Imagining Advent- A poem

Altar Paraments created for Easter Lutheran Church in Eagen Minnesota by Linda Witte Henke

Altar Paraments created for Easter Lutheran Church in Eagen Minnesota by Linda Witte Henke

In a world come of age that no longer dreams
When the spiritual is banished to some distant past
And feelings and dreamings of the romatics are exorcised
In the cold harsh world of facts and data and pundits
Can we imagine the advent of mystery
The coming of the divine into the space of the secular
Will the dreams of the prophets be met by the cynicism of this age
Like in their own day, ignored by those who had surrendered hope
To the foolishness of the past, to the dreams of old men
The prophecy of daughters long gone and the visions of young men

Or might there be in the midst of the foolishness of those dreams
A way out of the rabbit’s hole where we find ourselves trapped in our own wonderlands
Trapped into a world that egocentrically revolves around the walls I build to protect me from thee
What would a world look like where nations no longer train for war
Where spears of separation are beaten into pruning hooks of production
Where swords of every age are reforged into the implements for feeding the nations
Where the shields and walls that divide become the fuel that fires the halls of fellowship
In this crazy kingdom where wolves and lambs lie down, and lions and calves and fatlings
Where children can play with poisonous snakes and we enter into the childish imagination
Of the Lord who is born in the home of the animals, laid in the straw of the ox

Of deserts that become productive and blind that see and deaf that hear,
Where springs of water break forth in the midst of the thirsty ground
And the highway that leads home is no longer a fools dream
No longer just the narrow way that only the wise can discern
To a place where hospitality and healing reign and tears are wiped away
Where children are born to us that might bring the mighty down from their thrones
And uplift the humble of heart and fill the hungry with good things
A crazy dream where the last are first and the first are last
Where the poor, hungry, weeping, hated, cursed and defamed are blessed
Where the ignored child of an unwed mother is Lord
And a crucified slave is the king

These dreams don’t come easy in a world come of age
Where we are all too aware of the ways these dreams were manipulated and mobilized
To prop up the powerful rather than to lift up the lowly
To build walls to divide rather than to create a world where there is no longer
Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female
And yet for all the deconstructionism of the day
The dreams persist, the imagination dares to imagine the heavens opened
The angelic messengers pointing to the sacred in the midst of the profane
That the portals between heaven and earth may indeed be opened
In this unusual advent coming in the smallest and the least
Where a little child might lead them.

Neil White, 2013

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