Christianity, poetry

compline

Emmanuel — behold Him
the Meek and Mighty, child
the universe’s Maker come
to what we have defiled

Emmanuel — o praise Him
the righteous Warrior wise
He comes the fettered heart to free
and none will He despise

Emmanuel — adore Him
the Shepherd tender, true
He comes the broken to restore
and make all old things new

Emmanuel — hosanna
o, God-With-Us, save!
come sing Your song of triumph
from the manger past the grave

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Christianity, poetry

vespers

strikingsunrise3

i thank Thee, uncreated Son
that Thou didst deign to shine
within the darkness of my soul
and warm my heart with Thine

i thank Thee, ever-endless One
Who left Thy holy throne
to take my evanescent frame
and wear it as Thine own

i thank Thee, Living Water sweet
Whose life Thou freely gave
that Thou didst stoop to wash my feet
and me from death didst save

i thank Thee, shatterer of night
Thou art eternal Day
when new life rises with the morn
the old shall flee away

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Christianity, poetry

hours

field

go seek Him in the country
go find Him by the way
go see that in your night has dawned
the light of endless day

go seek Him in the village
go praise Him in the town
go tell the true and wild tale
of God to earth come down

go seek Him in the city
go paint Him on the streets
go sing the song of zion
and of triumph through defeat

go seek Him in the quiet
go dance amid the storm
go worship in the chaos
unto us a Child is born

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Christianity, poetry

matins

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wake up, the sun is risen
wake up, the night is done
wake up, for sorrow’s ended
wake up, for joy is won

wake up, in love He suffered
wake up, in love He bled
wake up, the Hero conquered
wake up, the dragon’s dead

wake up, the sea is gleaming
wake up, the sky’s on fire
wake up and end your dreaming
wake up, He’ll never tire

wake up, you souls in prison
wake up, you hearts of stone
wake up, the Son is risen
wake up, the night is gone

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poetry

with us

sometimes i forget what Your name
means, o Emmanuel, God with us.
it rolls off the tongue easily
as a lesson learned by a little child —
a foreign word made familiar,
innocuous, even, by frequent use.
but God — the Consuming Fire
the Beginning and Endless
eternally in present tense
the Speaker into being
of that which was not
and Sustainer of all
which in Him is …
God with — among
beside, present,
having, together
inextricably joined to …
God with us — us?
the King of glory stepping
into flesh like ours
that tears and wears out,
the Light of the world
looking through eyes
limited by darkness,
the ageless Word arriving
as a baby, with nothing
but a cry?
how inconceivable.
yet You
God with me
know better
than i.

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poetry

love enough for everything

once more, i sit down to write You;
once more, i don’t know what to say.
i’ve been thinking about words like
love, enough and everything
and wondering if i even know
what they mean. love has begun
to feel like a fight to the death,
and i am still not good at dying.
You don’t give us what we expect,
do You? a little bloody baby born in a cow shed,
the Wisdom of the universe
kicking reflexively against the cold,
our Creator swaddled and burped
and rocked, cradled like any of us.
what am i supposed to do with You?
i imagine mary thought more than once
as You repeatedly defied the limits
her human understanding had conceived.
and so You confound mine. my mind
is finite, and i cannot comprehend Your
everythingness — the Sum that is greater
than the parts i can see and more than
i have the ability to imagine. and yet
You make Your home in the littleness
of my heart and cheerfully chip it away
so i can hold more of You. profound!
or do i mean ironic? perhaps it is both.
and, perhaps, what we mean by Your
enoughness is that our feeble minds
can’t restrict You by how little we
know our need, and in our battle
of give and takeaway, You never leave us empty
when You slay our pride; You are the Giver
and the Gift inside.

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