019 – We Were Walking

Angels of Childhood

We were walking with friends
behind their Minnesota farmhouse,
fields of cornstubble stretching to the winter gray horizon.

Suddenly from under our feet-
a heart stopping flash –
all feathers and noise and wings,
a vision of gold calling in alarm.
With our pulses pounding,
we watched the pheasant disappear.

We laughed at our fear
and marveled at the beauty and wonder
of what we had seen.

This must be what the shepherds felt
in a field a long time ago,
when they flushed
a covey of angels.

***This is a poem written many years ago but still one of my favorites. May you be surprised by joy and wonder during this Christmas season – K

A Litany for Lighting of Advent Candles

This is a litany I wrote many years ago for the congregation of a tiny Presbyterian Church in N W Arkansas.
In the Christian faith, the four Sundays leading up to Christmas are considered the season of Advent and many churches and many families light the Advent candles on each of those Sundays.
My hope is that readers of all faiths and beliefs will see the light of hope and love.
Light a candle.

(If you would like to use this litany, please leave a comment below. I would love to hear how you use it and where, especially if it is for your church congregation. Thanks, Kathleen)

Angel of the Rusty Halo

The Litany for Lighting of the Advent Candles

First Sunday of Advent

We wait for You in the stillness.
In the darkness before dawn.
We have heard of Your coming.

The prophet said,
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. Isaiah 9:2

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him–
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of power,
the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD– Isaiah 11:1-2

We wait.
Light one candle.

Second Sunday of Advent

We wait for You in the stillness.
In the darkness before dawn.
We wait in a small town,
making preparations for You.

The prophet said
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” Micah 5:2

And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
to give his people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
to shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.” Luke 1:76-79

We wait.
Light two candles.

Third Sunday of Advent

We wait for you in the stillness.
In the darkness before dawn.
We are sheep without a Shepherd,
we are shepherds waiting for the news.

The prophet said,

He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young. Isaiah 40:11

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Luke 2:8-10

We wait.
Light three candles.

Fourth Sunday of Advent

We wait for you in the stillness.
In the darkness before dawn.
We hear the angels voices.
We are overwhelmed.
We are awe-struck.

I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.” Isaiah 6:1-3

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:13-14

We wait.
Light four candles.

Christmas Day

We wait for you in the stillness.
In the darkness before dawn.
You are here with us.
Your birth proclaimed by angel and prophet, shepherd and magi.
You are here and our waiting is over.

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Light your candles.
The waiting is over.
The Light of the World is here

Persephone basks

bradford-inn.jpg
Its warm,
an uncommon day in November,
the sun seeps honey and languorous
across the deep autumn landscape.

Trees fold inward, their somber winter
slumbers await.
Birds chitter and sing as if a spring day
while small furred creatures busy themselves
with the important matters of survival
and hunger.

Ice begins tonight.

Persephone basks
for one more day.